Strange and fierce bug
We found this on our window sill the other day here in San Salvador. Can you help me identify it? I’ve never seen anything like it.

Hi Scotty,
You have an impressive specimen of a male Dobsonfly. I don’t know the exact species as I am only familiar with the species found in the continental U.S. We have gotten reports of male Dobsonflies that reach four inches in length. The males have the scary looking pincher jaws, but the smaller mandibles on the female are more capable of delivering a bite.

Thanks for the information. We do run across all sorts of strange stuff here that we can’t identify. Since we live up in a coffee plantation both my wife and I have been bitten by scorpions. Talk about a pop. 🙂 The Dobsonfly that we had was the length of a key. I’ll forward you another photo that shows his size. Again, thanks for the help.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Potato Bug
When Fear Factor aired the episode with the Potato Bugs you received a question asking if these were the same as Sand Puppies. In southwest Wyoming we have bugs that look just like the Potato Bugs that we call Sand Puppies. These Sand Puppies here have a Parasite that looks like a thin worm that lives in them. If you put the Sand Puppy in water, say to kill it, then this Parasite comes out! You didn’t answer the question about them being the same bug. If they are then I find it even more disgusting that Fear Factor would let someone eat this Parasite without mentioning it! Unless this is something that only happens to our Potato Bug/Sand Puppies. I sure hope you can figure this out!
Tim Doak

Hi Tim,
We just received a new letter asking about Sand Puppies which we now believe might be Solpugids which also are called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, or in the Middle East, Camel Spiders. I know nothing about the parasite you mention, but most animals on the planet fall prey to some type of parasite, and most parasites are very host specific.

Hello – Please find the attached photo of a spider (?) that we found in our bungalow sink on the tropical coast of Oaxaca, Mexico in October. This spider’s body was .5 – 1 inch wide. What are the long antennae-like structures? Do they bite? Thanks so much,
Will Bellomy

Hi Will,
Thanks for sending in a photo of a Tailless Whip-Scorpion from the Family Tarantulidae, Order Pedipalpida or sometimes Order Amblypygi. Arachnid relatives of spiders and scorpions. Several species are also found in the continental U.S. They are not poisonous, and despite their fierce appearance, they will not bite. They are nocturnal hunters that often run sideways. They prey on small arthropods.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My “Peanut Butter Log” bug…
Hi there. You were so helpful to recently identify my pleocoma, for which I thank you! However, I’d be curious to know what type of bug this is. I call it a “Peanut Butter Log” bug as it reminds me of the little striped candies I used to like (and STILL like, if the truth be told). I’m in Northern California. These guys show up in summer months and I am quite fascinated with their markings. Thanks in advance for your awesome site!
–Michelle Mahood

Hi again Michelle,
Beautiful photo of a Ten-Lined June Beetle, either Polyphylla decemlineata or P. crinita. I saw my first live specimens several months back when they were attracted to lights at the campus I teach at in Pasadena. Adults feed on the needles of coniferous trees and make loud squeeking noises when handled.

moth, who are they
These were in the garden in July. I have not seen a pair before. They stayed on this shrub from morning to and threw the night. The next morning all that we found were there wings. We placed the wings in clear document holder. Because of the different size of half moon shapes on the wings, it was assumed that we had one male and one female.
Area: Hammond, Ontario. Canada (Forested Area)

Your moths are Cecropia Moth, Hyalophora cecropia, the largest North American Giant Silkworm Moths. They may have been a mating pair. The adults live only long enough to mate and lay eggs and they cannot even eat as they don’t have working mouthparts. Sounds like a bird or other predator got a good meal.

bug question
Hi, Bugman,
I stumbled upon your site, while searching for snow fleas, which a local pest company said my bug was. However I don’t believe that is it, having checked the pix I have seen, and descriptions.
I had sent them a photo I took, which I am sending. the bug was the size of a millipede- a little over an inch as I recall. I found it soon after I moved in, and picked it up (thinking it was dead) and was very surprized to have a stinging sensation which persisted for maybe 10 minutes after I wshed my hands. This is why I took the photo (on a paper towel) hoping to identify it. I never saw another.

Hi Wanda,
We believe you have sent in a photo of a centipede. They are poisonous, but the bite is generally mild. Some large species grow to 8 inches or more and have a very painful bite.