Subject: orange dog wasp
Location: courtice arena, ontario canada
September 1, 2015 5:49 pm
sorry lost my last submission trying again. Found this orange looking wasp that has a puppy face. search but could not find any identification on this guy. Was really lucky he sat still and posed for me. sept 1/2015 around 6;30 pm in an open field .
Thanks
Signature: Terri Martin

Male Pigeon Horntail

Male Pigeon Horntail

Dear Terri,
Though we have no shortage of images of Pigeon Horntails on our site, male specimens like your individual are at a premium.  Almost all the images of Pigeon Horntails on our site are females, and we even have a good number of ovipositing Pigeon Horntails.  These Wood Wasps are known scientifically as
Tremex columba, the sole food eaten by larval Stump Stabbers, Megarhyssa atrata.  The female Stump Stabber has a much longer ovipositor than the female Pigeon Horntail because unlike her prey, she must lay her egg with incredible precision so the hatchling can locate its host.  Here is a BugGuide image of a male Pigeon Horntail.  By the way, your images are gorgeous.

Male Pigeon Horntail

Male Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

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Subject: What is going on – two photos?
Location: Essex, UK
August 31, 2015 10:38 am
I photographed these at Thameside Nature Park on 30 August.
The fly appears to be sitting on a nest apparently containing tiny youngsters – and with a trapdoor at the end. Has the fly been caught and left as food for the youngsters? Is it eating them itself?
These is also this strange red thing which appears to be spinning itself a cacoon.
Signature: Karenina

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Dear Karenina,
We believe this is a Tachinid Fly, a parasitoid, and we believe your image might have something to do with the adult Tachinid Fly emerging from its host insect.  The other image might have something to do with fungus.  This is all conjecture and we eagerly welcome any additional information.

Possibly a Fungus

Possibly a Fungus

Subject: Beekiller?
Location: Germany
August 31, 2015 12:23 pm
Hi guys,
my dad found this in one of his beehives? It’s about 2.8 inches long and I have absolutely no idea what this could be.
Kind regards,
Signature: Benedikt

Death's Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Death’s Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Dear Benedikt,
Would that we had a lepidopterist on our staff, we could conclusively provide you with an identification of this Hawkmoth based on vein patterns and other characteristics, but you have submitted your request to a pop culture site with artists, not entomologists, on its staff.  Since there are no scales remaining on the wings or body of this Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, our identification is conjecture.  We believe this is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, a species reported in Europe during the summer months.  According to Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic:  “Many individuals have been seen to frequent bee-hives where, upon entry, they feed undisturbed on the honey, puncturing combs with their short, sharp proboscises. Moritz et al. (1991) have shown that this species makes itself ‘chemically invisible’ to honeybees by mimicking the cutaneous fatty acids of its hosts. If disturbed while feeding, or for that matter at any other time, the adults raise their wings, run and hop around, while emitting high-pitched squeaks.”  We don’t know what caused the loss of wing and body scales in your individual, which resulted in a loss of the visual characteristics of the species, including the thoracic pattern that has been likened to a human skull.  You did not indicate if the moth was found dead or alive.  We believe it would have been very difficult for your individual to fly in its condition, we causes us to conjecture that it lost its life once it entered the bee hive, though we cannot say if it was stung by bees as an intruder, or if your father killed it while attempting to collect it.  As we know of no other Hawkmoths that enter bee hives, we are relatively certain our identification is correct.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Nectar and sugar eaters, adult moths like honey, and because they produce a scent mimicking the scent of bees, they can climb into hives without alarming the bees inside. Their thick skin also protects them from stings. Unlike the other two species which are more general in types of bees they raid, A. atropos only invades the hives of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Another unusual feature of this moth is that it makes a loud squeaking sound as a protective device if it is threatened.”

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Subject: Black Witch
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
August 31, 2015 1:43 pm
6:45 am, Cheyenne,Wyoming. Approximate size inches.
Signature: Wayne Barton

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Wayne,
Congratulations on this extreme northern sighting of a male Black Witch, a neotropical species found in Central and South America.  As far back as the late Nineteenth Century, sightings of Black Witch Moths as far north as Canada have been reported.  According to BugGuide:  “The northward June migration out of Mexico coincides with Mexico’s rainy season which typically starts in early June and lasts through October” and “Often flies great distances in only a few nights, hiding by day wherever it can find dense shade – frequently under the eves of houses.”   While sightings in border states including California and Texas, and southern states like Florida are not rare, northern sightings are not as common.  Black Witch Moths are now thought to be breeding in some border states, but harsh winters in the north will most likely prevent naturalization.  We followed a link from BugGuide to the Texas Entomology site where Mike Quinn is keeping records of state, and though there were three Black Witch sightings in 2004, there is nothing recent.  We would suggest that you contact Mike at entomike@gmail.com to report your sighting, though we are going to pass on the information, but should he require additional information, we would not be able to provide anything.  We can’t help but to wonder why Black Witches continue to migrate north though they would not stand much of a chance of passing on genetic material, because even if they were lucky enough to find a mate in Colorado or Canada, the harsh conditions would not favor the survival of the progeny. 

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Subject: Luna moth
Location: Wytheville VA mountains
August 31, 2015 2:59 pm
This beauty was on our car bumper when we overnighted in Wytheville VA in early August. I thought it was so beautiful. I’d never seen one before. Unfortunately it was injured, missing 1 antenna. It was barely moving when I placed it on the ground. FB friends identified it for me.
Signature: Jane Price

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Jane,
The remaining plumose antenna indicates that this is a male Luna Moth.  Luna Moths do not eat as adults, and they live solely to reproduce.  The male spends his adult life searching for a mate, and once mated, he has fulfilled his purpose.  The mated female Luna Moth’s sole purpose is to search for the appropriate food for her brood and to lay her eggs on, according to BugGuide, leaves from trees:  “including white birch (
Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), pecans, and sumacs (Rhus).”  We would like to think that your male Luna Moth fulfilled his purpose.

Amy Jo, Ann Levitsky, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Aundrea Murillo-Faynik, Juliett Moth, Sue Dougherty, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post

Subject:  Pinecone-like Cocoon
Location:  Jacksonville, FL
August 27, 2015
Hi Bugman,
Today I found this
2 1/2″ long cocoon on a cedar tree.  It’s a brilliantly designed and constructed little pinecone-like structure. (It also reminds me of a log cabin.)
Would you please identify it for me?
Thank you,
L Welch

Bagworm Cocoon

Bagworm Cocoon

Dear L Welch,
This is the cocoon of a Bagworm, a species of moth in the family Psychidae.  A Bagworm Caterpillar constructs a shelter from silk and bits of the plants upon which it is feeding, enlarging the bag as the caterpillar grows.  The caterpillar never leaves the bag, and eventually pupates inside the bag.  Your Bagworm is in the pupal stage, as it is no longer mobile.

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