green caterpillar
We found this caterpillar in the yard today and would like to know what type it is. We live in Lafayette, Colorado, near Boulder. We’d like to try to keep this guy in a terrarium for a while, any suggestions?
Thanks, the Heggestads.

Dear Heggestads,
I was unsure exactly what your caterpillar was, but I thought I would try searching what I was assuming was the host plant, the poplar tree. I concluded that you have a Big Poplar Sphinx Caterpillar, Pachysphinx modesta. Here is a site entitled Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests, with a pretty good photo. I would recommend keeping several inches of damp, not wet, soil in the bottom of the terrarium for the caterpillar to dig into when pupation time occurs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind is it?
Just wanted to know what kind of caterpillar this is. I live in Harford Co., Maryland. My husband found it on a green Japanese maple tree. It had already eaten a few limbs. Not sure if its a moth or butterfly. Thanks,

Hi Debbie,
The spines of the Io Moth, Automeris io, caterpillar are mildly poisonous. It is easily recognized because of the red and white stripes. The adult moths have eyespots on their underwings. They are small Silkworm moths, the male with yellow upper wings and female with brownish upper wings. They are sometimes found on corn and other garden crops.

Name that Bug
Hi! I found your site while web searching for the identity of this little critter. He’s easily 5 inches long and we found him in the back yard in eastern PA near NewHope getting ready for a family picnic. I’ll send you a second picture of the full bug.

We have been waiting for the photos of the Hickory Horned Devils, caterpillars of the Royal Walnut Moth, Citheronia regalis, to arrive. This is America’s largest caterpillar, and although fierce looking, it is harmless. It feeds on the leaves of trees like Walnut, Hickory and Persimmon. In the fall, the caterpillar leaves the tops of the trees and climbs to the ground where it will dig and pupate, emerging as an adult moth in the spring. We hope you are releasing your captive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Blue wasp?
or blue hornet? sort of powder blue, almost sky blue.
Nice site. Very cool indeed.
TL (So. Cal.)

Hi TL,
Nice photo of a Sand Wasp, Bembix species. It is a new species for our site. According to Hogue they are: “Also known as Digger Wasps, these insects are recognizable by their stout shape and greenish-white or bluish-white abdominal markings. … Sand Wasps are characteristic inhabitants of dry sandy areas such as beach bluffs and mesas, sand dunes, and arroyos. … The nests are shallow tubes running obliquely into the soil; each contains a single larva, which the female keeps supplied with a diet of fresh flies and other insects. In practicing this form of continuous provisioning of the larvae, sand wasps differ from spider wasps, mud daubers, and many other digging wasps, which provide only a single cache of food that must last throughout the larva’s development. Sand Wasps are not social insects, as are hornets and yellow jackets; yet, as a result of the tendency of individuals to nest in the same area, a type of colony develops.” The Western Sand Wasp, Bembix comata, is a common species.

spooky bug
Found this menacing looking bug at our front door in southern Vermont. The head was turning side to side, with the pinchers (?) open. It was about 1 1/2″ long. Attached are a few pictures.
Jason Chastain

Hi Jason,
You have some good reason to call the Oil Beetle spooky. Another common name is Short Winged Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. I believe you may have exaggerated the size, but the beetle is found in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It is usually found in crop fields and meadows where it eats herbaceous foliage being particularly fond of potatoes. If disturbed, the beetle feigns death by falling on its side. The leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.

What’s This?
I found this on the patio this morning. A little more info. I found this on the patio this morning. I am in eastern Washington state. It is about an inch long and could move by crawling fairly quickly. It didn’t fly.
Thanks, John

Hi John,
The Locust Borer, Megacyllene robiniae, one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles from the Family Cerambycidae, is capable of flight. The adult Locust Borer is often found on goldenrod where it eats pollen and nectar. The larvae bore in the wood of Black Locust trees after eating the bark. Thank you for your photo. We like getting good images of signature insects. The Locust Borer ranges throughout the Eastern and Southern U.S. and eastern Canada.