Hi – I saw your wonderful site yesterday and I’m hoping you can identify the strangest moth or butterfly I’ve seen. My friend lives a short distance northwest of Chicago and saw this moth late at night. The body is a beautiful irridescent greenish color, with a brilliant orange head. Thank you ~ Dawn

Hi Dawn,
You have a photograph of the Virginia Ctenucha, a type of Wasp Moth, because they seem to mimic stinging insects. They are usually spotted in May and June taking nector from blackberry blossoms. They are relatively common in the Appalachian faunal region. The caterpillar is a yellow wooly creature that feeds on grasses.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pic 4 u
Hi
i LOVE your site, I was looking up the Dobsonfly larva, & noticed you only have one picture,so I thought you might like another one of the larva this one was 4- 5 inches long and about an inch wide, coulden’t belive it was that big, I have more pictures of it’s head,very close up, if you want them oh yeah the reason I e-mailed you was do you have a news letter? if you do I’d Love to get it,I can see why you got the yahoo pick of the week AWSOME SITE!! very well put together, & it’s easy to find what your looking for thanks,
Tina Johnston-Wilson
Goderich Ontario Canada
keep up the great work

Thank you so much Tina,
Your photo is beautiful. We do not have a newsletter. Just keeping the site updated is a handful, though we have toyed with the idea of trying to publish a book. Also thank you for the navigating compliment. I just received another letter from someone complaining she couldn’t find anything on the site. We would love to get the head photos.

Attached is also a picture of one of many walkingsticks roaming around.
Thank you for your help,
Darin, Melissa and Spencer

We just got this photo in.

(11/15/2003) Kind of like a Walkingstick

Hi,
I would like to see if you can identify an insect for us. Sorry I have no picture, so I will try to describe it. As near as I can describe, it is like a fat walking stick. Usually about 2 inches long, 1/4 to 3/8" wide in the middle, brownish in color, and with a smaller version (1 inch long and skinny) riding piggy back. They were sighted climbing pine trees in central Arkansas.
thanks for your help,
Jon

Dear Jon,
Close relatives of the Walkingsticks are a group of insects known as Timemas, Family Timemidae. They differ from Walkingsticks in being smaller and more robust in form. There is a great deal of guessing and speculation concernin the habits of this insect and many have reported it as feeding on coniferous trees. All forms are arboreal, and while they may be found on all kinds of trees during the mating season in May and June, they apparently feed largely in not entirely on deciduous trees. Our California species are a bright leaf green with occasional decidedly pink specimens. It has been reported that other species are brownish in color. Here is an image I downloaded of specimens in a collection.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Golden Beetle
I just found a beetle that looks very similar to a June beetle but is more pale golden in color and does not have long antennae. It’s topside looks somewhat like the Hercules or Unicorn beetle without the spots. It also has somewhat of a tiny triangular shape at the top intersection of its wings and its head somewhat like the Eastern Hercules Beetle has. It is kind of shiny as though the body is armored. I have drawn a picture of it but the picture does not really do it justice as the green you see on its wings and behind the head is more of a dotted green hue instead of stark lines. In fact I just looked at it again and the color behind the head where you see the two brown blobs is morelike two B’s, very lightly brownish hued, facing each other The white dots you see represent the shine on it. When flipped over, it is ribbed and looks more the color of a brown colored honey or horehound and its legs have somewhat fuzzy hairs on the outside edges while the chest section is fuzzy (somewhat like a bee is fuzzy). It also seems to be somewhat fuzzy under the lower portion of the wings. The hind legs get lighter at the upper portion of the leg. The undertail section is more closely ribbed than the upper section. Centered between its second set of legs and back legs is somewhat of a diamond shape with a line going through the center of the diamond (Head Tail). Your help in identifying this beetle would be tremendously appreciated!
Sincerely, Diana Isham, Grantsburg Wisconsin

Hi Diana.
We got another letter from New Hampshire reporting a similar beetle. We have decided it is probably Cotalpa lanigera which is approximately an inch long and entirely yellow with a metallic luster. It occurs near catalpa trees. It could be your beetle.

Thank you my friend! I looked up Cotalpa lanigera and thought momentarily that it might be it because it looks very much like it but its wings also looked too white. I then did a bit of research, found it on the following website and was delighted to find a lovely photo of my beetle just below Catalpa lanigera. It is called Cotalpa consobrina and is a native Arizonan like myself! I am so amazed! I lived in Arizona for the first 15 years of my life and never saw one of these! And now I’m wondering if it’s a native only in Arizona, and if so, how did it end up here in Wisconsin?

Hi Diana,
We haven’t been able to locate any information on the extent of the range of Cotalpa consobrina.

Huge moth
Wow, what a great site! I couldn’t have found it at a better time. I hope you’ll be able to help with this one. I live in central Texas, and not long ago some co-workers and I noticed a type of moth that we have never seen before. it’s BIG. I measured it at 6 3/4" wingspan, tip-to-tip. I suspect it’s a female Imperial moth, but the colors and the pattern don’t match. But it’s the only moth species I could find taht came close to that size. here’s a photo. Can you identify his one?
–Dan

Hi Dan,
Erebus odora is commonly known as The Black Witch. It is very common in the tropical regions of Central and South America, and can also be found occasionally in Florida and the Gulf states. Occasionally specimens, usually females, are found in the North. When they fly around lights at night, they look like enormous bats. When I stayed in a country home in Mexico, they commonly flew into the house and rested on the walls near the ceiling until nightfall, when they would fly away. Thank you for the great photo.

Daniel,
That’s great! Thanks for clearing that up. Yes, when people saw it they at first thought it was a bat. I don’t know why, as it was just sitting on the wall. Clearly not a bat–I’m in Austin, home of the largest urban bat colony in the country (world?), and see bats daily during the summer. But when I nudged it–which is what it took to get it going, as it didn’t care how close we got to it–it did indeed look like a big, slow flying bat. Hope to see the photo on the website soon. 🙂
–Dan

Hello there! You folks have a very informative web site and a much larger database than I thought. I am very pleased to have found you. My husband & I had this great visitor on May 22nd (it hung out all day) and would love to know what it is exactly. We live in Pike County, PA. near the Delaware River and I have never seen anything like this. He/she was gorgeous!
Thank you for your terrific site and for any help you may be able to give us in identifying this unique-looking (to us, anyway) insect.
Sincerely,
The Fisher’s
P.S. Wishing I had captured something this beautiful resting on something more beautiful (not our screen door), I Photoshopped our moth onto another picture I had taken of some Coral flowers years back.
Again, thank you! and have a terrific day!

Dear Fishers,
You have been lucky enough to see a Luna Moth, arguably the most beautiful North American moth. These are members of the Giant Silkworm Family Saturniidae. The caterpillar feeds on gum, walnut, hickory and persimmon tree leaves. In the fall it drops to the ground and forms a cocoon by spinning silk around a leaf. It winters on the ground and emerges as an adult moth in the spring. Adults do not feed. They live solely to mate. Congratulations on your wonderful sighting and also for sharing your beautiful photo with us. We are reproducing it full size, not the normal 3 inches we usually post. We also prefer your screen door to the floral background.

THANK YOU, Daniel. What lovely and warm people you are over there!!!! I never expected to hear back from you so soon. We appreciate your kinds words and expertise immensely. (And I agree, the screen door shot is better. Thank YOU.) Do take care, Roy & Carie Fisher