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For the discussion of the BugFiles database of bugs...

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

dave, I would like to know what sort of questions you expect on this forum.

The obvious ones are 'is this bug allowed', 'can we extend the files to ...." etc.

There is no response at the moment, but my main thoughts are the positive ID of a particular species and there seems to be no place to ask these questions. I feel that the general ID forum might not be the right place.

An example is a different looking Red Admiral butterfly I have had visiting the Buddleja. I have had Painted Lady butterflies for the first time that I have noticed this year, and they have appeared a little later than the first lot of Red Admirals, and at about the same time as the different looking Red Admiral.

I found a site with pictures of different species of butterlfies from around Europe, the location being noted. I see differences in the same species from different locations, and knowing that these butterflies generally travel northwards and can do so for thousands on kilometers on winds, I am seeing most of these variations in my garden this year.

Last year I had a few, but nothing like this year. It has been very hot, and when that happens the winds are generally bringing the hot weather from continental Europe.

The Red Admiral which has my interest looks to be a different species of the same family, and the picture which leads me to believe this was from the Canary Islands.

The Painted Lady butterflies I have also look to be coloured as the ones from the Canary Islands.

As both of these turned up at about the same time, I am thinking the possibility of them having come on the same winds from the Canary Islands is a strong one.

These two different butterflies have often been feeding together on the same flower. As they are the same family, and unless I saw the top of the wings of the Red Admiral, I could have thought it was a more strongly coloured Painted Lady. I am wondering if they might interbreed.

I would like to be able to have some other opinions on this, and which species my Red Admiral is.

The species is Vanessa vulcania, the common one is Vanessa atalanta, this site shows it


I can see there might be others which cause confusion too, and a forum to discuss this would be useful. This forum doesn't seem to indicate that it can be used for this purpose.

The pic of mine


Thumbnail by wallaby1

This forum is for the discussion of the feature BugFiles. To discuss the bugs themselves we should be using different forums.


Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

I am impressed... just a few days old and already full of all sorts of bugs. My question is what constitutes a 'bug'. Obviously it seems to include arachnids, as well as insects based on what's already in the bugfiles... slugs and snails? worms? Are only invertebrates included? Only fresh water invertebrates, or are salt/brackish invertbrates OK to add? You wouldn't be adding moles and gophers to this area, right, even though they are garden pests? Snakes or Lizards? Great idea. Just wonder what the parameters are (since really 'bug' means a Hemiteran insect).

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

It is hard to draw precise lines, but I would suggest that BugFiles be limited to invertebrates. Perhaps macro-invertebrates, to imply that they must be of a size visible to the naked eye.
I do not think that any marine invertebrates should be included, though brackish water such as estuarine species should perhaps be acceptable. Certainly freshwater species, after all the early stages of Dragon and Damsel flies are all freshwater dwellers,


Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm having a hard time figuring out which name goes in which 'box'. Family, Genus, Order. Is there a key to figuring this out?
I'm having fun taking bug pics this season but have no clue what they are, for the most part.
Also, Is there a general Bug Discussion forum? Right now I post my bug pics in Garden Talk.
Andy P

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

It can be very confusing, particularly as there are so many intermediate levels as well (sub-order, super-family, sub-family etc). The Order is an important level but hard to define.
Here is a list of the most important Orders that we are using:
For Insects:

Coleoptera - Beetles
Dermaptera - Earwigs
Diptera - Flies
Dictyoptera - Cockroaches and Mantises
Ephemeroptera - Mayflies
Hemiptera - Bugs
Homoptera - Cicadas, Hoppers & Aphids
Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees & Wasps
Lepidoptera - Butterflies & Moths
Neuroptera - Lacewings and Ant-lions
Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies
Orthoptera - Grasshoppers and Crickets
Phasmatodea - Stick-Insects & Walking Sticks
Plecoptera - Stoneflies
Trichoptera - Caddis Flies

For the Arachnids:
Acari - Ticks and Mites
Araneae - Spiders
Opiliones - Harvestmen
Pseudoscorpiones - Pseudoscorpions
Scorpiones - Scorpions
Uropygi - Whip Scorpions

For the Crustaceans:
Decapoda - Crayfish and crabs
Isopoda - Slaters and Pill-bugs

and for the Molluscs:
Stylommatophora - Slugs and Snails

Family is the only other grouping we are recoding and comes below Order in the hierarchy. You can almost alwayws recognise a family by the ending which is almost always ..idae, whereas a ..inae ending means a sub-family (which we are not recording).

There are too many families to list here, but taking as an example The Honey Bee. It is known as Apis mellifera;
It belongs to the following:
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Apis
Species: mellifera

Note all have an Upper-case first letter except the species which always starts in lower case.

Hope this is of some help,

This message was edited Aug 8, 2006 11:32 AM

This message was edited Aug 8, 2006 11:33 AM

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Thank You Ken. I will refer to this post frequently, it's very helpful.
Andy P

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

OK But tell me, please: Where do we go to find the Bug Discussion Forums?

I have a but I need to ID and this is the only Bug forum I found.

So, I take it I don't do it here? But where?

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

tabasco, on the 'Garden Talk' tab, under 'General Gardening', it's just above 'Bulbs'.


West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Dave or another admin who can help, I hope you see this...

This forum really needs a bigger better sticky or something, maybe READ THIS PLEASE or something similar, because most of the posts are in the wrong forum and poor kennedyh has to type a reply over and over and over telling these poor lost souls where to post their ID requests.
It would be funny except for all the time Ken must waste replying to miscategorized posts.
Thanks, Mike

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Dave, Admin, on August 7, 2006, you listed the different kinds of what? They aren't classified as animals, if they are not the bug family, what are they? Are you going to have a forum for each one since you won't/don't want anything but bugs in here?

Where do I go to identify my catapiller? LOL, spellcheck says that is the wrong spelling for that!!


West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Caterpillars are ID'd in the Insect and Spider ID forum here:


That list you referred to is list of orders of different classes (and a phylum and subphylum...) of animals - insects, spiders, molluscs, and crustaceans are animals. I don't think it's a problem when people occasionally post other animals in that forum, but there are wildlife forums and a bird ID forum, too.

Bossier City, LA

Can you please tell me how to get rid of Pseudophasmatinae?? They are overtaking my house and I'm deathly afraid of them!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

What are those? Sounds gross.


Monclova, OH

So I have identified my bug fly here Rosaliz and I see I have one other type on here also. where do I go find and answer as to how to rid my garden of them? Such rapid distruction and they are in many numbers. Thanks!

Thumbnail by HiddenTreasures
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Determine what kind of plant it's eating and go to that Forum. Is it a Tree & shrub, perennial, annual or vegetable. Name the bug(s) in your inquiry.
Andy P

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)


We have a forum on Garden Pests and Diseases here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/pad/all/
and if you post your question there, you may get some help,

Happy Gardening,

Gold Coast, Australia

I'm trying to add a new bug to the bug files which is

Common Name: Bronze Orange Bug
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Tessaratomidae
Genus: Musgraveia
Species: sulciventris

It is an endemic Australian stink bug which attacks citrus. It was identified for me in the Pest and Diseases section by rhizo_1 from Alabama of all places. I thought I would add it complete with the photo that identified it but all I get is a message "this bug is not familiar to us so go to the Bugs How to Do Forum." or words to that effect. I've done that and I'm none the wiser so what do I do now?
Someone please help.
Regards, John

This message was edited Oct 26, 2009 8:25 AM

Thumbnail by JohnMich
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

The reason you couldn't add your bug is that we have no representatives of the Tessaratomidae in BugFiles so far. Only admin can add new families to BugFiles.

I have introduced the family by creating an entry for your bug here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/5746/

Please go ahead and add your images and I will select one of them to illustrate the family in the index,


Gold Coast, Australia

Sorry it took so long to get around to it but I have now added to images and some negative profile comments
Reagrds, John

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

Thanks John. Good to see the info and images added. One of your images now illustrates the family in the index: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/browse/order.php?bid=89


Ovalo, TX

I have a few good pictures of a Green Monster: Order: Orthoptera; Family: Tettigoniidae Species: Neubarrettia

Thumbnail by micigraham
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

we would love to have your images added to BugFiles. We need to go a step further in identifying the species. You say the species is Neubarrettia. This is not the species, but the genus (and it should be spelled Neobarrettia). There are two species of Neobarrettia, both of which occur in Texas. The Greater Arid-land Katydid - Neobarrettia spinosa: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Walker/buzz/331a.htm and the Lesser Arid-land Katydid - Neobarrettia victoriae: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Walker/buzz/332a.htm

If you read the two sites above, you will see that they can be separated by size and two other features.
N. spinosa has a black front edge to the pronotum (appears as a thin black collar behind the head, whearas the front of the pronotum of N. victoriae is green like the rest of the pronotum.
The hind wings of N. spinosa are translucent brown with lighter spots, whereas the hind wings of N. victoriae are jet black.
Unforunately the lovely photo you attached does not show either of these features, but you may be able to tell in your other pictures.
The black leading edge of the pronotum shows in both images on our page for N. spinosa: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/463/
We also have a page for N. victoriae: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/2664/ but with no images so far.

To add an image to a page, use the Upload an image of this bug link near the bottom of each page.


Pahrump, NV

I have oddles of these bugs in my vegetable garden. Mostly where I also have a lot of dead squash leaves. Are they killing the squash leaf, or are they just hiding out? Is this a shield bug? HELP....

Thumbnail by gustywind
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)


This forum is for questions relating to adding data to the BugFiles database.

We have a forum on Insect and Spider Identification here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/bugid/all/
and if you post your question there, you may get some help,

If you have an image, you could attach it to the message you post for a better chance of getting an identification

BugFiles Administrator

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Hello Dave,

Have others been wondering where all the beautiful Mantids and Fireflies have gone in Central Florida? When I was a child the world was clouded with Fire Flies in mid-Spring and it was magical,...heralding in Summer. I have missed them.

The same with our Praying Mantis'. I used to find them everywhere as a child and loved them...

While my gardens are full of Lady bugs, Assassin bugs,Spiders,Bee's and Anoles (which keep things heavily under control and I am thankful!),...I miss the Mantids and the beauty of the Fire Flies. Just something I wonder about and hope it isn't because of insecticides.
Respectfully and Happy Gardening!

This message was edited Feb 6, 2013 4:22 PM

This message was edited Feb 6, 2013 4:23 PM

Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Hi all...I came across what looked
like a catapilla as it could spin silk
but looked more like a stick insect
about 2 inches long..It only had what
looked like two legs near the head and
two jaw like pincers..please have a look at
the photo and I would like to find
out what it is...

Thumbnail by Mattsbug
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)


This forum is for questions relating to adding data to the BugFiles database.

You are much more likely to get an identification if you post your question to our forum on Insect and Spider Identification here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/bugid/all/

Having said that I think I can tell you something about your strange caterpillar. It looks to me like the caterpillar of one of the case-moths (or bagworms) in the family Psychidae: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagworm_moth . The caterpillars of these moths build a
case of silk to which they attach plant material of some sort. They move around carrying the case with them at all times. Females never emerge from the case, but males do eventually emerge as winged moths, to fly around searching for a female.


Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

I am trying to add a spider to this data base, but it said the family, and genus wasn't familiar and I needed to post the details here.
This is from bugGuide:

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Mygalomorphae (Mygalomorphs)
Family Atypidae (Purseweb Spiders)
Genus Sphodros
Species rufipes (Redlegged purseweb spider)

So, how do I do this? My photo isn't great. My husband took it and the spider was on the run, so hard to get a good shot of it, but it was definitely this spider.


Thumbnail by creekwalker
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

creekwalker, I have created an entry for Sphodros rufipes here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/7045/

Let me know when you have added your photo and I will use it to illustrate the family in the index,


Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

Oh Ken, I just saw this, but am at work. I'll add it in the morning when I get home. Thanks!


Montreal, Canada

I found this thing on the recycling bin. It must be a caterpillar but none that i've seen so far any idea?

Thumbnail by titicoco Thumbnail by titicoco
Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

I am sorry, I do not know your bug, but I think it might be a beetle larva rather than a caterpillar.

This forum is for questions regarding adding data to BugFiles. We have an Insect and Spider Identification Discussion Forum here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/bugid/all/

If you post your question there, you are much more likely to get a response,


Uniontown, PA(Zone 6a)

I found this little guy the other day just cruising along a piece of fallen branch I was going to pick up. He looks very similar to the regular "woolly caterpillars" you see this time of year in SW PA but those are almost always 2-toned...black & brown, some with more black or brown, etc.
This guy was roughly the same length as those are but he was much thinner in circumference & his color was kind of a light copper as opposed to the "brown" on the 2-toned ones. The color of his actual body was a lighter color as well.
Also, the commonly seen "woolly caterpillars" will curl up when disturbed, but this one didn't do that at all, even with all the moving around I did of him to get him to stay on the paper towel so I could take a pic! He just kept chugging along like a little train...and was fast too! I've never seen one move that fast in all my 40-plus years, and I'm an "outdoorsy" type!

I know the pic doesn't do it justice, but the light coppery color of it is what piqued my interest.
Hope someone knows something about this critter, as it's the 1st time I've ever seen one like it!
Thank you in advance!

Thumbnail by onyxx65

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