From the monthly archives: "September 2013"

Subject: Caterpillars
Location: Olathe, ks
September 25, 2013 7:05 pm
Hello, my 5 yr old son and I have been finding different caterpillars all over our new farm property in olathe, Kansas. We have been able to identify most but this one. He has one eye, we think the other was lost on a branch possibly or born w/o? He’s a brownish orange color and he would be so excited if you could tell us what kind of new friend we have! We took lots of pictures to show you. Thanks so much!!!
Alicia & Regan
Signature: Regan and mommy

Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Regan and Alicia,
This is the caterpillar of a Pandorus Sphinx, a lovely green moth.  The “eye” might actually be the caudal bump that remains when the caudal horn typical of most Sphingidae caterpillars is lost during an early molt.  True to expectations it appears to be feeding on grape or some other vine.

Correction:  September 2, 2017
Oops, we just noticed this incorrect identification.  Based on this BugGuide this is actually an Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar, a member of the same genus as the Pandorus Sphinx.

Subject: Very Large Flying Bug
Location: North Israel
September 26, 2013 2:45 am
Hi, I found this bug that I’ve been trying to identify for days! at first glance it reminded me of a wasp. its about an inch and a half to two inches in length and I’ve never seen an insect like this before so hoping you could give me a hand figuring out what it is!
Signature: T.M.

Perhaps a Flying Ant

Perhaps a Flying Ant

Dear T.M.,
This one certainly has us stumped.  We would have a much easier time telling you what it is not, but that would not really be helpful.  We suspect you have the order Hymenoptera correct, and that includes ants, bees and wasps.  The legs on your insect are so insignificant and the head and antennae are also quite small.  Our best guess is a Flying Ant.  Perhaps one of our readers will have time to research this one.

Moments after posting, we received a comment from Joshua identifying this Dorylus Driver Ant male as a Sausage Fly.  We confirmed that on Alex Wild Photography.  When time permits, we will try to do a bit more research into this fascinating creature.

Oh wow, thank you for the help and the quick response! I would be interested in any additional information you may come by.
Thanks again,

Subject: Hissing Caterpillar
Location: 32.558099,-94.349213
September 25, 2013 1:53 pm
Hi, I received this picture of a ”Hissing Caterpillar” a month or so ago. I have no idea what ’kind’ of worm this could possibly be. I have never seen anything like this in my life, but thought maybe you could help. We let him/her/it go but I am still curious as to what kind of worm this is. Any information would be a great help.
Thank you!
Signature: RG

Sphinx Caterpillar

Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear RG,
This is the Caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth, and caterpillars in the family Sphingidae are frequently called Hornworms because of the caudal horn.  Based on photos posted to BugGuide, this might be the caterpillar of a Twin Spotted Hawkmoth,
Smerinthus jamaicensis, but we are not certain.  We will see if Bill Oehlke can confirm the ID.

I favour Amorpha juglandis.
Do you have the Texas county or more precise location.

Subject: I think this is a big furry fly
Location: Colima, Mexico
September 24, 2013 8:13 pm
I found this fly (i think it is a fly) sitting on the patio table, late September 2013, not long after Tropical Storm Manual and Hurricane Ingrid slammed into southern Mexico at the same time, one from the Pacific and one from the Atlantic. It is not moving much. It has a thick, velvety coat with a white stripe horizontally across the top side of the lower thorax. I would say the body part (without wings) is about 2cm. I haven’t seen this bug before and would be interested to have an ID. The bit of white at the end of the thorax does not belong to the bug but is a bit of debris on the table. Thanks bugman
Signature: Beverly

Probably Tachinid Fly

Bee Fly

Hi Beverly,
We believe, but we are not certain, that this is some species of Tachinid Fly.  Members of the Tachinid Fly family are parasitic in the larval stage, and adults often take nectar from flowers.  Tachinids prey on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods, and caterpillars are probably the most common host insect.  See BugGuide for more information on Tachinid Flies.

Probably Tachinid Fly


Update and Correction:  January 11, 2014
We got a pretty confident correction from Stephen who agrees with the comment from James, so even though we cannot locate a link with a matching photo, we have correct the posting to read Bee Fly.

September 25, 2013 3:49 am
Hi Daniel,
We at recently came across your blog and were excited to share with you an article “HOW TO HELP KIDS GET OVER THEIR FEAR OF BUGS” was recently published on our blog at (, and we hoped that you would be interested in featuring or mentioning it in one of your posts.
Either way, I hope you continue putting out great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read.
Thanks for your time,
Emma Roberts
Signature: Emma Roberts

Youngster unafraid of Golden Orbweaver

Youngster unafraid of Golden Orbweaver

Hi Emma,
We are happy to link to your article, but it has been our experience that kids are often naturally curious about bugs and it is frightened parents that need to be educated.  This little lady appears to be enthralled with the Golden Orbweaver.

Hi Daniel,
It’s really my pleasure sharing article with you, Thanks for posting & for your valuable thoughts.
Thanks again,