Subject: Black bug
Location: Gunnison, Colorado
July 21, 2014 5:08 pm
I found this bug in my home. I thought it was a bee at first but then with a closer look it seemed to be an oversized fly. I looked up horseflies but the bug I found had widest eyes. What is it?
Signature: Audrey

Bot Fly

Bot Fly

Dear Audrey,
There is enough detail in your images for us to determine that this is a Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra, the Rodent Bot Flies, but we haven’t the necessary skills, and we suspect there is not enough image detail for even an expert to determine a species identification.  You can compare your image to this individual from BugGuide that also is identified only to the genus level.  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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Maryland
July 21, 2014 9:33 pm
I saw your presentation a few years ago and a friend posted a picture on Facebook today wondering “what’s that bug” and no one seemed to know so I figured I’d ask.
Signature: Mr. Burk

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dear Mr. Burk,
This very distinctive caterpillar is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar,
Acronicta americana, and according to BugGuide, its habitat is:  “Woodlands and forests, especially mesic to swampy bottomlands” and “The caterpillar’s hairs can cause skin irritation.”  Just our of curiosity, which presentation did you see?  We are guessing it was the Getty lecture

Subject: Confused Californian
Location: Stream in Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains
July 21, 2014 10:17 pm
Hello!
I found this guy on a dry rock in a small stream in the far northern Sierra Nevada mountain range. One of my friends said it looked like a “cross between a bee and a long horned beetle.” then he quipped that was not possible. I was surprised as he is hard to stump!
Signature: S. Dykstra

Lion Beetle

Lion Beetle

Dear S. Dykstra,
When we first received some excellent images of a Lion Beetle,
Ulochaetes leoninus, in 2009, we were quite confused and amazed ourselves.  BugGuide now has many more images of this unusual Cerambycid, but there is still no information posted on the Info page.  According to the Introduction to California Beetles by Arthur V. Evans & James N. Hogue:  “The Lion Beetle … looks and behaves just like a bumblebee, even attempting to sting with its ovipositor.  When disturbed, the Lion Beetle raises its abdomen forward over its back while flapping its wings, reinforcing its bee-like appearance.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar
Location: Boyce, VA, US
July 21, 2014 10:02 am
Can you help me identify this caterpillar? Found it on some violet family plants.
Signature: Emelford

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Emelford,
This pretty little caterpillar is a Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar,
Euptoieta claudia, and we quickly identified it thanks to this image posted to BugGuide.  The adult Variegated Fritillary is a lovely orange butterfly.

Subject: Can you ID this caterpillar?
Location: California, MD
July 21, 2014 1:25 pm
The best I can guess is that it’s a type of brush footed butterfly larva. I’d love to know what type of adult it will become and what it feeds on. The kids would like to hatch it and then release it.
Signature: Laura in SoMD

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Hi Laura,
While many Brushfooted Butterfly Caterpillars have spines, including the Mourning Cloak Caterpillar, this is actually the caterpillar of a Buck Moth, and considering your location, it is most likely
Hemileuca maia, based on this BugGuide image.  Handle the Buck Moth Caterpillar with care as contact with the spines may result in a painful sting.  The adult Buck Moth, which gets its name because it is usually on the wing very late in the fall during deer hunting season, is a lovely moth.  By the way, we were unaware that there were any cities named California.

Thank you for the helpful ID. Since you mentioned it, California is just south of Hollywood,  MD.

 

Subject: What’s on the caterpillar?
Location: Southeastern Virginia
July 21, 2014 12:33 pm
A friend has a caterpillar in her garden and she found it like this today. It was fine a few days ago…What in the world is going on with it?
Signature: Crystal

Carolina Sphinx Before

Carolina Sphinx Before

Dear Crystal,
This caterpillar is a Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, and they are frequently found feeding on tomato plants and related plants in the garden.  Your second image documents the results of a parasitization by a Braconid Wasp, Cotesia congregata.  The female Braconid lays her eggs inside the caterpillar using an ovipositor and the larval wasps develop inside the caterpillarfeeding on the caterpiller beneath its skin.  When the larvae mature, the make their way to the surface and spin cocoons, and that is what is shown in the second image.  The caterpillar will not live to maturity even if the cocoons are removed.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Braconid.

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids