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

Location: Escondido, CA (North Inland San Diego)
April 22, 2012 6:11 pm
This moth was found sitting on the wall outside of our garage early this morning (4/22/12) in Escondido, Ca. It is a very large, brown moth and it has eyelash like antennas. It hasn’t moved at all today. I have researched online and cannot seem to figure out what species it is. If you can help, that would be great!
Signature: Kaylynn

Polyphemus Moth

Hi Kaylynn,
This is a male Polyphemus Moth.  The feathery antennae indicate his sex since he used his antennae to sense the pheromones of the female.  Polyphemus Moths are found coast to coast across North America, but west coast sightings are not as common as sighting in the eastern part of the country.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug Links
April 20, 2012 10:00 pm
Hi, Whatsthatbug!
I write content for (along with Eric Eaton) and I know this may sound rude of me to ask, but I was wondering how you would feel about adding to your list of “Bug Links?”  If it makes any difference, we have been listing you on our identification page – – for a few years, so we’d be kind of helping each other out.  We are just trying to spread the word a little more about our site because we lost a lot of active users when we closed our first forum, but now we’ve opened a new one.
Forgive my forwardness…  and PLEASE don’t feel obligated, I only mentioned that we linked to you as a show of good faith, not to make you feel like you had to link to us in return.  Please do check out the site and see what you think of it before making your choice. 🙂
Thanks for your time!
Mandy Howe of
Signature: Mandy Howe

Hi Mandy,
We are happy to add you to our page of Bug Links.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Butterfly and Ants on Oak Gall
Location: Iowa, United States
April 21, 2012 4:53 pm
I thought you might like this interesting picture of a painted lady butterfly on an Oak gall along with many ants. Whenever an ant left, its abdomen was a lot bigger than when it got there! You can’t see in the first picture, but in the second one you can see how some of the ant’s abdomens are full of sap (the ant on the tree branch to the right of the gall).
Signature: Michelle Lynn

Red Admiral and Ants

Hi Michelle,
Your photo is quite fascinating, but a few corrections are in order.  The butterfly is in the “Lady” genus
Vanessa, however it is actually the Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta.  You can compare the under side of the wings to this photo from BugGuideMany butterflies and indeed other insects are known to feed on oozing sap.  We don’t believe this is the result of a gall.  We don’t know what is causing the formation in the photo, but is doesn’t appear to be an insect gall to us.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

some sort of bee
Location: Johnson Prairie, Southern Oregon
April 20, 2012 11:18 am
This came inside the camper and I got it out once and then it came back again, so I took its picture. Only saw one and cannot find an ID on it.
Thank you for this great website!
Signature: Leslie

What's That Bee?: Anthophora species

Dear Leslie,
We are having difficulty identifying your bee which we suspect is a Bumble Bee.  The long hairs on the legs are an interesting feature that we have not been able to match with a photo on BugGuide.  We suspect this might not be a Bumble Bee after all.  We are seeking assistance from Eric Eaton, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a comment as to this Bee’s identity.

Eric Eaton Responds and narrows down the possibilities
It is going to be something related to Anthophora or Habropoda (genera), but I never saw anything like this when I lived in Oregon myself.  You might try John Ascher via  I’m betting this is a male specimen, too.

Thanks Eric,
We will continue to research this critter.

John Ascher Responds
Hi Daniel,
Thanks for sending this query. The bee is a male Anthophora but I’m not certain of the species. Note that Michael Orr of the USDA Bee Lab in Utah is working on this group.
Making IDs for Hymenoptera on What’s That Bug? has been on my to do list for a while, but it’s hard for me to find a free moment (next week I leave for Singapore…).
Best regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this bug? Is it dangerous?
Location: Katoomba, NSW, Australia
April 20, 2012 5:40 am
We’ve been finding these bugs all over outside and my little boy has been playing with them. I just need to make sure they are not dangerous since they are all over the place lately.
Signature: -Autumn and Mark

Wingless Fly: Chiromyzinae species

Dear Autumn and Mark,
In January 2007 we received a similar photo from Australia.  We knew the creature was a fly, but we were uncertain if it was wingless or if the wings were somehow lost.  We eventually learned it was a wingless female fly in the Soldier Fly subfamily Chiromyzinae.  At that time, there was no information available on the internet.  Now we located a Tree of Life web page posted in 2008 that states:  “Chiromyzinae is an unusual group of soldier flies as the larvae are predominantly phytophagous, with many species feeding on the roots of grasses (James 1981; Oosterbroek 1998).”  These wingless Soldier Flies are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Syrphid Fly?
Location: North Andover, MA
April 20, 2012 5:19 pm
Hi Bugman,
I was watching a variety of bees buzzing around apple blossoms when I came across this guy. It looks more like a fly than a bee and I think I found the correct identification on your site.
I would like to know if my guess is correct.
Signature: Hikingmom

Flower Fly

Hi Roberta,
You are correct that this is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and many members of this family of harmless flies mimic stinging bees and wasps for protection.  We believe we have correctly identified your Flower Fly as
Helophilus fasciatus on BugGuide.

Flower Fly

Thanks Daniel : )
I don’t know how you manage to read so many emails!
Thanks for a great site!

Thanks Roberta,
We aren’t physically able to answer even a small percentage of the email requests we receive.  We cannot even read them all.  We try to choose the most interesting subject lines on days we are unable to respond to many requests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination