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

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.

I recently found the spider in my enclosed porch in detroit mich. I have tried to find out what the is to no avail. If you can tell me what it is and if it poisonous I would appreciate it as my son wants to keep it as a pet. Thank you


Hi Michael,
It is a harmless jumping spider of the family Salticidae. It looks like Phidippus audax, which is common and widely distributed throughout the east and as far west as Texas and Colorado. These are very active spiders that hunt down their prey. They do not build permanent webs. They have excellent eyesight. They will jump on flies from quite a distance. It should make an excellent pet.

Thank you for the Excellent advice. My son will be very pleased that I will let him Keep his pet.

I found this weird bug on my bathroom wall, it freaked me out because I am scared of spiders and it looks like a cross between a spider and a scorpion. I live in Maine and one of the reasons I love living in Maine because there are no scorpions. Tell me this isn’t a poisonous scorpion bug so I don’t have to move to Alaska or Antarctica.
PS are there any human habitable areas that do not have spiders?
Dale Richardson
Addison, Maine

Hi Dale,
While you are right that Pseudoscorpions look like a cross between spiders and scorpions and spiders, both of whom are related, you can rest easy that they are totally harmless, unless you are a small insect. They have no poison glands unlike both spiders and scorpions. I doubt there is a place on earth that does not have spiders, except the bottom of the ocean.

Thanks so much for answering my question so quickly! I was a bit worried about those pinchy looking things, good to know they’re harmless.