Dear Bugman:
My name is Eric Eaton, and I am the principle author of the forthcoming "Kaufman Focus Guide to Insects of North America." I like your site very much, as there is a great need for your services. However, it has not remained consistently online enough, and that alone detracts from your credibility.
Secondly, I have noticed some erroneous identifications given for some of the ID requests. This is going to happen from time to time, but I’d be happy to make corrections if you let me know how to go about it.
I’d also like to offer a couple of other resources to share the burden. I am one of several entomologists at AllExperts.com who can do identifications for the inqurining public. Another resource I highly recommend is
http://www.bugguide.net
It, too, is growing rapidly, but may be slightly better organized than your site. You might check it out, and/or refer visitors there to get them started.
Lastly, I recommend subscribing to the "BugNet" listserv:
bugnet@listproc.wsu.edu, subscribe with an e-mail to
listproc@listproc.wsu.edu, leaving subject liine blank, and only this text: "subscribe bugnet" in the body of the message.
Lots of good people there who can help you. There is also Gordon’s Entomology Home Page, or something to that effect, which offers visitors a chance to pose ID questions (which often end up on BugNet anyway:-). Please let me know how else I can help you. In return, I’d love it if you could post an announcement that I am seeking professional quality images of live insects for the field guide. Keep up the good work!
Sincerely,
Eric Eaton
http://community.webtv.net/bugeric/BugEric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Looked like a leaf
Found this bug sitting on the side of our building. At first, I just thought it was a leaf. Then I realized it wasn’t . Very nice disguise. Hope the pictures are clear enough to identify it.
Ellen Bouse

Hi Ellen,
The Satellite Sphinx, Pholus satellitia, has a form Pholus pandorus, which is your moth. According to Holland: “This insect which is widely distributed throughout the eastern United States, and ranges northward into southern Canada, is well-known to all growers of vines.” The caterpillar, a hornworm, can do damage to the vineyard.

Cicada or Katydid?
This bug was found on our family’s July 4th camping trip at Belton Lake southwest of Waco, Texas. Is it a Secada or Katydid and are they the same thing?
Thanks,
Melinda

Dear Melinda,
Cicadas and Katydids are different insects. Katydids look llike green grasshoppers, and Cicadas look like giant flies. Your Cicada is a pretty green color. I don’t know the exact species name. Eric Eaton wrote us that
Tibicen superbus is the only species with an all-green front half.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black bristly caterpillar
Photo attached. This was found in Austin, Texas, walking near the handle of our patio door. He is predominantly black, bristly, with a brownish red head and three orange/red bands around the back end. Since he is lifting his front end, there may be more red bands, hard to tell. In terms of scale, this fellow is +/- 1.5 inches long. The hole in the picture is ~1/8th inch in diameter. THe nearby environment is a large flower garden filled with butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants (designed that way). Common medium-large butterflies in the garden recently include:
* various swallowtails (giant, pipevine, tiger)
* gulf fritillary
* hackberry spp.
* red admirals (not all that often)
* hummingbird clearwing moth
I’m familiar with these caterpillars, and this ain’t one of ’em. We also have commas/question marks. Is this one of them? We have many smaller butterflies (e.g. texas crescent, common hairstreak, fiery skipper) but I figure this guy isn’t a candidate for them, since he’s good sized. Hard to find a good site of caterpillar pictures.
THanks,
Jim

Hi Jim,
The caterpillar of Ecpantheria deflorata, the Eyed Tiger Moth, “is a deep black, clothed with black hairs, and at the junction of the somites, or segments of the body, it is banded with rings of crimson” according to Holland. Sounds like your caterpillar. The moth is found in your area and the caterpillar, one of the wooley bears, feeds on plantain, pr Plantago. We have a photo of the adult moth on our homepage right now. Here is a nice caterpillar identification site.

Pretty Pretty
Hi! Great site! I live in Kona, Hawaii and I love moths. We have gorgeous black witches everywhere. But the other day, we came home and found a moth on our driveway!!! I have never seen it before and I have checked through my moth books and can’t seem to find it. Can you tell me what it is and if it is native to Hawaii? I have been here 13 years and NEVER seen one! Thanks!
Tracee

I just emailed you, I forgot to tell you it’s stats! It was about the size of my palm (which I have a photo fo too I think, I will attach it). It was a very vibrant green with whites, rose, and purple. It was very fuzzy and it let me pick it up on it’s leaf. It had eye’s at the top of the wings (you can see them kinda in the other photo I sent).

Hi Tracee,
You have sent in a photograph of Deilephila [Daphnis] nerii, the Oleander Hawk Moth. It feeds on oleander as well as periwinkle. Here is a site that identifies Hawaiian Hawk Moths. The Oleander Sphinx is also reported in Great Britain, where it strays occasionally from the Mediterranean. It is also reported in Hong Kong and Africa.