Hi I found your site after looking through about 50 websites trying to identify two bugs that I found in my backyard. I’m from Amarillo, Texas if that helps. I have attached pictures of these bugs. I have never in my life seen anything that resembled these two bugs! They are about 3-4 inches long with large antennae. They have pincher like mouths and are hard bodied. They can also fly but I don’t think they can go far because they are so large and heavy. Please help me figure this out because I have a young son and I’m afraid to send him out in the backyard thinking he might get bit by one of these. Thank you so very much for you help in my search!

Dear Lisa,
You have Cottonwood Borers. They are beetles from the long-horned beetle family Cerambycidae. These are very large black and white beetles. We have several photos on our beetle page from last year. Adults are common around cottonwood and poplar trees and the grubs bore into the wood of those trees. They will not harm your children, but a huge infestation may harm your trees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Peculiar looking moth/caterpillar?
I HAVE to find out what this is! I’m attaching some pictures I took today — I have lots more if needed! Please email me back if you have any idea! I am located in Marshfield, Massachusetts which is a coastal community, however, I live in a very woodsy area with mostly pine tree’s surrounding, however there are some others in the yard that are different. I don’t know if that has anything to do with what this creature is!
Thank you for your help!!
Christina L. Sheehan

Hi Christina,
I must compliment you on some stunning photos of an Eyed Tiger Moth, Ecpantheria deflorata. It has a beautiful black wooly bear caterpillar with black hairs and bands of crimson at the body segments. According to Holland: “The Eyed Tiger Moth ranges from southern News England, where it is rare, through the southern parts of the united States into Mexico. It is quite common in the Carolinas.” The larvae feed on plantain, Plantago.

I found this bug on an egg plant leaf outside late last night it is approx 1 1/2 in long and 1/2 in thick we put it into a clear container with a small worm/caterpillar and this morning we watched it suck it dry. it looks like a giant stink bug with a snout like a butterfly for sucking and horned back.

(ed. note: The only way we were able to access these images was to rephotograph them from our computer screen, so the quality is poor.
You have a Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, a member of the Assasin Bug Family Reduviidae. These large true bugs can be recognized by the cog like wheel on their backs. They are friends of gardeners since they eagerly feed on many garden pests, like the caterpillar you put in the jar. Those sucking mouthparts can deliver a painful bite if the bug is carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I came across your site looking for info on this bug I’m seeing. We have a mite problem in this one room, where a bird nested in the eave, and I have laid down some double sided tape to try to determine where the entry point is, so I don’t have to RAID the whole room. Anyhow, a different bug has secured itself to the tape, almost making it across the span before apparently giving up in despair. It has pincers extending out like longhorn cattle horns, equal to the length of it’s body. I don’t have a camera at the ready, I’ll try to draw one and attach it, if you could be of any help. Greatly appreciated. I live in central Minnesota.
Thank you,

Hi Steve,
What a great drawing of a harmless Pseudoscorpion. We have an entire page with some photos. Just click the Pseudoscorpion link in the alphabatized list of the www.whatsthatbug.com homepage.

P.S. They may be eating your mites.

Thank you for the quick response and ID. I browsed your site for names I didn’t recognize, but I never thought to look at the pseudoscorpions. That’d be great if it was eating mites, except now I killed it with the tape trap.
Thanks again,

I found this bug feeding at my lilacs in southcentral Alaska . I have never seen anything like it. I thought at first it was a bee, But others said it must be a moth. I am looking for something more definite. I have several other pictures of this critter from several angles, as it hovered quite calmly while I snapped away. Can you shed some light?

Hi Dorothy,
Your photo shows a moth from the genus Haemorrhagia, possibly H. axillaris, known as the Snowberry Clearwing, or H. thetis which is reported to range from Colorado and Wyoming west and north to Oregon and British Columbia. These moths belong to the Family Sphingidae, or Hawk Moths, also called Sphinx Moths. The clearwings are a day flying group.

Thanks. It was from your web page that I got excited believing that you would probably have the answer! I was wondering if Alaska is a bit north for its range. We definitely have the flowers needed to attract the moth. But we have a short season compared to others and a really cold climate for a longer time. Also we have extremes of light and dark. Since this a day flying moth, no doubt it loves the summers. Guess it survives the winters as well. I will keep trying to contact folks in the University here to see how common this fellow is.
Dorothy A. Hight

"What’s that Bug" Website Folk –
I enjoyed very much browsing your website. I am interested to know where you are located and what regional insect fauna you are most associated with. I am author of the Exploring California Insects website –

Eddie Dunbar, Project Director
"Exploring California Insects"
5209 Congress Avenue
Oakland, CA 94601-5405

"Lake Merritt and Greater Oakland Insects"
a field guide covering 105 local groups
with 100 color images is now available.
Visit the ECI website: www.bugpeople.org

Hi Eddie,
Thank you for the nice letter. I can see downtown Los Angeles from my backyard. I live in the neighborhood of Mt. Washington near one of the entrances to Elyria Canyon. Most of the photos that I take for the site are in my garden or the canyon. What’s That Bug? started as a lark in a photocopied “zine” called American Homebody. When American Homebody went online, the column What’s That Bug? went along for the ride. The column generated so much mail that we purchased the domain name and www.whatsthatbug.com became a spin-off of the original site. Quite frankly, we aren’t associated with any entomological organizations, but we do occasionally get advice from the staff of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. One of my greatest interests is to do documentary photos of the life cycles of some local insects and I am thinking of applying for funding to create a pamplet for Elyria Canyon Park with insect photos. I have also been toying with the idea of adapting a book based on our site that could act as a humorous accompaniment to Hogue’s awesome Insects of the Los Angeles Basin.