Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Palm Desert, CA 92260
October 15, 2015 10:45 pm
Is this bug harmful to my plants? Is it beneficial ( like ladybugs)? Thank you.
Signature: Erik

Stilt Legged Fly

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear Erik
We are confident that we have correctly identified your Stilt Legged Fly,
Micropeza stigmatica, based on images posted to BugGuide.  There is no food preference listed on the information page for the species, but we suspect this is a predator.  If we go to the family page on BugGuide, it states:  “Adults of some species are attracted to rotting fruit or dung; in other species adults are predaceous; larvae saprophagous” meaning the larvae feed on decaying organic matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Cocoon
Location: Delaware Ontario Canada
October 16, 2015 5:29 am
We found this large cocoon attached to our wood fence on Oct. 15th 2015. It appeared almost overnight. We are thinking it is some kind of moth, but would like to know more. We did have a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden this summer (picture 2) Any idea what this cocoon might be?
Signature: Lori L.

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Dear Lori,
Hawkmoths do not spin a cocoon and they pupate underground.  This is the cocoon of a Cecropia Moth, and if you are lucky, you will see the emergence of the adult Cecropia Moth next spring.

Subject: Beetle in Nicaragua
Location: La Boquita, Nicaragua
October 15, 2015 12:07 pm
This beetle was seen on our deck in La Boquita, Nicaragua on October 8, 2015. It kept getting stuck on its back. The landscaper, a local, said it is seasonal, only comes out after a rain, and its horns are used to make jewelry. It was about 3 inches long.
Signature: Justjulia

Rhinoceros Beetle

Elephant Beetle

Dear JustJulia,
Based on this image posted to PBase, this is a Rhinoceros Beetle, but no scientific name is provided.  It is identified as
Megasoma elephas on ColeoColl.  According to ARKive:  “One of the giants of the insect world, the elephant beetle (Megasoma elephas) is a large and distinctive tropical beetle with a long, rhinoceros-like horn on its head. ”  We have other examples of Elephant Beetles in our archive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery bug?
Location: Rhode Island
October 14, 2015 5:15 pm
hi, this bug was found outside a few weeks ago this fall in Rhode Island. I was just wondering if you might be able to indentify it for me ? thank you 😀
Signature: -Zarah J

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Zarah,
This sure looks like a female Pigeon Horntail, a species with larvae that bore in the wood of diseased and compromised deciduous hardwood trees, which is why seeing it on a bed of pine needles is a bit odd.

Subject: Believed to be a polyphemus moth caterpillar
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
October 14, 2015 11:32 am
Hey, I found this little beauty on my porch, and I’ve been sitting with him for a few hours. At first he would hide his head, but has seemed to get somewhat comfortable with me. I thought you might like the picture.
Signature: Zeb Sterling Austin

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

Dear Zeb,
We agree that this is a Polphemus Moth Caterpillar and we congratulate you on being able to distinguish it from a Luna Moth Caterpillar.  According to BugGuide:  “Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black”  Of the Luna Moth Caterpillar, BugGuide notes:  “Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva’s back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow.(2) Sparse hairs.”
We suspect your caterpillar might be preparing to pupate.  Put it near some fallen leaves that have not yet dried out and see if it spins a cocoon.

It has already started to spin it’s cocoon on my windowsill, and he’s making some definite progress. I’ll gladly include more pictures if you would like. I was absolutely ecstatic to see both the little guy and that you posted my request. I’ve followed the website since I was around 12, but have never really needed anything identified. I just wanted to make sure I was right. Thank you very much for making my day. (Although my girlfriend would probably like me to shut up about how excited I am.)
Many thanks,
Zeb

Polyphemus Caterpillar Cocooning

Polyphemus Caterpillar Cocooning

Hey, here’s an update on the little guy’s progress. He did something odd. (It may be normal behavior, I’m no expert) But he dragged strings of silk down nearly the entire length of the windowsill, then returned to work on his cocoon. It’s very interesting to watch him build.
Thanks,
Zeb

I apologize for the amount of emails, but something a bit funny just happened. The caterpillar was cold and curled up, and I started petting his back. Well he turned and started running his head against my finger like he was showing affection. I’m sure it was just checking out my finger, but it was incredibly adorable.

Polyphemus Caterpillar Cocooning

Polyphemus Caterpillar Cocooning

We believe the caterpillar is ensuring that the cocoon will be well anchored to the window sill.  Providing some leaves would be a nice assistance.

Subject: Mystery Weevils?
Location: Circle B Bar Reserve FL
October 14, 2015 5:24 am
Hello, here is another challenge for you!
This time they are weevils I think.
The image was taken June 23, 2014.
Thank you!
Signature: Cicada Lover

Little Leaf Notcher Weevils Mating

Little Citrus Root Weevils Mating

Dear Cicada Lover,
We believe these are mating, native Little Leaf Notcher Weevils,
Artipus floridanus, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We do not want to discount that they might be the very similar looking Yellow-Headed Ravenous Weevil or Sri Lanka Weevil, Myllocerus undecimpustulatus, an introduced species also found in Florida and profiled on BugGuide.

Update:  October 25, 2015
We have received a comment that these are most likely Citrus Root Weevils in the genus
Pachnaeus, and there are supporting images on BugGuide.