Subject: Looks like an Alien
Location: Glorieta, New Mexico
June 20, 2016 2:24 pm
Hi! My dad found this strange creature in a freshwater pond. He has no idea what it is, I found something similar on this site called a shield shrimp or triop, but I wanted to send in a picture because this one is a little bit different! Thanks for the help!
Signature: Kori

Tadpole Shrimp

Tadpole Shrimp

Hi Kori,
This is a very exciting submission for us.  You are correct that this is a Shield Shrimp or Triops, though we personally prefer the common name Tadpole Shrimp.  We have not had a submission of a Triops since 2012.  Sometimes called “Living Fossils,” Triops have developed a very interesting survival tactic due to being found in arid environments.  Like Fairy Shrimp and some Annual Killifish (see Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine), the eggs are able to survive desiccation by being preserved in dried mud.  When the rains return, the eggs hatch and the Tadpole Shrimp quickly reach maturity, at which time they mate and lay eggs for the next generation.  The dried eggs are able to survive many years until the next substantial rains.  We believe we once read that the original movie Alien that burst from the man’s chest was constructed of sea food, and it does somewhat resemble this harmless Tadpole Shrimp.

Tadpole Shrimp

Tadpole Shrimp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID bug please
Location: Ohio, USA
June 13, 2016 1:05 pm
Here’s an interesting bug I found around home in northeast Ohio. It was a cool day, so he wasn’t moving very fast. Any thoughts?
Signature: htvmm

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Dear htvmm,
This is a beautiful image of a Golden Backed Snipe Fly.

Subject: What is this?
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
June 20, 2016 9:10 pm
Hi, I live in Calgary Alberta Canada and now noticed the follow fly, which generally appears in swarms around the house or spruce trees. Flies are out from June to August/September. The only come out I the late afternoon or evening when the temperature begins to cool. During the day they rest on the side of the house or along the soffits. House backs onto a green space and is roughly 100 yards from the bow river. Swarms have become larger in recent years and I’d love to know what they are. They do not bite or sting. Just very annoying and unsightly.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Angela

Caddisfly

Caddisfly

Dear Angela,
This is a Caddisfly, a member of the order Trichoptera.  Caddisflies are often described as “mothlike” and the fact that you are so close to the river explains why you have so many Caddisflies in your yard.  Immature Caddisflies, sometimes called Caseworms, are aquatic, frequently used as live bait by anglers, and according to BugGuide:  “Most caddisfly larvae are intolerant of pollution; therefore, their presence is an indication of good water quality, and their absence in areas where they previously occurred may be an indication of polluted water.”  Caseworms make cases from a variety of materials, including sticks, sand, pebbles, snail shells, bits of leaves and many other materials, however, each species is very specific about the material used and the shape of the case.  BugGuide also notes:  “Adults rest on nearby vegetation during the day; flight activity begins at dusk. Adults are attracted – sometimes in great numbers – to artificial light” and that agrees perfectly with your account.  More information on Caddisflies can be found on Aquatax where it states:  “Probably the most interesting feature to the non-fishing general public regarding this group is the cases that many of the larvae construct out of various materials. Caddisflies are found in all types of aquatic habitats throughout Saskatchewan. The majority are intolerant of pollution and, as such, are valuable tools for monitoring organic and chemical contamination of habitats.”

Caddisfly

Caddisfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Baby it’s hot out here!
Location: Mesa , Arizona
June 20, 2016 4:10 pm
Hi
I thought you might get a kick out of this photo of what I believe is a drone carpenter bee. It climbed up on my finger while I was out on my patio today. I think it found the surface of my skin much cooler than the 116 degree surface of my table. That is in the shade by the way. I finally persuaded it to leave my finger and perch on the side of a plant pot. I felt guilty for leaving it out there while I returned inside my house, but since it is native I’m sure it it’s taking the heat better than us mammals. Stay cool everyone!
Signature: Toasty Arizona nature lover

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Toasty Arizona nature lover,
This is indeed a male Valley Carpenter Bee.  Males are shorter lived than females who need to construct and provision a nest after mating.  In Los Angeles, male Valley Carpenter Bees are generally flying in the spring and long gone by the time summer arrives, so they don’t compete with females for food.

Subject: Prionus Californicus in Tennessee?
Location: White County, Tennessee
June 20, 2016 11:10 am
I photographed this creature on my porch rail last night and posted it on IG in order to get feedback. Two people suggested it was a Prionus Californicus and gave me references. I’m pretty sure it IS one but what is it doing in Tennessee? With all of our nursery stock, I wonder if they’re plentiful here, have they been here a long while, how WE have come to have them, and are our nurserymen aware of them? I’m from Warren County, but this bug was found up at our river front property in Neighboring White County.
Thanks so much!
Signature: Peggy S Thompson

Tile Horned Prionus

Tile Horned Prionus

Dear Peggy,
This is indeed
Prionus, but it is NOT P. californicus.  In scientific nomenclature, the capitalized first word in the binomial name is the genus, and the second lower case word is the species.  The members of the genus are closely related and often share physical attributes, and frequently they can be difficult to distinguish from one another.  According to BugGuide, there are 16 North American species in the genus, and Prionus californicus is found as far east as Texas, according to BugGuide.  Your relative is the Tile Horned Prionus, Prionus imbricornis, and its range is according to BugGuide, partially overlaps that of the California Root Borer, and includes Tennessee.  The impressive antennae on your individual indicates he is a male.  This is the third Tile Horned Prionus we have posted this week, though the first was a disembodied head.   

Daniel,
Thanks so much for such a quick reply, ID, and also for posting my “Tile Horned Prionus” online for others to see. I had several people interested in him and his “Yosamitty Sam” antennas! Now WE know him…
Peggy T.

Subject: Beetle in Vail, AZ
Location: Vail, AZ
June 20, 2016 9:05 am
Can you help I’d this beetle?
Signature: Cindy

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymphs

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymphs

Dear Cindy,
These are NOT beetles.  They are immature Giant Mesquite Bugs,
Thasus neocalifornicus, and according to BugGuide, they feed on:  “The green pods of Mesquite (Prosopis spp.), notably the non-native P. velutina (Chilean, Velvet Mesquite) and the native P. glandulosa (Honey Mesquite).”