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Subject: Strange Arthropod
Location: El Paso, TX, USA
July 30, 2015 3:14 pm
Hello Mr. Bugman,
My mother sent me picture and asked if I knew what kind of “bug” it was. She was pretty creeped out, since it looks so wild and crawls all over the outside of her house, but so far has not strayed far from that location. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything that looks like this besides Cambrian era arthropods (haha), so I was hoping I may have luck with you. If not, don’t worry about it!
Signature: Francisco

Mantis Ootheca

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Francisco,
This looks like the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Preying Mantis, and it also appears that it has already “hatched” releasing several hundred tiny, predatory Mantises into your mother’s yard where they will help to control insect populations.

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Subject: bug mystery in quebec
Location: my yard, near montreal and quebec city, quebec, canada
July 19, 2015 3:45 pm
hi there bugman. found a bug, couldn’t identify it, we’re curious if you can help us. it was pooping white/transparent goop, head upside down in the grasses of my yard. location: southern quebec, canada.
Signature: s+r

Rodent Bot Fly Ovipositing

Bot Fly Ovipositing

Dear s+r,
You images are a thrilling addition to our archives.  This is a female Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra, and she appears to be in the process of laying eggs, the “white/transparent goop” that you observed.  Rodent Bot Flies are parasites of rabbits, mice, squirrels and other rodents.  According to BugGuide:  “Females typically deposit eggs in the burrows and “runs” of rodent or rabbit hosts. A warm body passing by the eggs causes them to hatch almost instantly and the larvae glom onto the host. The larvae are subcutaneous (under the skin) parasites of the host. Their presence is easily detected as a tumor-like bulge, often in the throat or neck or flanks of the host. The larvae breathe by everting the anal spiracles out a hole (so they are oriented head-down inside the host). They feed on the flesh of the host, but only rarely does the host die as a result.”

Rodent Bot Fly Ovipositing

Bot Fly Ovipositing

Jeff Boetner, Bot Fly expert, provides some information.
Hi Daniel,
Nice pics. This is a relative of your mystery FL bot from a week or so ago. But this one we can ID as Cuterebra fontinella fontinella. This is a nice shot of a freshly emerged female. The fontinella bots are known for the white rumps on the last segment of the rear end. This is a huge female, they can lay over 1,000 eggs in their short lives. Most eggs are laid in mouse runways or near burrows. The fluid you saw was likely because the female just emerged from her pupae (in the soil). Bots have no mouth parts or digestive tract so no need to poop. They have to store up all their energy they need as adults, by feeding as a maggot in the mouse host, and this one did a good job of that, judging by her big body size. This one is a specialist on white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus. This species is our most common bot, yet not found as often as you would think. I have trapped over 200 mice per hectare*. in our plots in MA, and sometimes 80% will have 1-2 bots, so you would think there would be huge numbers out there. And yet many entomologists I have met, have never seen one in the wild. So consider yourself lucky…(or unlucky if you are a white-footed mouse).

*a hectare is approximately 2 1/2 acres.

Thanks a lot for the quick answer, dude/dudette(s)! We weren’t expecting close to this quick of a response. I’ll be sure to bug you again for some more IDs (hohoho).

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Subject: What bug is this?
Location: Raspberry leaf
July 17, 2015 2:06 pm
I found these on the back on a raspberry leaf from a plant I bought a few weeks ago. I’m guessing they’re stink bug babies, but not idea what type! Any help identifying them would be great. I’m located just outside of Bristol in the south-West of England
Signature: Lisa

Stink Bug Hatchlings

Stink Bug Hatchlings

Dear Lisa,
As you suspected, these are hatchling Stink Bugs, and they bear a striking resemblance to hatchling Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs,
Halyomorpha halys, which you can verify by comparing to this image on BugGuide. We are well aware of the rapid spread of this invasive Asian species in North America, but we did not know of any UK sightings, so we did some research.  According to a November 2014 posting on BBC News:  “An agricultural pest dubbed the stink bug could establish itself within the UK, according to a scientist.  Entomologist Max Barclay said it was ‘it is only a matter of time’ before the brown marmorated stink bug arrives in the country.  Two of the insects have already been found on imported timber headed for Britain.  The bug, which is native to the Far East, has already reached France and Germany.  Mr Barclay, from London’s Natural History Museum, told the Daily Mail newspaper: ‘I think the brown marmorated stink bug will establish a population here. It is only a matter of time.  It will make its presence felt fairly quickly because it comes into people’s homes in the autumn and winter.’  Its name comes from the putrid stench it releases from its glands when threatened.  The insect was first found in the US in the late 1990s, but has now spread across much of the country. Since then, it has become a severe pest of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.”  You might want to report this sighting to your local agricultural agency.  It is possible that the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug eggs were on the raspberry plant when you purchased it, or it is also possible that they are already established, but passing unnoticed in your area.  It is also possible that this is a different species of Stink Bug.

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Subject: Roach or what?
Location: Georgetown Texas
July 16, 2015 9:46 pm
We found this in our house in Texas. Any ideas?
Signature: Jen

Female Boll's Sandroach with Ootheca

Female Boll’s Sandroach with Ootheca

Dear Jen,
While this is a Cockroach, the good news is that it is not a species that infests homes.  This female Boll’s Sandroach,
Arenivaga bolliana, is basically an outdoor species and she must have accidentally wandered into your home.  We would urge you to relocate her outside.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “The downy females have no wings and burrow in the dust under houses and in natural rock shelters where they feed on packrat droppings.  This large roach is also present in abandoned Atta texana [Texas leaf-cutter ant] tunnels and in chambers filled with nest refuse.”  Your female Boll’s Sandroach is carrying an ootheca or egg case.

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Subject: large wood boring beetle?
Location: Akron, Ohio
July 2, 2015 10:10 pm
I found this 2 inch long bug yesterday crawling through the grass. We at first thought it might be Hardwood Stump Borer, but now I’m thinking it’s a Broad-Necked Root Borer. All my info coming from bug books and the internet.
Today it started laying eggs in the bottom on the jar. The kids were fascinated! I have hardwood trees as well as apple trees and grape vines. I don’t want to release it if it is going to be damaging to my trees, but I don’t want it to suffer either. If I can find what kind of beetle it is, then I can feed it or release it elsewhere. I also, could let it go once it’s done laying eggs, (unless it mates and lays eggs multiple times).
Here is a picture of the top of the beetle, the bottom, and some with the eggs (they look kind of like rice).
Signature: Sharon

Broad-Necked Root Borer

Broad-Necked Root Borer

Dear Sharon,
This is a Broad-Necked Root Borer.  According to BugGuide:  “Eggs are inserted into ground (or under litter) in groups. Larvae tunnel downward to feed on living roots of a variety of trees and shrubs. At first they may feed on bark, but then proceed to hollow out small roots. Pupation occurs in spring, about 10 cm under the ground. Life cycle probably three years.”
  There is no indication that the feeding habits of the larvae compromise the life of a healthy tree as they feed on the small roots only.  Many gardeners feel that trimming roots helps to stimulate new growth.  We would advise you to release this magnificent beetle.  Thank you for supplying an image with the eggs.  Some female insects emerge from pupation so filled with eggs that they release some unfertilized eggs to enable them to fly better.

Broad-Necked Root Borer lays Eggs

Broad-Necked Root Borer lays Eggs

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Subject: What am I?
Location: Pennsylvania
June 5, 2015 10:13 pm
Can’t seem to find what this guy is.
Signature: Heather Cookson

Mystery Thing

Horse Fly Egg Mass

Dear Heather,
Your mystery thing has us quite stumped.  It does not look like an insect, but it appears that it might have been produced by an insect.  We do not believe this is an egg mass, but it might be some type of shelter.  The “scales” look somewhat like seeds.  Could you please provide more details on where it was found and regarding its size.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to contribute some valuable information.

Update:  Horse Fly Egg Mass
Immediately after posting, we received a comment identifying this as a Tabanid or Horse Fly Egg Mass, and a link to BugGuide.  Mystery solved thanks to a diligent reader. 

Eric Eaton Confirms
Hi, Daniel:
That is a batch of horse fly or deer fly eggs.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

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