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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I am a high school entomology teacher in coastal Georgia. I love your website. I just found it today. If you come across any resources that I could use for my ento. class please do not hesitate to send them to me. my email address is eharris@effingham.k12.ga.us . I have put together a web page for the class at www.effinghamschools.com/sehs/eharris We are trying to come up with material for it. I am sure that I will be sending you things now that I have found your site.
Thanks
Eric Harris
South Effingham High School
Head Volleyball Coach
Assistant Guys Soccer Coach

Beetle with EYES!
Hi Daniel, We have many different beetles on our land. The one we saw today (photo attached) is by far the most interesting. The body is around 3cm long. Do you have a good online source recommendation to ID future beetles that we find? (Besides your fab site, of course!)
Thanks, Sandra

Hi Again Sandra,
We are still trying to get a positive species identification on your green horsefly. Your beetle is an Eyed Elator, Alaus oculatus. These are members of the Click Beetle family Elateridae. According to Dillon and Dillon: “If, by accident or through human agency, one of these beetles finds itself upon its back, it has a very singular method of righting itself. The body is bent upward on a loose hinge between the pro- and mesothorax. Then, with a sudden snap, it bends itself in the opposite direction with such force that the whole insect is tossed several inches into the air, turning over and over as it goes. Occasionally several trials are necessary, but it is amazing how frequently the insect will land upon its feet the first time.” The “eyes” are not true eyes, but in fact markings which might startle birds or other predators into thinking the beetle was larger or fiercer than it actually is. The larvae are called wireworms. Adults are usually found beneath the bark of dead pine trees and are common in the southern states. Though we do much online searching for identification, we don’t really have a beetle site we visit.

Thanks for the fast response. Wish I’d know about the flipping part. Not to be cruel to beetles, but I’d have loved to see it! I’m sure there will be another time. Maybe I can catch it on film. I knew they weren’t real eyes! I don’t think it would stop our chickens from picking on it. They are young & into everything as they have just started free ranging. Unfortunately, the diversity of insects we see at the barn is diminishing the larger the hens get. At least we only have 7 of them, they can’t eat everything!
Thanks again,
Sandra

It has stickery feet that tickled on your hand. He isn’t afraid of anything. I found him walking on the parking lot at Wal-Mart down here in Lumberton, Texas. Sorry about the clarity of one photograph he kept moving and I am just leaning how to use this camera.
DeeDee Revia



Hi DeeDee,
Thank you for the photo of an Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus, also known as a Unicorn Beetle. Unicorn is something of a misnomer, since your side view reveals additional horns. These are among the largest American Beetles.