From the daily archives: "Wednesday, April 13, 2016"

Subject: What kind of caterpillar is this?
Location: Sandton, South Africa
April 13, 2016 12:31 pm
Hi there!
This is Absolem, the caterpillar who is living off of my Basil plant.
I live in Sandton, just north of Johannesburg, South Africa.
It has just turned Autumn here and we went through a bit of a cold spell but it’s warming up a little bit before winter hits.
From the pictures I’ve seen it seems like Absolem may be a Death’s head Hawk moth. But I’ve never seen any of these in this area so I’m not sure.
Could you possibly kindly tell me what Absolem will turn into?
Signature: Jennifer Williamson

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Jennifer,
Sweet Basil is not a plant listed on African Moths as being a larval foodplant for the Death’s Head Hawkmoth.  That list includes:  “
Brugmansia suaveolens, Solanum jacquini, Solanum Jasminoides, Solanum macrocarpon, Tabebuia pallida, Clerodendrum ugandense, Mormordica charantia, Vitex, Jasminum pubigerum, Spathodea, Duranta erecta, Lantana camara.”  Absolem’s color is atypical for a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar.  We wonder if he would prefer a different food plant.

Subject: Sphinx Moth?
Location: DT6 4HP. United Kingdom
April 13, 2016 11:17 am
Found this lovely moth today. Spent all day resting on the stone fence support. Can only find similar ones on American sites. We are in West Bay , Dorset UK
Signature: No

Puss Moth

Puss Moth

Thanks to the UK Moths site, we are confident this is a Puss Moth, Cerura vinula, and the site states:  “Named after the cat-like appearance of the adult moth, this species is fairly common throughout most of Britain.”

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much!  The kids will be very interested.  A very handsome moth it was too!
Regards,
Dolly

Subject: Scary Bug
Location: Tbilisi Georgia
April 13, 2016 4:38 pm
Can you please help me to identify this insect. it is around 2 cm.
Signature: public

Female Florida Sand Cockroach

Female Florida Sand Cockroach

Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is a female Florida Sand Cockroach, Arenivaga floridensis.  Like other species in the genus, the male has wings and can fly while the female is flightless.

Female Florida Sand Cockroach

Female Florida Sand Cockroach

Subject: South West Florida Spider
Location: South West Florida
April 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Could you please help me identify this spider.
I found it while walking through the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in South West Florida.
I thank you for your help
Signature: Brenda Kazan

Orchard Spider

Orchard Spider

Dear Brenda,
This little beauty is a harmless Orchard Spider,
Leucauge venusta.

Subject: Giant Huntsman Spider?
Location: Rural San Diego County, CA
April 12, 2016 8:21 pm
Hello,
This bug was found in my home near the ceiling. He was never you big-perhaps 2-3″ wide and 1-2″ long. I live in a rural area and it is not uncommon to find Tarantulas in the house and MANY black widows outside. However, I’ve not seen this one before. A Google search leads me to believe it is a Giant Huntsman Spider & I would love to be sure so I can learn more about it. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Anna

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Dear Anna,
You are correct that this is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider, and we are relatively certain it is the native
Olios giganteus, based on images posted to BugGuide.

Thank you so much for the prompt response! Sorry for the type-o in the first email.

Subject: Help! tons of these things appeared 2 days ago
Location: Phoenix, Az
April 12, 2016 8:30 pm
I live in Phoenix Az. I do have a front yard garden of some herbs, tomatoes, and artichokes. I don’t think the bugs are there for the garden. They spread out through the dirt portion of the yard and have trails (4-5 trails that they’re following) all the way past the garden and into the backyard.
I found false cinch bugs have similar body shape, but not the markings. Our neighbor is redoing his entire house, so I’m wondering if that’s where they came from?
Signature: Morgan

Possibly California False Chinch Bug Nymph

Possibly California False Chinch Bug Nymph

Dear Morgan,
Last spring we posted an image of similar looking nymphs, and at that time we wrote:  “These are immature True Bugs, and nymphs can be very difficult to identify.  …  we suspect you may also have Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae.”  When we received images of the adults, we tentatively identified them as California False Chinch Bugs,
Xyonysius californicus, but alas BugGuide does not have any young nymph images.

Thank you! That gives me enough info so I don’t have to worry about them. I really appreciate he quick reply.