From the monthly archives: "April 2012"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphinx?
Location: South South East Texas (Surfside)
April 25, 2012 1:08 pm
I thought this was really cool, it looked like a jet. I think it’s some kind of sphinx moth. I know the pic isn’t great, but it’s the only one I have.
Signature: HereFishyFishy

Mournful Sphinx

Dear HereFishyFishy,
This somber Sphinx goes by the austere name Mournful Sphinx.  Its shape is quite distinctive.  You may read more about it on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Different Kind of Lady Beetle?
April 25, 2012
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
This little beetle is the same size and shape as the red/orange and black-spotted ladybird beetles I usually see.  The all back head section is very different.  After checking many sites, I didn’t find anything that resembled it?  Can you help me identify it, please?
Thank you so much,
R.G. Marion
Great Smoky Mountains
East Tennessee

Leaf Beetle: Calligrapha species

Dear R.G. Marion,
Though it resembles a Lady Beetle, your creature is actually a Leaf Beetle in the genus
Calligrapha.  We are not certain of the species, but you can peruse the numerous possibilities on the BugGuide website.

Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me.

No problem R.G.  You have been writing to us for so long.  No matter how busy we get, we always try to respond to your submissions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Easter Egg Spider
Location: San Fernando Valley, California
April 25, 2012 3:33 am
This little lady – I’m assuming its a lady – interrupted our Easter festivities. After a good deal of floundering and some heebie jeebies (I don’t have a good relationship with spiders) we managed to shoo her off into the garden. We’re curious to what she is, though, she almost looks like an Easter Egg herself. I have not tried searching the internet because I am arachnaphobic.
Signature: Cautiously Curious

Brown Widow

Dear Cautiously Curious,
In our opinion, this is a Brown Widow, an introduced species that might bite, though it is not considered as dangerous as the Black Widow.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Thank you for the quick response. There was an orange hourglass on her side – one of us wondered if she was an albino black widow, but that didn’t seem right. I’d never heard of brown widows before – looks like we’re lucky she put up with our efforts to move her, even if she’s not as lethal as a black widow.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cecropia and Promethea
Location: South Illinois
April 24, 2012 1:52 pm
Here is a female Promethea and a male Cecropia hanging out on my screen.
We sent you a picture of a male Promethea we found last year.
Signature: Bert

Promethea (left) and Cecropia Moths

Hi Bert,
How lucky were you to witness this great scene.  Folks lucky enough to live in areas where conditions are suited to sustaining Giant Silkmoths are likely to see them on a yearly basis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Spider
Location: Vail, AZ
April 23, 2012 5:28 pm
Hi,
I found this one inside a Prickly Pear cactus flower. The extra hair on the legs makes me think it’s a Grateful Dead fan, or perhaps those help with climbing.
Thank you,
Signature: Carl

Green Lynx Spider

Hi Carl,
This distinctive spider is a Green Lynx Spider, a hunting spider that does not snare insects with a web.  Green Lynx Spiders often wait in blossoms for pollinating insects.  The extra legs are the pedipalps and their size indicates this is a male Green Lynx Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillars have eaten my entire tree!
Location: Austin, TX
April 23, 2012 4:30 pm
While working on our ranch we kept having these guys drop out of the tree on us. There are 100s of them. They have cleaned the tree of all of its leaves and left only the leaf veins.
Can you tell me anything about them?
Signature: S Ross

Possibly Ruddy Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dear S Ross,
We believe your caterpillar is related to the Tent Caterpillars, but we are currently unable to access BugGuide to attempt a more specific identification.  We suspect that higher than normal caterpillar populations in Texas have resulted in greater populations of Caterpillar Hunters as well, based on reports we have received recently.

Update:  April 15, 2014
A comment indicates this might be a Ruddy Dagger Moth Caterpillar based on this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination