ironclad beetle
Hi there –
I found this neat beetle on my front porch at Crater Lake National Park (Oregon) house (I am a Park Ranger here), which I researched and found it belongs to the ironclad beetle group (Family Zopheridae). It is all brown and very hard. It plays dead when touched. It looks like the beetle at and (Great picture of what looks exactly like the beetle I have, but what is with that scientific name – Phellopsis amurensis? I cannot find that listed anywhere else? Did they change the name?) and Do you know what genus and species this is?

Hi Kevin,
Species is often difficult to discern from a photo, and even a specimen will cause disagreement among experts. We are not experts. According to Hogue this an Ironclad Beetle from the Family Zopheridae. Our Southern California species are in the genus Phloeodes. Audubon recognizes a very different beetle as the Ironclad Beetle, Zopherus haldemani. Audubon also calls your type of beetle a Plicate Beetle, Noserus plicatus. Hope that doesn’t further confuse the issue. Late breaking news: Eric Eaton just solved the question for us. “It is Phloeodes sp. I think there is only one now, THE ironclad beetle. They sure are neat, but you need a drill to pin them.”

Ed. Note: Just got this update.
Ironclad Beetle (07/13/2005) The ironclad beetle in the photograph on your webiste is Phellopsis porcata (LeConte) 1853 (nice picture!!). It is easily seperated from the genera Phloeodes(10-seg. ant.) and Zopherus (9-seg. ant.). Phellopsis has 11-seg. ant. and open procoxal cavities. It inhabits old growth boreal forests of North America and Asia, and was even proposed by the USGS as a bio-indicator of Snowy Owl habitat, but they could not collect it in sufficient numbers. Cool website. Oh yeah, if the Park Ranger who collected it wants to keep it alive, they like Apples, and can live for at least a year.
Ian A. Foley
Montana Entomology Collection-MTEC
Montana State University

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth in Fiji
Hello, we saw this moth on the door when we returned to our Fijian bure
(thatched hut!) at night. Can you identify it please?
Thanks, Sarah

Hi Sarah,
Tropical species are not our forte, but your moth bears a resemblance to a genus we have, Catocala, known as the Underwing Moths. These moths generally have drably colored upper wings and gaudily colored underwings. They are nocturnal and rest during they day on trees and similar places where they are well camouflaged. If startled into flight, they attract attention, and the pursuer, a bird or other predator, will be looking for the colorful tasty treat, but when the moth lands, it once again blends in.

Dobsonflie Closeup
Now that I know what it is here are a couple dobsonfly closeups.

Thanks David,
And they are great close-ups of a Male Dobsonfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Our First Dobsons Fly !!!
Hello WTB,
My wife and I came home to this strange creature last evening resting on the inside of our garage door. We live in north central Iowa about 30 minutes south of the Minnesota border. Never seen such a frightening looking bug!!! Had no idea what it was!! We called our local nature center and they tried to convince us that that it was an Earwig. Seen too many of those to know better and the mandibles were on the wrong end anyway!!! I just wasn’t buying that so after a long while browsing the internet and every imaginable entomology sight we could think of we finally stumbled across your terrific web page and soon had the answer we were looking for. **** DOBSON FLY – Female!!!***** This girl measured 2 3/4" long from the tip of the mandibles to the end of the wings. The wing span was almost 4" when open. She had quite an attitude and would put on an amazing display of courage if you got to close. Sent along some digital photos for you. One of our local university entomology web sights described how to refrigerate the specimen for about an hour making very sure not to freeze her. This worked amazingly well to slow this fiery beast down so we could get some close-ups. The photos were done quickly and then we took her outside and rested her in a bush outside our living room window. She warmed quickly in the 80+ degree morning sun and was back to her marauding self in a matter of seconds. When last seen she was working her way deep into the center of the bush and when we checked this evening she was gone. Never seen anything like this in my almost 50 years of living in this area!!! What a amazingly horrifying treat she was!!! Your photos of the males are even more ferocious. Thanks for a great informational web sight. We will check back often.
Mike and Diane K.

Hi Mike and Diane,
What a wonderful letter. The female Dobsonfly is more aggressive than the male despite his formidible looking mandibles. Apparently his jaws serve some mating purpose that we can only cringe at. The female uses her more manageable mandibles not to eat, since adults do not eat, but to defend herself against anything that tries to eat her before she can lay eggs. Thanks for the great photos as well.

Reduvius personatus?
Hi! I live in Norway, and me and my daughter found this on her bedroomwall. Is this a reduvius personatus? And will we find some more in her bedroom….I’t had a funny movement…
Maria Isabell

Hi Maria,
What a gorgeous photograph of an immature Masked Bedbug Hunter, Reduvius personatus. The immature insect is covered with a viscid substance which causes particles of dust and fibers to adhere to it, masking the entire insect.

Bizzare Fly-type things in my room?
Just today I’ve been finding tons of little red fly style things hanging around my desk. What could they be and where could they be coming from? They are very pesky and I’d like to get rid of them. I’ve attached two somewhat clear pictures. Thanks.

You have Flying Ants. There must be a nearby nest and that is where the kings and queens are originating for their nuptial and only flight.