Found in Central Hungary
Location: Kecskemet, Hungary (central plains)
October 27, 2010 2:19 pm
I saw this on my walk home from work on October 25, 2010. Specifically, it was crawling along the sidewalk in a residential area behind a poultry processing plant and close to the train tracks. The pen I added for scale is 14 cm long.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Franny

Mole Cricket from Hungary

Hi Franny,
The Mole Cricket which is pictured in your photograph and the Toe-Biter are probably two of the most frequent identification requests we receive.  If our memory serves us correctly, we have received requests for the identification of the Mole Cricket from every continent but Antarctica.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Scary 5inch long caterpillar!!
Location: Crete Greece
October 26, 2010 11:30 am
Dear Bugman,
Again I need your expert help to identify this very large caterpillar which arrived on my patio under the Bouganvillia after strong winds in the night. At first I thought it was a snake! Hawk moth again maybe? Five inches long, a horn at the rear and cream colour underneath. I live on the island of Crete. Thanks for all you do to enlighten us amateur nature lovers!
Signature: Cathy P

Death's-Head Hawkmoth Hornworm

Hi Cathy,
You are correct.  This is a Hornworm as the caterpillars of the Hawkmoths are frequently called.  Alas, we do not know the species and a cursory search of the internet did not turn up any matches.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck identifying the species.

Hi Daniel and Cathy:
It looks like a brown color variant of the Death’s-head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, which is widespread throughout Europe and Africa. As with many hawkmoth (Sphingidae) caterpillars, it comes in a large variety of body colors and patterns. Wikipedia provides lots of interesting information about the species. Regards. Karl

Location: Mid-Missouri
October 26, 2010 12:50 pm
A friend of mine suggested that I submit some of my photos to your site (love the site by the way). I found these a few days ago all over the Amur Honeysuckle berries that line my woods. I believe it to be a Lovebug and they are sure interesting looking creatures. These were the first that I have seen this year
Signature: Nathanael Siders

March Fly

Hi Nathaneal,
This is definitely a March Fly in the family Bibionidae which includes the Love Bugs in the genus
Plecia, but we haven’t the necessary skills to identify the genus or species.  That would require an expert and most likely a physical specimen.  We can say that she is a female because the eyes of the male are much larger.   Presumably, if he could speak, he would inform his mate that they are:  “All the better to see you with, my dear.”  You may see some additional examples of March Flies on BugGuide.

March Fly

Update:  October 2, 2016
In creating a new March Fly posting, we realized that this fall flying species is probably
Bibio longipes based on BugGuide information that it is a fall flying species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: north west sydney
October 26, 2010 9:12 pm
we found this spider in our ride on mower and was wondering what type of spider it was, it was about the size of an average hand.
Signature: tash

Mountain Huntsman Spider

Dear tash,
You are correct.  This is a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae.  We located a visual match on the Insects of Brisbane website that is identified as the Mountain Huntsman Spider,
Isopeda montana and it is also pictured on the LifeUnseen website.

Swarm of small black beetles
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
October 26, 2010 5:08 pm
Every year in Santa Cruz, CA we get a small flood of these small black beetles in our upstairs bedroom. They seem to congregate under skylights and near windows (lots of sun). They are looking for mates, as I can see a number of them paired end to end, while others wander searching. They never have wings and don’t look like termites we see elsewhere around the yard. We just had our first big rainfall and it’s sunny and warm today.
Signature: Thanks, David

Termite Alate

Hi David,
This is the third email we looked at this morning with similar Termite Alates from California which just had an unseasonal rain.  None of the images contained winged specimens, and we do not know if there is a species of Termite that does not have a winged reproductive form, but we doubt it.  See our previous posting for additional information.

Update:  June 17, 2012
We have been doing some research based on a comment from Sonfish that this is a Devil’s Coach Horse.  While we were confident that it wasn’t a Devil’s Coach Horse, we began to have doubts that this was a Termite and that it might be a Rove Beetle, so we contacted Eric Eaton.  He confirmed our original identification.

Eric Eaton confirms Termite Identification
June 16, 2012
Yes, these are alate termites that have shed their wings.  The one in the bottom image has her abdomen in the air because she is “calling” males with her pheromones, released from glands near the tip of her abdomen.  They do look remarkably like rove beetles when they do that!

once a year
Location: lafayette, CA 94549
October 26, 2010 11:40 pm
Hi Bugman,
Love this site,,, but couldn’t find anything quite like I’ve experienced for the past 2 years… I live in Lafayette California, just over the Berkeley Hills and after the October rains (last year and now) I had an infestation in the house of some bugs… Quite a few, and concentrated in various areas.
I can only think they’re termites based on all the research I’ve done but there’s no picture that look quite like these guys… They’re not pale…. they’re not RED,,,, They are about 6mm & dark dark brown. I find them in the sink, the carpet, the bathroom floor… etc… This year there are less than last, , , but the storm this year was more mild… (?!?)
And its not just what they LOOK like, but how they act… the pictures I have show a part of the situation – – they appear to travel in pairs and one puts its abdomen up in the air (attracting a mate?) then when they pair up it’s like a choo-choo train trip with one attached to the others back end! This morning I found (and captured) 4 in my sink, put them in a zip lock bag … and they just move around in there (for ~ 2 days, then die). No apparent ability to escape.
Last year I panicked and asked a termite guy to come out , , , he found no evidence of mud-tunnels or anything else, but still offered to do a multi thousand dollar preventative job. . .
Yikes, , , now that I zoom in on my pictures, I wonder if I should have taken him up on the deal… abdomen looks bigger than I thought (to me it looked flat!)…
Thanks for your help!
(but help fast??)
Signature: Alex

Termite Alate

Hi Alex,
Thanks for your compliments, but as we have stated numerous times in the past, we are artists, not scientists, and we have no background in entomology, nor do we endorse extermination, but there are always exceptions, and that would include a situation where an infestation of Termites is compromising the structure of a home.  You definitely have photographed a Termite, and we believe we have found a match on BugGuide that also shows the posture that you have also photographed and described.  The species is not identified.  The same person also submitted an image of a winged Termite Alate, and there is a robust dialog regarding the image posted to BugGuide and the possibility that it is a Subterranean Termite.  There is also a dark colored winged Alate image on BugGuide that is identified as belonging to the family Rhinotermitidae.  BugGuide has other images, many from California, that show black individuals that are identified as Subterranean Termites.  It is the nymphs and workers of the Termite colony that are light colored and sometimes called White Ants.  This does not appear to be the Western Subterranean Termite,
Reticulitermes hesperus, which Charles Hogue profiles in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin where he indicates:  “In Los Angeles and much of the west, this is the species that causes the greatest damage.”  We believe you may be correct that the image may be illustrating the act of dispersing pheromones to attract a mate.  The newly matured reproductive individuals are known as Alates and they are winged.  They usually swarm after a rain, and the fact that you find them each year indicates there is most likely a colony in your home.  Subterranean Termites nest in the ground, so we would suspect they are probably in your crawl space, and if you find them in the kitchen and bathroom, there may be water damage to the wood in those areas of the home that are providing food for the colony.  It is important to stress that not all Termites are destructive to homes, and that in nature, Termites play an important role in breaking down rotting wood that becomes incorporated into the soil.

Termite Alate

Incredible feedback and I agree with everything you’re pointing out (not to mention, learning a ton!).
I am suspicious of a woodpile that’s just outside our house (about 3-4′ away) but certainly wonder how they’d be getting into the house unless they’re in the crawlspace…
Regardless, I would find some of the mud-tunneling areas outside the house – but would I find them even in the crawlspace? or would those possibly not be evident since it’s usually dark down there anyway… I read that they like the moisture so that mud tunnel job helps them retain that!
Thanks again!