Weird insect
Hello Bugman,
I am writing about a bug that I have been unable to find anywhere. It has been on my mind for several years and found this site. Hopefully, you can be of assistance. I was traveling with my father, daughter and friends to Black Rock Valley in Nevada. On our way, we stopped to have dinner somewhere in the western part of Utah or along I-80 in Nevada. We saw a bug in the corner of an entry way to a truck stop diner. We had never seen anything like it before and asked the locals who told us it was a ‘sand puppy’. The bug was reddish in color with a hairy body similar to what one might expect on a tarantula. The body was in two parts like an ant, with the head in particular resembling an ant with pinchers. The plump body was ringed like a bumble bee and very full. The locals told us that if the insect were injured and the ‘bee’ body part was unharmed, that it would uncoil and sliver away like a snake or centipede and regrow it’s body. I did not witness this first hand so that part is a mystery. The legs looked like a spider from the top (meaning the legs were bowed up and out and forming a circular pattern if you played dot-to-dot with the ends of the legs), but a cricket from the bottom (meaning they looked like cricket legs the way they attached to the body) and I believe it had more than 6 legs. It was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter including the legs. The locals also said that they bite ‘real hard’ and have even seen them bite a dog. They also said that the one we came upon was bigger than they had ever seen before. I looked over your pages and the closest thing it resembled was a potato bug, but none of them have hair bodies and the head didn’t look like an ant. Nor did it crawl like a cricket. It walked like a spider, smoothly. Any ideas?
Many thanks,

Hi Ridge,
Yours is the second letter asking about Sand Puppies, obviously a local name. The other letter also mentioned Potato Bugs which was our first guess. After reading your letter, we believe Sand Puppies might be Solpugids, also known as Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions. They are not poisonous, but do have powerful jaws we would not want to be bitten by. There is an amazing photo circulating the web which we also have published on our Solpugid/Scorpion page of Iraqi Solpugids which get very large and are known as Camel Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

About 8 years ago I found a bug and have yet to identify it. It looked like an egg case. Shaped like a tall pill bug. Pale green in color. It was hard, like a hard rubber. Underneath was orange, soft and sticky. It moved like a slug, but not as fluid. I attached a drawing of it that may be of help. It’s not very complex, but neither was the bug’s appearance. Please help so I can sleep at night.

Hi Derek
I am 99% sure you saw a Skiff Moth Caterpillar, Prolimacodes badia. Here is a photo. We have information on our caterpillar page. Sweet Dreams.

Yup, that’s it. The color’s different, but I just ran into a photo of one that matches the colors in my drawing. THANKS SO MUCH. I feel my life is a bit more complete now. By the way, are those hard to find or something? As I mentioned, I have yet to find another.

They are not rare, but often difficult to find.

We found this lovely moth in the barn. It poised just long enough for us to take a photo of it and then it flew away. I have looked in both butterflies and moths on your site and can not seem to find one that looks like it. Can you id it for us?
Yvonne Griffiths
North Central FL

Hi Yvonne,
You were not able to locate this Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus, on our site because it is a new species for us. We are very happy you sent it in. Skippers are classified as butterflies, but they have enough differences to be considered a group of insect with characteristics of both butterflies and moths. The Long-Tailed Skipper is a southern insect and the larval food are plants in the legume group.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hey can u please tell me wat bug is this , I found it in my bathroom and I’ve seen a lot of them lately that’s why I’m bothering to learn more about them because I’m curious. And I have three dogs so I don’t know if the bug might be hurtful. I hope you can recognize it from my pictures it was hard to get a good picture because they are so small. And I took the pictures with my camera phone. If not I hope this description helps as well. Well, its about an inch long has 6 pairs on legs . grayish and antenna as well. and two little things like in the rear don’t know how to explain it. hope you can figure out what it is , because I don’t thing it’s a centipede. Anyways, thank you.
oh PS. I live in NJ.

Hi Diana,
Your have terrestrial isopods commonly known as Pill Bugs, Sow Bugs or Rollie-Pollies. They can get very numerous and can become a nuisance, but they are basically benign. They sometimes secrete an obnoxious odor. They will not harm your pets.

Bug from Perth, Western Australia
Dear Bugman,
I found this ugly little bugger in my house in Perth, Western Australia. I have never seen one before any where in Australia. Can you help me identify it. (I have kept him in a jar for posterity) He looks like a huge flea/fly combination with small proboscis. In addition to the original photo I have added one with a scale beside the bug to show you actual size.
James Lybrand

Hi James,
You have a species of Weevil. Weevils are sometimes called Snout Beetles or Bill Beetles and belong to the Family Curculionidae, the insect family with the most species. I will try to get you additional information.

Update: 29 November 2008
Since our site migration last summer, we have had much work to do reclassifying old postings from our archives. Since this entry was originally posted, we have identified this unusual Australian Weevil as an Elephant Weevil, Orthorhinus cylindrirostris . Substantiating photos can be found on the Brisbane Insect Site and an Australian Forestry Images Website.

Cicada Killer and Velvet Ant
My wife and I enjoy your site. We live in Baton Rouge, LA and our garden has a diverse range of hymenopterans. This past summer we had a large emergence of cicadas and my wife took this photo of a cicada killer on our patio door. The size of these wasps is truly impressive. We also have velvet ants that hang out near one of our pecan trees (photo attached).
Regards – Mark & Malinda

Hi Mark and Malinda,
We are always happy to get good quality images of interesting subjects to add to our website. Yours is the only photo we have ever received of the Cicada Killer with its prey. Thank you so much.