From the monthly archives: "May 2017"

Subject: unknown Sphinx moth
Location: Carrboro ,NC
May 31, 2017 8:53 pm
Found this large Sphinx moth on my front porch last night in Carrboro NC. My best thoughts were it might be a Rustic Sphinx moth.
Signature: Mary S

Carpenterworm Moth

Dear Mary,
Though it resembles a Sphinx Moth, this is actually a Carpenterworm Moth,
Prionoxystus robiniae, in the family Cossidae, which we verified by matching your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae bore in wood of living deciduous trees: locust, oak, chestnut, poplar, willow, maple, and ash.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Large, might be mistaken for a sphinx moth. ”  We will be featuring your posting as our Bug of the Month for June 2017.

Carpenterworm Moth

Wow, Thanks! I wasn’t even thinking of any moth outside of a sphinx…this girl was big! Thanks so much Daniel.

Subject: Camping
Location: Texas, usa
May 30, 2017 9:14 am
This bug flew at my wife on our vacation. Scared crap out out of her. Lol what is it.
Signature: Kevin williams

Cottonwood Borer

Dear Kevin,
This distinctively marked beetle is a Cottonwood Borer.  They are not dangerous to humans, but like many wood boring beetles, they have strong mandibles and they might even draw blood from a thin-skinned person. 

Subject: Tegrodera aloga
Location: Chandler, AZ
May 29, 2017 6:53 pm
In my backyard, Chandler, AZ – awesome looking!
Signature: JD

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Dear JD,
The Blister Beetle family Meloidae includes many brightly colored and unusually patterned members, but the Iron Cross Blister Beetles in the genus
Tegrodera are probably the most remarkable looking.  The coloration is surely aposomatic or warning coloration due to the beetle’s ability to secrete the compound cantharidin that is a known blistering agent to human skin.

Subject: Trap Door Spider
Location: Central NC
May 29, 2017 4:47 pm
Photo to go with my comment on
Signature: Laura Wolf

Trapdoor Spider

Dear Laura,
Thanks for sending in your image of a male Trapdoor Spider in the genus

Subject: Stag Beetle or not?
Location: Michigan
May 29, 2017 8:03 pm
Found one of these guys on my porch and did a little research to try and identify him. Is this a Stag Beetle subspecies? And if so, is it common to see them this far north?
Signature: Suz

Stag Beetle

Dear Suz,
We are pretty sure that based on this BugGuide image, your male Stag Beetle is
Lucanus placidusAccording to BugGuide:  “Similar to L. capreolus, but much darker, elytra more punctate. Legs dark reddish brown, no light brown patches as in capreolus. Several small teeth on inside of mandibles of male–capreolus has only one.”  Your images do appear to show “several small teeth on the inside of mandibles of male.”

Stag Beetle

Thanks for your reply! Are these common in Michigan?

We have no information on how common they are.  There might be local population differences depending upon available food and habitat.  Michigan is within the range of sightings recorded on BugGuide’s data page.

Subject: Harmless? I hope.
Location: Brampton Ontario Canada
May 29, 2017 10:32 am
Saw this in my backyard today. Located in southern Ontario, Canada.
Signature: Chris

Fishing Spider

Dear Chris,
This is a harmless Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, probably a Dolomedes tenebrosus, and BugGuide lists the habitat as:  “Bushes, rocks, etc., near permanent bodies of water, sometimes in dry woodlands.”  Fishing Spiders are capable of walking on the surface of water and they can also dive beneath the surface to escape predators or to capture prey, including small fish.  Fishing Spiders are also called Dock Spiders because they are often found on docks near water.

That is fantastic information. Thanks for the reply. Btw, I never harmed it. Let it do its business. I have seen them in the yard before and wondered what they were. This makes sense as we have a pond in our yard and woods at the back of our property so the habitat description perfectly matches our neighbourhood.