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111 votes

A new species of small bird?

Great picture and great find. But unfortunately I don't think that is a new species of bird...or even a bird at all! It looks like a hummingbird hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum. Here you can ...
Dave Gruenewald's user avatar
63 votes
Accepted

Insect identification - Is this a bedbug?

Unfortunately, you're the first I've seen on here actually to have a bed bug. See this picture from University of Kentucky for comparison: Here is one moving (more footage & info here): Below ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
60 votes
Accepted

I just saw this bird outside my apartment. Anyone know what it is? (Texas, US)

It is American Woodcock, Scolopax minor. Superbly camouflaged against the leaf litter, the brown-mottled American Woodcock walks slowly along the forest floor, probing the soil with its long bill ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
  • 8,782
59 votes
Accepted

Help identifying leaf-like bone

Those are isolated turtle bones: Specifically, they are part of the carapace, or upper shell. The projections would articulate with the backbone. The "toothlike" structure at the other end projects ...
kmm's user avatar
  • 12.3k
45 votes

What kind of creature is this?

This actually looks like a Gaudy Sphinx caterpillar (Eumorpha labruscae). It only mimics the appearance of a snake! You can find more information about this species here. Range: Argentina north ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
45 votes

I am trying to identify this bone I found on the beach at the Delaware Bay in Delaware. It is 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 1/2 tall

It's a pharyngeal tooth from a large fish like a drum or a parrot fish. The pharyngeal jaws are for grinding and also contain a pharyngeal mill, where larger and smaller teeth grind coarser and finer ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
43 votes
Accepted

Are these microscopic star-like structures on a dead leaf some sort of organism? If so, which one?

These are stellate ("star-shaped") [and possibly peltate ("borne on a stalk")] hairs ("trichomes") of the leaf itself. From Harris & Harris's (2001) ""...
theforestecologist's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

What is this wasp killing insect?

Given the large eyes, the almost non-existent antennae, the humped back, elongated abdomen and the wings, I'd say it is a robber fly. It is one of many insects known to prey on wasps. Note the ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
38 votes

I just saw this bird outside my apartment. Anyone know what it is? (Texas, US)

I've found whatbird.com to be pretty good for identifying American birds. Asking it for grey and brown medium-sized birds that are commonly found in Texas gives 14 options, of which the best match is ...
David Richerby's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

What is this bizarre looking animal we found in the forest? Bug identification

That is the caterpillar of a lobster moth (Stauropus fagi), family Notodotidae. It is mimicking a scorpion to help protect it from predation. An amazing insect.
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,663
36 votes
Accepted

What is this strange sea creature we found on the beach?

You have a Dosima: Also known as a Buoy Barnacle. A gallery of observations of these can be found here: https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/462188-Dosima/browse_photos They are found in the coastal UK and ...
JimN's user avatar
  • 2,014
32 votes
Accepted

What is this yellowish insect?

It is the larva of Harmonia axyridis (Asian lady beetle). The image posted by timbernasley is more accurate because the larva you have shown is in its late instar ,a stage not an early as this one. ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
  • 8,782
32 votes
Accepted

What is the name of this red plant?

This is the "Acer palmatum" or Japanese maple, which shows a wide variety of different leaf forms (from here): Specically you found "Acer palmatum dissectum 'Red Dragon'", for more information look ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.7k
30 votes
Accepted

What is this animal looking like an Axolotl?

Based on the size and location that appears to be a Common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus). (Photo © Brian Gratwicke — CC BY) The four toes visible on the front foot are also consistent with this ...
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,598
29 votes
Accepted

Identification: Creepy 'nope'

That's some kind of mole cricket (Gryllotalpidae). According to this website there's only three species found so far in Romania: Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa Gryllotalpa stepposa Gryllotalpa unispina It'...
SiTan's user avatar
  • 736
28 votes

A weird-looking fish with a shield

This is a species in the Peristediidae family, commonly called armored searobins or armored gurnards. found in deep waters around the world, with most species in tropical regions. They are related to ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

What is this little owl-like bird?

This looks a lot like a double-barred finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii). Your note about this being an "owl-like" bird is supported by it's less common name, the "owl finch", so named for the dark ring ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Is this a hornet?

This is not a hornet, this is an Ichneumonidea wasp, which is a superfamily of parasitoid wasps with about 100,000 species. I would go so far as to think it is within the Ichneumonidae family and ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 12.3k
25 votes
Accepted

Identify blue/translucent jelly-like animal on beach

By-the-wind sailors This appears to be Velella (a monospecific genus), commonly referred to as by-the-wind sailor. More specifically, this is Velella velella, and is also less commonly referred to ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

What is the name of this biting bug?

It's a larva of a green lacewing (Family Chrysopidae). Yes, they can bite hard but you're not its intended victim and they're not only harmless but beneficial as they're aggressive predators of aphids ...
Jude's user avatar
  • 1,136
22 votes
Accepted

What is this crawling next to my house?

It looks as though it has a keel along it's back (the area behind the mantle shield.) If so (and I think it is), it would be a keelback slug, the coloration strongly suggesting a leopard slug (Limax ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

What strange jelly-like thing is shown in the photo?

I agree with @Gerardo-Furtado's comment that what you most likely have here is a colonial tunicate (or sea squirt) from the genus Botrylloides. According to images and information available via the ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Which organism built this 2 cm long sandy tube?

This is the nest of a Mud dauber, also known as Mud wasp. This was possibly made by a Black and Yellow Mud dauber based on the following information. The nest of the black and yellow mud dauber is a ...
4265726E6172646F's user avatar
21 votes

Large grey bird at creek mouth (east of Toronto)

I'm highly confident that this is a cormorant. I'm less certain of the species, but based on the location I would bet that it is a double-crested cormorant (perhaps a juvenile based on the head color/...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.9k

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