Subject: what is this??
Location: Burlington NC
May 7, 2014 2:41 pm
I have never seen this bug before. Any ideas? It’s spring time here, and it reminds me of a roach! They are congregating around our back door.
Signature: Carissa

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Hi Carissa,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and they generally attract attention because of their large size.  Though she may nip at you with her mandibles if she feels threatened, she is harmless.  We are intrigued that you indicate that “they are congregating around” which indicates they are possibly numerous, yet you did not submit an image of a much more impressive looking male Dobsonfly.  Dobsonflies are sexually dimorphic, meaning the sexes have obvious visual differences, and males have much more developed mandibles.  Despite his fierce appearance, a male Dobsonfly is also perfectly harmless, and while a female can deliver a pinch, there is no such worry with the male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Paypal
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
May 6, 2014 1:33 pm
My apologies,
I did not know how else to ask: where is your Paypal link? I think you do great work and understand that it costs money. I also understand (as you say on the site) that donating does not increase my chances of getting a letter answered. That is fine, small staff means slower/fewer responses. Fair enough.
You very kindly answered my first post (Pakistan centipede, unnecessary carnage) a few days ago. But your website is fascinating and user-friendly. Best of all, it returns personalized responses.
I will keep visiting. And donate something small, whenever I can. I am submitting shots of an unknown insect from yesterday. Is something pretty common, but I do not know what it is. Thank you!
Best,
Ali S. Pracha
(aspracha)
Signature: aspracha

Sausage Fly

Sausage Fly

Dear aspracha,
Our PayPal donation link is located in a goldenrod colored banner at the top of our webpage and any donation you are able to provide is greatly appreciated.

This creature is a male Driver Ant in the genus Dorylus, commonly called a Sausage Fly, and when we first received an image from Israel last year, we were quite puzzled, though at least we had the insect order correct.  According to Alex Wild on his Diversity of Insects website:  “Dorylus
is an African and Asian genus of nomadic predatory ants. The surface-foraging species conduct spectacular raids and are often referred to as driver or safari ants.”
  According to Myrmecos:  “Most people who see Africa’s ‘sausage flies’ wouldn’t pick that they are actually ants. In fact, these monstrous insects are males of the common Dorylus driver ants. They fly at night to gain a chance to mate with a queen from another colony.”  Discover Life has some excellent technical drawings and images.  According to FerreBeeKeeper:  “One of the strangest and most alarming creatures on the planet is the driver ant.  Driver ants belong to the genus Dorylus which is comprised of about 60 species.  In the larger Dorylus species, each worker ant is only half a centimeter long.  The soldier ants which guard the hive are a mere 1.5 centimeters.  Males, which can fly, are 3 centimeters long and the queen, the largest of the ants, is from 5 to 8 centimeters long.  These are not the sort of sizes that allow one to play professional football, so what makes Dorsylus ants so fearsome?  Well, there are lots of them.  Driver ants form the largest colonies of all the social insects.  They live in hives numbering more than 20 million individuals, all born by one single queen.  When marching or foraging, these hives can overrun and overpower much larger animals and generally everything that can do so gets out of their way (including mighty elephants).”  The site also states:  “Male driver ants fly away from the colony very soon after birth.  If a colony of foraging driver ants comes across a male ant they rip off his wings and take him to mate with a virgin queen (after which he dies).  The queen ant then lays 1 to 2 million eggs per month for the remainder of her life.”  We suspect you are familiar with with wingless worker Driver Ants, but that you have not connected them to these unusual winged Sausage Flies.

Sausage Fly

Sausage Fly

Subject: Beetle with eyelashes
Location: Suffolk, England
May 7, 2014 2:47 pm
Hi
I just had this bug land outside my window & I’ve never seen anything like it before!
Google only comes up with VW beetles with eye lashes so wondering if you can help?!
Signature: Sarah

Cockchafer

Cockchafer

Hi Sarah,
We just posted a letter last week from Sarah and it was an image of a Cockchafer as well.  We respond with emails when we select an image and identification request for posting, and perhaps our email response did not arrive if you are the same Sarah.  Search engines often leave much to be desired, and searching for caterpillar images often leads to links for large farm machinery.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: NE Ohio Beetle ID Request
Location: Greater Cleveland Area
May 6, 2014 5:20 pm
Hello,
I’ve never seen one like this. It stayed still for a few photos. I’m looking for an ID.
Tim
Signature: Tim Spuckler

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

Hi Tim,
We believe we have correctly identified your Blister Beetle as
Lytta aenea based on images posted to BugGuide.

Subject: March fly?
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
May 6, 2014 11:20 am
I have a bug that is the same as these:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2014/05/06/march-fly-2/
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2013/09/07/lovebug-we-believe/
I’m hoping with the pictures I’m attaching, we can get the species figured out!
Signature: Courtney

March Fly

March Fly

Dear Courtney,
This is a female (small head) March Fly in the family Bibionidae, as you suspect.  We are not certain of the species.

March Fly

March Fly

Subject: Beautiful Grasshopper in Kenya
Location: Kijabe, Kenya
May 6, 2014 5:36 am
Can you identify this grasshopper? It was found in May in the mountains of Kenya (7,000 feet).
Signature: Matt

Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper

Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper

Dear Matt,
This is a Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper in the family Pyrgomorphidae, but we are having difficulty finding a species identification.  We have located a matching image on FlickR that is called a Clown Grasshopper, but we don’t believe that name has any importance.  That individual was found on Mount Kenya, so we suspect this might be a high altitude species.
Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck today with a species identification.

Could it be the nymph of the phymateus viripedes as seen at
http://thesmallermajority.com/2012/09/18/dangerous-candy/
It looks very similar.
Thanks for what you’re doing. It makes this fun!
Matt

Hi Matt,
While we would not entirely rule out that possibility, we believe the markings on the abdomen of the individuals in the two images are quite different.  Your Grasshopper has a dusting of small yellow spots over the entire body, while the example on The Smaller Majority has very different markings.