From the monthly archives: "October 2005"

Banded Wooly Bear
Hello Daniel,
I took a picture of this fellow on my lawn. Looked it up in my National Audubon Society “Field Guide to Insects & Spiders”. I actually don’t have much luck identifying bugs from this book… but occasionally I get lucky. In its description it stated… “According to superstition, the amount of black in the caterpillar’s bristle coating forecasts the severity of the coming winter. Actually, the coloration indicates how near the caterpillar is to full growth before autumn weather stimulates it to seek a winter shelter.” It doesn’t really explain how it overwinters, or where. Do they burrow underground? Cocoon themselves up?
Barrie ,

Hi Yvonne,
The Banded Woolly Bear is the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth. The caterpillar sheds its hairs forms a cocoon from the hairs. It pupates inside the hair shell.

I stepped out onto the front porch this afternoon and spotted something I had never seen before. After doing a search on your site was at the top of the list. Sure enough I found the bug that had made a visit to my home. It was the Wheel bug. Despite my neighbor (who once with my aunt spent a whole evening waiting for the death of the male praying mantis after it mated) wanting me to kill the bug I opted not to. He is now perched on the awning of my front porch in a groove. Guess he is looking for some treats since tonight is trick-or-treat. I have a ton of photos of my new found friend. I just don’t think I will try to shake hands with him anytime soon.
Paul J.
Franklin, Ohio

Hi Paul,
We are always happy to hear when people locate us on the web and identify their own mystery critters.

Flat Bark Beetle?
Hi Daniel,
My sons and I have found a few of these critters while finishing up the last minute gardening. I’ve looked for a match in the beetles section, as well as the true bugs section without much progress. It kind of looks like a flat bark beetle, but my specimen has more of a rounded body. Can you tell us what this bug is?
Thanks a lot!
Yvonne, Derek and Jason
Barrie ,

Hi again Yvonne, Derek and Jason,
This is one of the Leaf Beetles in the Family Chrysomelidae. Sorry we don’t know the species. We checked with Eric Eaton as well and he agrees with us and has seen this specimen pictured on BugGuide, but can’t recall the species. We did a cursory search of BugGuide and could not immediately locate it.

Ed. Note: (11/07/2005) This just in.
red leaf beetle
I love your site and visit it on a regular basis looking for the ID of different bugs I find and photograph. I noticed that you had a photo of a red leaf beetle sent in on 10/31/2005 from Yvonne, Derek and Jason from Barrie, Ontario. I am pretty sure it is the lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii. This beetle was first found in Montreal, Canada in the mid 1900’s but has since spread and is known to be in Ontario. Thanks for all the work you must do to make What’s That Bug such a great and useful site. Beth Hoar
Prince Edward Island, Canada

Ed. Note:(11/07/2005) And Yvonne wrote back.
Lily Leaf Beetle
Hi again Daniel, I just looked up the Leaf Beetle you named for me from my recent picture. Would I be right in saying that it’s a Lily Leaf Beetle? I found a website with some pictures and information. Let me know what you think. Yvonne

What is that bug?
I have seen this bug in our new apartment on many occasions. I cannot figure out what they are. They are pretty small. This is one is a little smaller than the head of a Q-tip. They have been found mostly on walls, in dark places, and more recently in the bathtub. Can you please help me figure out what this bug is?
Thank you so much!
Kita Hang
Minneapolis, MN

Hi Kita,
This is a Silverfish and most people would concur that they are household pests.

We, the kids and I (mom) are looking to identify a pupae we found under ground. It seems that is not possible, so many look the same at that stage. Anyway, we found your site and it is going on the top of my bookmarks now and forever and ever. Beautiful job you’re doing. Thank you. We decided to try for identifying this pupae anyway, hoping it’s large size and distinctive hook will help. We are in southern Indiana. This pupae was found about 3 inches underground in loose clay, yesterday.

Hi Kerra,
This is most definitely a Sphinx Moth Pupa. The hook is the case for the proboscus, the long strawlike mouthparts. In some tropical Sphinxes, the proboscus can be 10 inches long. In the adult moth, it is coiled and only unfurled during feeding, which is done while flying. We are not sure of the species, but if it was found near where tomatoes are grown, it could be a Tomato Hornworm, Manduca sexta.

okay, just one more thing
We found this garden spider bloated with eggs this summer and thought you may be able to use the photo. Not too clear, but the size is so impressive. Here’s one that is more clear, but doesn’t show her mass so well. Very pretty though. I like how the shadow gives it a menacing look.

Hi again Kerra,
That is one large Golden Orb Weaver, Argiope aurantia.