Dear "Bug man":
I am writing to ask permission to use one or more of your images on a web site. The image is of a tortoise beetle. … The site, which is being developed by students in a biology class entitled “Insect fact and folklore”, is an “Insect ABC” with several pages for each letter of the alphabet. The site is strictly for non-profit educational use, and will be geared toward students at the primary school level. You may visit the site (under construction) at:
or see a previous version at:
Please contact me by email, or contact my professor, Dr. Andy McCollum, by phone, fax, mail, or email (contact information below) to grant or deny permission or if you have any questions you want to ask before deciding.
If you are willing to grant blanket permission to allow other students in this class to use images for this web page, or are unable to grant me or any other student in this class student permission, please specify that and we will add your name to the “do not disturb again” list for this class to prevent you from unnecessarily receiving additional requests from this class.
Thank you,
Brian Schweigl

Professor: Dr. Andy McCollum
Department of Biology
Cornell College
Mount Vernon IA 52314

Hi Brian,
We would be honored to contribute images to your site. We here at What’s That Bug? do not employ the copyright police to patrol the web searching for our images. We like to think of the www as a place to disseminate knowledge. Please link the image back to if you don’t mind. You will find that creating more links on your site will put you on the radar with search engines which is how What’s That Bug has gotten so much attention.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help, what’s this bug?
We’ve been battling this bug with our Pest Control people, but nothing seems to get rid of them. They are very, very little reddish bugs that appear in my bathtub, bathroom floor, windowsill, and sink. If you smash one, it will leave a red “blood” stain. In the mornings is when they seem to be out the most. I attached a picture and it’s not a good one, but it’s the best I could get since they were so small. I live in SC now, but I also saw these bugs on rocks while growing up in PA, although the ones in PA were a lot brighter of a red color. From what I could see, I think they have 4 legs and 2 long antennae. I couldn’t find a picture of a Running Mite that looks like this bug or else that’s what I’d say these are. They don’t seem to be biting and I only itch when I think about them. Any help would be grateful.

Hi Chuck,
You do have Running Mites and you don’t have to worry about being bitten or itching.

Now, for something a little different…!
Hi there, once again! Usually I’m sending you various odd bugs for ID but this time it’s a moth. I found this beautiful moth on my porch yesterday. Check out the green heart shapes on his wings — just in time for Valentine’s Day! I cannot find anything remotely like it anywhere in my internet searches. He’s rather on the large side, with much fuzz around his head and purple-ish shades under the green hearts of his wings. I nearly abandoned hope of finding an ID when I realized you have a "moths" page! I would be so honored to have a name for my lovely visitor! Thanks for all the hard work you do on your fantastic site!
Michelle Mahood
Shingletown, California

Hi Michelle,
We always love getting photos from you. Your beautiful moth is the Pacific Green Sphinx or Bear Sphinx, Arctonotus lucidus. It ranges along the Pacific coast, from southern California to British Colombia. It flies in the very early in the year, appearing from January to March. The caterpillar feeds on Evening Primrose. Here is a link to a site silkmoths.bizland that has more images including the complete metamorphosis.

Thank you SO much!!! No wonder I couldn’t find it; a Google image search turns up only three images of the Pacific Green Sphinx! I feel I’ve been treated to a rare and lovely sight and feel quite lucky to have run across him. If you’re ever looking for pictures of macroinvertebrates of the type trout enjoy, I have an album of such creatures at — when not photographing crawling and flying creatures I am a flyfishing fanatic! Thanks again for your prompt and right-on ID…
Michelle Mahood

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This bug was found on an item of clothing (right before putting it on). It had somehow burrowed within the clothing material. Your help is much appreciated.

Hi Charlie,
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you have a Human Louse, probably Pediculus humanus. Hogue has something to say about this bane to humankind. “Like the bedbug, this menace to human beings is not as prevalent today as in the past because of improved public and personal hygiene. Yet it still pops up here and there, most often among school children and indigents, and it remains the lone true companion of the hobo. This is a sucking louse found only on humans, to whom it causes much discomfort in exchange for its meal of blood. Two forms are known: the head louse infests the hair of the scalp, and the body louse lives in clothing near the body surface. Both are small (1/16 to 3/16 in.) and oval, with pointed legs. Unfed individuals are flat and yellowish to medium brown in color; after injesting blood they are swollen and show a dark clot of blood in the abdomen. Bites of the Human Louse cause a slight local reaction accompanied by itching. … In the vernacular, the Human Louse is known as the ‘Cootie.’ Its eggs, which are firmly attached to the hairs of the head and body, are the familiar ‘nits.'”

What’s this worm?!!
Dear Bugman,
I found several of these 3/4-inch worms (or, yeesh, maggots?) under the geranium pots on our patio. I’ve attached photos, and the head (?) is on the darker end. The thing is translucent and I can see its innards through its skin. It moves like an earthworm, by rippling its muscles up from the back toward the head. I’m just getting into gardening and I want to make sure these things aren’t harmful to my new plants (let alone that they aren’t going to morph into something even scarier!!) Thanks so much, I love your site – even though it gave me nightmares last night! Sincerely,
Emma in Northern California

Hi Emma,
Your photo looks like a Cutworm, the caterpillar of a type of moth. There are many species. Most are general feeders. They get their common name of Cutworm from the fact that the caterpillars often eat through the stems of young plants, severing them and killing them. Just squash them.

stick bugs
We have some stick bugs as pets. we started out with four and had them a good long time. one by one they died, and we put their cage away. some time later we went to use the cage for a toad the kids found and to our surprise there were baby stick bugs in it. well we ended up with four nice size stick bugs again. we love them , they make great little pets. our question is , how will we know if they laid eggs? and what do the eggs look like? I hope when we lose the ones we have it will not be the end of our bugs.
thank you for any help you can give me.
Mary in Montana

Hi Mary,
Walkingsticks, Family Phasmidae, are much more common in the South than the North, which is probably why you have the Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata. The males grow to 3 inches and females to 3 3/4 inches in length. They range north to Alberta Canada. They will eat the leaves of many deciduous trees but especially like oak and hazelnut. The female drops her eggs singly and they overwinter among ground litter, hatching in the spring. I guess someone never cleaned the cage before putting it away which is why you wound up with nymphs for a second generation of pets. I have heard that when there is a large population of Walkingsticks laying eggs in the forest, the eggs dropping sound like falling rain.