From the monthly archives: "June 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth?
Location: Near Tilly Swamp/Conway, SC
June 30, 2013 2:18 pm
I see these ocassionally on the siding of my front porch in the late afternoon/early evening.
Signature: A.B. Henderson

Rosy Maple Moth

Rosy Maple Moth

Hi A. B. Henderson,
Ever since a person once submitted, around 2005, a photo describing the Rosy Maple Moth as looking like sherbet, we have wanted to call
Dryocampa rubicunda a Sherbet Moth.  We seem to have lost that email, but we have the memory.  We are going to begin using the name Sherbet Moth. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an Ichneumon?
Location: Dorset, England
June 30, 2013 12:16 pm
Hi,
I would be grateful to kniow if this is an Ichneumon? We pictured it in our garden yesterday afternoon in Dorset, England. The body was about 1 cm long, very delicate, plus the length of the probe. It was a very light insect which went off on the wind shortly after the picture was taken.
Kind regards,
Bob Bentley
Signature: Bob Bentley

Carrot Wasp

Carrot Wasp

Dear Bob,
This is a Parasitic Hymenopteran, but it is not an Ichneumon.  We quickly found this image of a Carrot Wasp in the genus
Gasteruption on BugGuide, and we figured we had nailed your identification request, but then we realized you were from England.  BugGuide indicates:  “Adults take nectar; larvae are predators or predator-inquilines of other Hymenoptera that nest in twigs or other woody sites” and “Gasteruption have a characteristic hovering flight with the swollen metatibiae hanging down so that the insect resembles a helicopter carrying a large load on a cable.”  Nature Spot reports the species Gasteruption jaculator in England and notes:  ” The female will visit the nests of various solitary bees or wasps, and will push her ovipositor into the nest, depositing her own eggs on or near to the eggs of the host, on hatching they will feed on the grubs of the host as well as on stored food.”  We are not certain if the common family name of Carrot Wasp is used in England.

Thank you so much Daniel.  Always nice to know we have a parasitic hymenopteran on the premises, it’s definitely one up on the neighbours!!!
Thanks again,
Bob

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle
Location: yes
June 30, 2013 11:04 am
I live in Winnipeg Manitoba and I found this Beetle on our
garage this morning. I took a snap shot of the insect I haven’t
had time to take a proper photo of the insect so far. I used my
Nikon D3100 & SB-400 flash with TTL cord & my 40mm f2.8
micro lens.
Signature: Normally ?

Longhorned Borer, we believe

Longhorned Borer:  Stenocorus schaumii

Dear Normally ?,
We believe this is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, but we are not certain.  We base that guess on the width of the elytry at the base as well as the spine on the thorax.  We have not been able to locate a species identification and we hope our readership can assist.

Update
Thanks to a comment from Mardikavana, we now agree that this looks like the Cerambycid
Stenocorus schaumii which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Harlequin Flower Beetle
Location: Texas
June 30, 2013 12:15 am
A couple of weeks ago I submitted this 1.25” beetle from coastal Texas near Houston. It fell down from the chimney into our fireplace, landing on its back. It couldn’t flip over, and made a very loud buzzing sound as it tried. The attached picture was taken outside after the beetle was released.
While my picture (understandably) didn’t get a response, I think I’ve been able to identify the beetle myself. My problem is that I was looking for black and green beetles—and the beetle I saw was even greener than it appears in the picture—but more commonly these are yellow. Helpfully, Bug Guide indicated that a triangular thorax generally means a flower chafer beetle, and from there it wasn’t hard to find the species. This one seems to me to be a harlequin flower beetle, of which there are five examples on whatsthatbug.com, all from central Florida and Houston. (Interestingly, the other green one also came from Houston—perhaps a subspecies difference?)
Signature: Lachlan McDavid

Harlequin Flower Beetle

Harlequin Flower Beetle

Dear Lachlan,
First, your original submission was not purposely ignored.  Especially in the summer, we receive much more  small fraction of the mail that we receive that is answered and posted is mostly a matter of luck.  We do scan for interesting subject lines, and your specific subject line today caught our attention.  “Bug” as a subject line does not normally attract our attention.  We are also responding to more letters today because we didn’t have time for anything yesterday.  Also, we were away from the office not responding to any mail for much of the first half of June.
We agree that this is a Harlequin Flower Beetle,
Gymnetis caseyi.   As far as coloration goes, there is always some variation, and the Harlequin Flower Beetle seems to have much individual variation with markings and coloration.  Also, photographs can result in less than accurate color rendition under different lighting conditions. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Darlene in Torrance: Bee! No, Fly! No, Bee!
Location: Torrance, CA
June 29, 2013 11:21 am
I found a deceased bee today.
Conversation in my head: That’s an awfully big bee! No, it’s a fly – look at the eyes. Look how close together they are. That means it’s a male. Or does that mean it’s a female? I can never get that straight.
No, it’s a bee – remember the first thing in keying: it has four wings and flies only have two.
Of course it’s a bee!
Wait. It has a mustache between the eyes. Maybe it’s a robber fly. No, wait, the mustache is in the wrong place and the body shape and legs are all wrong.
Of course it’s a bee! (But that’s an awfully big bee!)
Signature: Always Keying in my Head Darlene from Torrance

Honey Bee Drone

Honey Bee Drone

Hi Always Keying in my Head Darlene from Torrance,
Are you the very Darlene that attended National Moth Week last year in Elyria Canyon Park?  Can we expect you to attend our 2013 National Moth Week event this year?
We are very excited about this submission.  This is a Honey Bee Drone which we first found pictured on the California Backyard Orchard website.  Much like you, we pondered the size of the eyes that are fly-like on the body of an apparent bee.  We did a web search for “big eye bee California” and found the photos and this amusing text from the California Backyard Orchard website:  “Drones–remotely piloted aircraft used in reconnaissance and target attacks–are in the news, but so are the other drones–male bees.  This time of year drones are as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth. They’re not needed in the hive now–just extra mouths to feed–so their sisters are booting them up. They’re basically evicted, cold and shivering, from the hive.  Drones are easy to identify: big eyes, bulky body, and lumbering movements.   It’s best to be a drone in the spring. When a virgin queen goes for her maiden flight, a group of drones will mate with her in the drone congregation area. The drones die shortly after mating. If they don’t mate, then they’ll die before winter sets in.”  We then verified the identity on BugGuide.  This is the first Drone Honey Bee photo we have ever received.  Thanks for the submission.

Honey Bee Drone

Honey Bee Drone

Daniel,
Yes, it’s me, the bug wrangler from last year’s moth week event. I’m planning on attending again this year.
I find it amazing that a dead bee I picked up is one you never received a photo of before.
Once, at Bio-Quip’s open house, there was an insect collection contest. I submitted mine from entomology class. I didn’t win, but Dr. James Hogue noticed my female Tipula oleracea crane fly and put it in the L.A. Natural History Museum collection because it was only the third of its kind he had ever seen in southern California.
Darlene

You are awesome Darlene.  I’m so excited you are coming back.  We might have to give you an award for traveling the farthest to Mount Washington.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black & green bug??????
Location: Paleo Hammock Preserve, GFort Peirce , Fl
June 29, 2013 4:09 pm
I was out photographing and I came across this unusual caterpillar looking thing with what looks like a tail.
Signature: Chet Smith

Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar, we believe

Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Chet,
First we want to compliment you on your excellent photograph of a Sphinx Moth Caterpillar.  Though we could not identify the species without additional research, the family Sphingidae whose members are commonly called Hornworms is obvious.  The caterpillars eventually mature into adults commonly called Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths.  We used the Sphingidae of the Americas website and we believe we have correctly identified your caterpillar as a Gaudy Sphinx,
Eumorpha labruscae, and we believe this caterpillar still has some growing to do.  All caterpillars pass through five phases or instars prior to entering the pupal stage.  We believe that this is an earlier instar because of the appearance of the horn.  Mature Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillars lose the horn by the time they reach the final or fifth instar stage.  Mature Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillars are thought to resemble snakes.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas site:  “In Florida larvae have been found on Possum Vine (Cissus sicyoides).  Cissus incisa, Cissus verticillata, Eupatorium odoratum, Ludwigia, Magnolia, Parthenocissus and Vitis vinifera are all reported hosts.”  The adult Gaudy Sphinx is a beautiful green moth.  We are going to contact Bill Oehlke to verify our identification and we are going to copy him on our response to you because he might want to use your beautiful photo on his own site as well.  We hope you will grant him permission.

Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar

Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar

Bill Oehlke concurs
Daniel,
It is third or fourth instar Eumorpha labruscae.
Bill Oehlke

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination