PHOTO From You: Insect Identification

April 29, 2008

Have you ever just wondered what the weird alien-like creature is in your backyard, or what is that bizarre THING hanging onto you car? Well, we’re here to help. One of my favorite parts of being an entomologist is helping people to identify amazing insects and other arthropods that we have right here in our little part of the world. So snap a quick photo and send it in to Even if you know what the bugs is, we’d love to see all of your awesome photos! We’ll feature them right here on our blog with a description of the critter. We can’t wait to see what you have, and we love a challenge.


Photo provided by Troy Bell
Green Lynx Spider (Peucitia viridans)

This photo was sent to us by Troy Bell, a volunteer at our Woodlands Xploration Station. Thanks Troy, for this incredible photo of a Green Lynx Spider (Peucitia viridans).

Lynx spiders can be distinguished from others by their hexagonal eye arrangement, long tapering abdomen, and spiny legs. The Green Lynx Spider is the largest found in North America and can be found in the southern U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

These spiders do not make a web; they preserve their silk for their precious egg case, which they guard ferociously. They are considered to be “sit and wait” predators, but some have been observed stalking their prey, much like a cat.

This species has been recognized as a beneficial predator, due to it’s affinity for agricultural pests, such as the Bollworm Moth.  They also, unfortunately, have a taste for beneficial insects like honeybees. These spiders will rarely bite humans and their venom is harmless.

What a beautiful spider – thanks again for sharing your photo with us, Troy!

Erin M
Authored By Erin M Mills

Erin Mills received her undergraduate degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University in 2004, and after a short tour of the pest control industry, joined HMNS as the Cockrell Butterfly Center's Insect Zoo Manager in 2005. Over the years she expanded the butterfly center's live arthropod collection, developed the ever popular "Bugs on Wheels" outreach program, and continued to establish her role as HMNS's insect expert. In October of 2016, she achieved her long time goal of becoming Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center. She is constantly striving to improve the butterfly center and how it serves and educates the public about the wonderful and amazing world of insects! As a Board Certified Entomologist, Erin has extensive knowledge of insect identification, ecology, plant relationships, husbandry, really any insect-related topic!

4 responses to “PHOTO From You: Insect Identification”

  1. Allison says:

    Great idea – I’m excited to see what crazy creatures folks will find in their backyards!

  2. jay man says:

    hi, i’m from the south west,UK. i have been trying to id this spider as i found one at work, i work for asda/walmart , i only noticed it cos of its bright almost luminous green body, thought it came in with some bananas or something, nice looking spider though

  3. Erin F says:

    Hi Jay! Thanks for your comment – do you have a photo of the spider? That would make it easier to ID. You can email it to and we will forward it to our entomologist.

  4. marion thomas says:

    I have found a pink bush cricket or kytadid in my garden today. It had a smaller
    green variety next to it. I live in yarra Junction Victoria Australia and we had bushfire through this area around 3 years ago. I have read that 2 appeared three months after fires as well.(in America?)

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