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What People Are Saying About Featured Creatures

Thank you for reading. If you have a comment or a complement please let us know.

Featured Creatures was founded in 1996 by Thomas Fasulo, after his retirement in June of 2012 management was transitioned to Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman. In 2013 the website was given a facelift. Here is an example of the original format. Below are some comments from our readers, the newest comments are listed first. In July of 2020 Dr. Elena Rhodes took on the role of Featured Creatures Editor.

"In looking for information on cricket species native to Florida, I found a VERY interesting and helpful website, on which you published information on crickets in Florida. The site is a true delight to mull over; I especially love the song samples!! Thank you for this resource! I'm looking to bring more crickets into my backyard for the wonderful sounds they make and have been able to identify the suited species with the help of your info portal." - Lela Lombardo


"Your Featured Creatures site is wonderful and I'm thrilled with it despite its current lack of Great Leopard Moth info. Thank you so much for the huge effort that doing the FC project must entail and its fine results. I'll check back another time to see if the moth surfaces. It's really, really beautiful." - Victoria Shelar, Lexington, Virginia


"Dear Dr. P. M. Choate: I'm a common student of our-living-environment in China. This letter just try to convey my thanks to you for which the article/paper of introduction of the Land Planarians presented here ( that enabled me to saturate my curiosity on the species which was unknown to me when I first discovered it the day before yesterday (BJ Time, GMT+8). I thank you for your vividly introductory that helped a keenly student to find answers for their own satisfaction, and I report that, if needed or neccessary, the land planarians appear be found in Chongqing, China." - Lu, Chongqing, China..


"...a big thankyou for your website information, being so many thousand miles away with literature only on European species, your team must be congratulated for their efforts. Well done." - Andy Cook, United Kingdom


"So exciting to read about this caterpillar .... my husband found one today in our pecan tree. We live in Wilmington, NC. He is so large and so colorful. I've lived in North and South Carolina all of my life and have never seen one of these. I'm sure we won't be able to see him change into a moth, but your picture and description gave me a clear idea .... a very, very large moth. Thanks again for the information on your site." - Sharon Malpass, New Hanover High School


"The Luna Moth page is excellent. Very well done by Don Hall and great photography by Lyle Buss. Keep up the good work." - Richard Berman


"What a great piece on the luna moth! Earlier this year I was playing the late game in our softball league: 9:45 start time. About the third inning, a luna moth started circling me in right field. He stayed for a minute or more before flying off into the woods. We all figured he was trying to make a statement, and recognized the only entomologist on the field!" - Dr. Jim W. Smith, USDA-APHISPPQ-CPHST-PERAL, Raleigh, NC


"Thank you so much for the information I found online this afternoon about a strange worm we found in our front yard. As a school librarian, I am always helping my elementary students look up the strangest things. Today was my opportunity to help my son, a professing 'scientist' and sometimes 'explorer,' identify his discovery. Benjamin is enrolled in a gifted and talented class in which they are studying snails and earthworms right now. (Both prey to our creepy friend.) He is excited about taking 'hammerhead' to school next week. Nevertheless, I just had to write to tell you that I love the information we found on the site." - Lee Anne Bailie, on behalf of my son, Benjamin Vitale, Spartanburg, SC


"I am a Librarian in Fayetteville, Arkansas (newly relocated from Seattle, WA and way out of my usual region for trees and critters) and today, a mom and her three boys came to the library carrying a small plastic live animal carrier. They'd found a huge bug in their driveway and came to the library to get more information about what it might be. Thanks to Google (our collection on caterpillars of this variety was weak), I came upon your website and found the exact amazing creature, along with further info on what it will turn into soon. (It was a Hickory Horned Devil, which is truly unlike anything I've ever seen in all my days.) So, thank you -- your work is far-reaching and made my day, along with a whole family and a bunch of on-lookers in the library. - Jenine Lillian


"I was excited to read your article off the web on Amphipods. After weeks of searching, I did not think I would ever have a clue as to what organism has invaded my porch, but I now think it is the Lawn Shrimp. Thank you." - Dr. Steve Grossman, Professor (Biochemistry) University of South Florida


"Thank you for all of your excellent websites containing very useful taxonomic information and natural history. I have used them many times. My students and I have been working with terrestrial planarians of the genus Bipalium for some time now. We recently discovered that a species new to North America (and possibly new to science) is living in Texas. This species has some similarities with Bipalium kewense, but is certainly a distinct species with different morphology, behavior, and ecology. Interestingly, the photograph near the top of your Land Planarians web page, labelled Bipalium kewense, is actually a photo of this new species. We are about to submit a manuscript for publication concerning the biology of this new species. Can you provide any details concerning the specimen in your (excellent) photograph? Thank you for any information that you could provide." - Pete Ducey, Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Cortland


"Once again your Featured Creatures website has come to my rescue as a Florida Master Naturalist and resident of Florida. I was able to solve a recent mystery as to the appearance of powdery residue on (ironically) a library shelf which contains most of my natural history reference and identification guide material. I have not been able to note any holes in the lacquer coated maple veneer surfaces of the engineered custom built-in book case. We do have a lot of solid cherry wood furniture, however, and the appearance of this pest is of great concern. Our pesticide contractor will be visiting this week and I have saved an actual adult beetle which appeared to have been drugged. We have a "tubes in the walls" delivery system. I also found another similarly sized insect near the beetle which doesn't seem to be a variant or in a different life stage of the same creature. Both you and your site have been very helpful to me in the past. I have sent a number of individuals to it as part of presentations made about the real Florida and via normal conversations with neighbors." - Trudy Bentley Rech, Certified Florida Master Naturalist, Naples, FL


"I found a flatworm the other day beside my dog. I had no idea what it was and was worried it might be some sort of parasite until I found your site. I live in Gainesville and thought it was really neat to find the answer to my question in my own back yard. I did preserve the flatworm in alcohol because I wanted to save it for identification. I noticed that at the bottom of the site it mentioned sending specimens into the University. Would you like me to send mine in? If so please provide me with the address to send it to. If not, thank you for providing the information that you do on the web site." - Chaunette Small


"Hello, there! I am a new 6th grade Life Science teacher. My students and I began studying invertebrates this year. These students were very creative and inquisitive and aren't afraid of research and bringing in specimens. We started doing live observations with whatever they brought. We observed earthworms, inchworms, mealworms, mud worms. etc. Then one day a student brought in an absolutely unknown specimen! We observed, talked, searched the net... it was nothing like I've ever seen. I contacted a Nematode website and they mentioned Turbellaria after a couple of emails, but none of those sites yielded a proper picture or explanation. However, the same student found a picture of it on your site! It was a land planarian. Thanks for your article." - Diane Herron, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida


"I just wanted to thank you for the Featured Creatures Web site and all the information on insects. I am a biologist, but not an expert in terrestrial insects, and am constantly getting questions like 'what is this wasp that stung me?' and the information on your site has helped me provide answers. I had what I think is a pigeon fly or a relative land on me at one of our field sites (the area is a haven for pigeons and pheasants) and couldn't find info on it anywhere else. Thanks." - Ellen Pehek, Ph.D., Senior Ecologist, City of New York Parks & Recreation, Natural Resources Group


"Featured Creatures is outstanding!" - Dr. Fred Santana, Sarasota County IPM Coordinator, Florida


"New to gardening I found myself with a mysterious moth that appeared one day. Your website with beautiful pictures allowed me to quickly figure out what it was, an io moth, and to deal with the situation appropriately. Thank you again." - Sooz Riskin


"I am really excited to learn more about these interesting creatures (cicada killers). I read something earlier today that suggested that mulched areas might not be as attractive to them as sandy areas... if this is true, it will be very helpful to many of my callers. I just finished reading the Featured Creatures file which agrees abut the mulch issue. It also suggests that labeled insecticides can be applied to the nesting sites to kill the wasps. I would wonder what what that would be... insecticides labeled for wasps or lawns? Anyway, having this file available online will be very helpful in convincing alarmed callers that this insect maybe ain't so bad after all. I do appreciate your kindness writing this up for us Dr. Stange, I promise to put it to good use! Thanks again!!!" - JoAnn Hoffman, Urban Horticulture Program Assistant, Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service, Florida


"I sure hope I have the right Edwards. G.B. Edwards??? is whom I'm searching for to give a big thank you. You see, last night after coming home from a late movie I walked up my walk-way towards the front door of my home and had to stop dead in my tracks due to a "spider crossing". I don't know how my attention was caught but somehow my focus beamed in on a spider hanging in mid air about chest level. I have never seen a spider like this, and stood in the dark admiring the web before I decided to go inside to grab a flashlight so as to get a better view. I want to say thank you for your help in identifying this unknown spider as a tropical orb weaver. It is your identification page on the Featured Creatures page that helped me to learn more about my new neighbor. I just wanted to let you know that I found the information useful and fun to investigate." - Jesse Ratkey


"Thank you for your most informative web site on the common house fly." - Michelle Knevel, Department of Surgery, Hamilton Health Sciences, Ontario, Canada


"This is great! Thanks for your efforts." - Barbra Bloetscher, Ohio State University, after receiving an announcement that the Featured Creatures file on the Indianmeal moth was updated with significantly revised text and a number of new photographs.


On October 9th, 2002, the Southwest Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools and Childcare Facilities sent out a message asking "pest specialists" on its mailing list to provide information to a school district that was having problems with a crazy ant infestation. A member of the Texas Structural Pest Control Board replied to the message by simply providing a link to the Featured Creatures file on that species.


"We agents don't say it as often as we should, but the Featured Creatures Articles are one of the most valuable resources on line we agents have available to us from Gainesville. Thanks you very much for being there for us. I am one of the 130,000 daily (actually figures for May 2002) visitors that use it faithfully." - Ray Zerba, Horticulture Agent, Clay County, Florida


"I appreciate all the work you and your staff have done with the Featured Creatures website. I often refer homeowners and others to the site to get information about a certain pest or beneficial insect. The layout of the information is excellent, and the photographs are extremely helpful. I just received an email from a friend asking about lightningbugs, and I wanted to refer her to the Featured Creatures site, but I could not find an information sheet on lightningbugs. Are you planning on adding one in the future? I took a class with Dr. Lloyd, and it seems like he would be the perfect person to write a sheet on them, due to his wealth of knowledge on the topic. Thank you, again, for developing such a great website." -Kimberly A. Gallagher, Technical Sales/Product Coordinator/Entomologist - Entomos, Inc.


"Thank you for your website on land planarians. We have just found two (Bipalium kewense Mosely) here in Arlington, TX – a city between Ft. Worth and Dallas. One was more than a foot long when stretched out and the other was about 7 inches. They seem to come out in the early morning on the sidewalk and were found in my friend's yard which is shaded and covered with well watered St. Augustine grass. They were the first that I had seen. I contacted the Tarrant County Extension Agency, a vet and a member of the science department at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to identify this mysterious creature. LaShawn at the museum confirmed that it was a planarian." - M.K. Harris


"My 12-year old daughter brought me the weirdest worm tonight. I found your site at, via a forum, via google search for 'identify a slug gastropod'. Although the article describes their habitat from Florida to Louisiana, we thought you might want to know that land planarians are alive and well in Houston, Texas! Thanks." - Gregory & Amy Ball


"My girl-friend and I just saw our first Royal Walnut Moth. Talk about huge.... Beautiful specimen. Thank you and your colleagues for the photos on the net. Without them we wouldn't have been able to id him/her." - Kelsie and Susann


"I was reviewing the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, in Featured Creatures at the request of Ken Bloem (we have been working together with others on this moth). I really like this website!" - Dr. James E. Carpenter USDA-ARS Insect Biology & Population Management Research Laboratory Tifton, GA


"Thank you for a comprehensive and organised website. It is one of the best ones for pests that I have seen yet! I work for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry Australia, in an area that deals with plant health issues." - Emma Lumb, Office of the Chief Plant Protection Officer Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia


The February 2002 issue of Ornamental Outlook magazine carried a two page article titled "Move Fast to Manage Mollusks." It dealt with slug and snail pests of ornamentals. A large sidebar article containing information on the gray and brown garden snails was credited to the Features Creatures Web site.


"The Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida has partnered with the Florida Division of Agriculture's Division of Plant Industry to provide pictures and in-depth information on insects, mites, nematodes, and other organisms of interest. Check out to learn more about the insects that are bugging you. Though not the sole purpose of the site, it provides support for horticultural professionals. Search the site for pests by common or scientific name, crop or habitat, higher classification, key word, or just view recent additions." - Ornamental Outlook, January 2002


Two days after we posted the Featured Creatures file on the brown garden snail, Robert Favrin, the Plant Health Survey Coordinator for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, recommended that his agency link their site on the brown garden snail to ours. That same day, Joseph Beckwith, quarantine officer with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, received a call from his California counterpart, who requested some additional information after reading the Featured Creatures file.


"I have been wondering for quite some time just who these ladies of my windowsills are. I just did a through web removal two weekends ago and was very careful not to remove anymore of the spiders than I could help. Personally, I rather like them and don't mind them being around, I just wish they were better housekeepers. I was wishing I knew more about our common household spiders with a slant toward knowing which ones have the best household manners. I have harvestmen too and about once a year when I can no longer stand it, their old webs simply have to go. I have finally resigned to keeping the lights off and the doors closed on the laundry room to discourage their numbers. What I don't know is if this will only encourage another species that I will be less happy to have around. I really appreciate the spider additions to Featured Creatures as I am interested in them and don't have a good book on spiders of Florida that is written for a novice like me. Thank you all!!!" - JoAnn Hoffman, Urban Horticulture Program Assistant, Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service, Florida


"Thank you very much for passing along all the links in Featured Creatures - these are EXCELLENT, and I have already linked them all to Pestweb, or in a couple of cases to our companion site for the turf and ornamental industries - This is one of my current endeavors - to find new and valuable web sites that we can link to our sites so we can continue to provide the industries we sell to an excellent resource of information. I plan to look over your entire site to see what others we also should link. Thanks also for the changed address on the white footed ants - I have made that correction. You have provided me with a great service, so thanks again." - Jeff Smith, E-Business Content Manager,


"This is a great WEB site, a real help to all of us." - Dr. Ronald Rice, Crop Nutrition and Water Quality, UF/IFAS


"I found one of these [the horsehair worm] in a creek on our ranch in Washington State (probably 40 years ago) and my grandmother called it a 'Horsehair Snake.' I have never seen or heard of one since and nobody I asked (even the avid fisherman of the area) knew anything about them or recalled seeing one. This worm was hanging on to some grass in the water near the edge but I noticed it wasn't quite flowing with the other strands. Maybe 6-8 inches long and 2-3 mm wide, it was reddish brown and seemed to have a squareish, segmented exoskeleton -- bendable to a point but not at all 'worm-like' in the earthworm sense. I have searched the internet for worms and snakes with no success. Finally I thought of parasites and there it was -- the horsehair worm! The picture (Gordius) looks like what I found. I wasn't losing sleep all these years but my curiosity about it never left. Anyway, I just thought you might like to know that I found the site and, since you were listed as the author, decided to write and let you know you are not only published, but read! Thanks." - Karen Orum to John Capinera


"Your site is such a help to me. I use it a lot." - Kelli Rodda, a writer at NMPro magazine (Nursery Management and Production)


"It's a very good website, and it saved me a lot of work." - Heike Meissner USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Raleigh, North Carolina


"Featured Creatures was posted to the Garden with Butterflies bulletin board at because of the number of butterflies that have been added to Featured Creatures." - Bette Hines, a teacher at Silver Trail Middle School, Pembroke Pines, Florida.


"The National Center for Biotechnology Information is now incorporating the Featured Creatures database within its WWW site on molecular biology information. NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease. A number of the species in Featured Creatures are used in that process and the Center decided to incorporate links to all Featured Creatures throughout its database through its Taxonomy Browser." - Scott Federhen, NCBI GenBank Taxonomy and LinkOut


"I enjoyed reading the new Featured Creatures file on the compact carpenter ant. I really appreciate the homeowner (and program assistant) friendly, detailed information at this site. We use the site daily and give out the web address all the time. Thank you." - JoAnn Hoffman Urban Horticulture Program Assistant, Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service, Florida


"We are a multiage 1-2 (1st and 2nd grade) class in Dover, Delaware. We have been studying insects for the last quarter. At recess today a few students found what we think is a tomato hornworm. We loved the pictures and information on your website." - Mrs. Hermance, Mrs. Walton and Mr. Smith and 34 students


The Featured Creatures publication on the diamondback moth (John Capinera) was selected as a featured site by Lightspan's StudyWeb as one of the best educational resources on the Web by that site's researchers. StudyWeb is at


Several Featured Creatures publications on ticks (blacklegged tick - Michael Patnaude) and mites (varroa mite - Howard Denmark (FDACS, DPI) Tom Sanford; and house dust mite - (Howard Denmark and Harvey Cromroy) were featured in an issue of the online German magazine Besuchen Sie unser Internet-Magazin, Wissen Online.


Featured Creatures is being used for an Entomology 111 course at the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College at Cobleskill.


"Featured Creatures is perfect.. we are always getting questions about seasonal insects... will refer to your page." - Patricia Beckley, Extension Associate, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center


"Excellent. I teach ornamental horticulture at Central Florida Community College, in Ocala, and as such, find these [Featured Creatures] and most all the articles on your Pest Alert section very helpful in instructing. I will appreciate it when I see more on Disease and/or Nematode relating to ornamental horticulture. Thanks." - Floyd McHenry, Division of Plant Industry, Ocala, Florida


"We note with great interest the Feature Creature on the southern house spider. This is a very useful addition to a great series! Thank you." - Jack Petersen, Extension and Mosquito Larvicide Section Leader, John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center, Florida


"Thank you very much for the caterpillar information and photos. My children and I found a very large caterpillar in our tomato garden. With the help of your web site we were able to identify it. It was great family fun. Our best." - The Trebbes


"Dear Sir, I love this website. I am doing a bug collection for school and I need to know what the scientific name for a honey bee is." -Cord