From the monthly archives: "January 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: insect with metal collar and straw jacket
Location: Malaysia highlands
January 29, 2013 8:25 am
I bet you thought I was kidding around with the subject. My knees wobbled when I realised what I had captured. He was on night lamp so possibly nocturnal. he was tiny (about 1-2mm) so I didn’t realise what I had photographed until I looked in the camera display after the shot. I figured you’d either know exactly what it is because of its unusual look or at the very least you’d get as much of a kick out of it as I did. Thanks.
Signature: David

Unknown Fly

Hi David,
We don’t think we are able to do much more than provide an order and a sex.  We believe this is a member of the insect order Diptera, so you could call it a Fly.  Because of its antennae, we strongly suspect it is a male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Saw this in Languedoc, France
Location: Languedoc, Mediterranean Coast, Southern France
January 28, 2013 4:40 pm
Hi Bugman, I cycled through masses of these by a canal in long grass in Languedoc, Southern France last September. Any idea what it is please? Thanks.
Signature: Chris Sherwell


Dear Chris,
This is some species of Dragonfly.  Though they are revered in some countries like Japan, Dragonflies more than most insects are saddled with a plethora of maleficent common names including Devil’s Darning Needle, Ear Cutter, Snake Doctor and Eye Poker.  Many countries have odd superstitions and lore centered on Dragonflies and they are feared unnecessarily by many.  Dragonflies are beneficial predators that help control the populations of troublesome insects like mosquitoes.  Dragonflies will not sting nor bite humans.  While we don’t recognize this species, we did locate a photo on FlickR that appears to be the same species and it is also from France.

Update:  February 2, 2013
Hi Bugman, with your expertise as a starting point I’ve trawled the web for photos and found out it was a female Red Veined Darter. “Sympetrum fonscolombii can be seen on the wing throughout the year around the Mediterranean” – bang on for where we saw it in Southern France.
Here’s a photo that almost matches mine!
Thanks for your help. The web would be a poorer place without people like you!
Rgds, Chris,

Thanks so much for the update.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Kentucky
January 28, 2013 4:22 pm
Hello, over the past few days I have noticed these little critter crawling around on my bed. I’ve only seen them late at night and really can’t find any signs of them during the day. I’m thinking this is a bed bug, but can’t be for sure can you help me out?
Signature: To brad

Bed Bug

Hello Brad,
Unfortunately, this is a Bed Bug.  We would urge you to get professional assistance to eradicate them.

Update:  April 11, 2013
Bean Leaves Trap Bed Bugs!!!
See the New York TImes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Peruvian Caterpillar
Location: Pucallpa, Peru.
January 27, 2013 5:54 pm
Found this caterpillar in our carport. Central jungles of Peru near Pucallpa. I’ve never seen one like this but something tells me I’d rather not touch it.
Signature: Jungle Jack

Giant Silkworm Caterpillar

Dear Jungle Jack,
This is one of the Giant Silkworm Caterpillars in the family Saturniidae, but we haven’t the time right now to try to identify the species.  We will post it as unidentified in the hopes that one of our readers might provide an answer.  You were wise not to handle it as many caterpillars in this family have stinging spines.

Giant Silkworm Caterpillar

I am pretty sure it is a Pseudautomeris species in Hemileucinae subfamily of
Saturniidae, but I do not know which one.
I will look up Pucallpa to see if that helps narrow it down.
Bill Oehlke

Update from Bill Oehlke
While doing some other work, I came across larva of Automeris innoxia, and
it seems a very good match for the Peruvian caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is it a Timema?
Location: Manhattan Beach, ca
January 26, 2013 8:13 pm
I am referred to this site by Theodore Payne Foundation. I found this bug on my garage, steps away from Ceanothus and Manzanita bushes that have been growing in my front yard for 12 years. The bug is 4 1/2” long. I googled and found that perhaps it is a Timema (they do like Ceanothus). I have never seen anything like it before. I thought perhaps it was a walking stick but its body looked more like a non-slimey slug; not rigid like a stick. In the second picture I was trying to get its legs, which appeared to be long & strait and I think there were 2 in both front and back. Thanks for anything you might be able to do.
Signature: Monla


Hi Monla,
How nice to hear of the Theodore Payne Foundation recommendation.  This appears to be one of the Stick Insects in the order Phasmida, but there are not enough characteristics visible for us to speculate on a more specific identification due to its tightly retracted position.  It might be in the genus
Pseudosermyle, which is pictured on BugGuide.  It is not a Timema.

Oh wow, thank you so much and I might add what a quick response!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Las Barracas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
January 27, 2013 4:38 pm
Greetings Mr. Bugman!
Can you please identify this beauty who was just making his way across the brick pathway outside my kitchen? He is just a little over 3 inches long. I gently relocated him to the brush before a bird saw him and figured he would be a tasty snack. Thanks in advance! Wendy from Southern Baja California, Mexico.
Signature: Wendy

Orange Owl Caterpillar

Hi Wendy,
We believe this caterpillar is in the subfamily Apaturinae, the Emperors.  You can see many similar North American examples on BugGuide.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he is able to provide a species identification.

Emperor Caterpillar

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I followed the link you sent and it certainly seems that is is indeed a caterpillar in the Apaturinae subfamily, and a very colorful one at that.
Wendy W.

Keith Wolfe provides a correction:  Orange Owl Caterpillar
Wendy, this is a wandering Orange Owl/Owlet (Opsiphanes boisduvallii, subfamily Satyrinae, which feeds on palms) in search of a safe place to pupate.  Here’s what it looked like before onset of the faded coloration and transformation that follows . . .
. . . and fyi on a useful butterfly checklist:  Daniel, though Emperor (Apaturinae) caterpillars are rather similar, please scroll down to see the many differences.
Best wishes,

Dear Keith and Daniel,
Thanks so much for the positive identification: Orange Owl Caterpillar.
Bugs (and birds) are fascinating to me. You have both made this 55 year old woman feel like a little kid at Christmas!
Kind regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination