Subject: Another Southern Bee Killer?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
August 14, 2014 9:55 am
I saw that you had many robber fly inquiries last week. Here is mine. :-)
You kindly identified a Southern Bee Killer for me several years ago. Is this insect the same? It was hiding in plain sight, holding perfectly still on a young crepe myrtle tree, which is a bee magnet due to its many fragrant clusters of blossoms.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Southern Bee Killer

Southern Bee Killer

Dear Ellen,
Taking a closer look at your previous submission from 2009, we now believe neither is a Southern Bee Killer,
Mallophora orcina, as the individuals pictured on BugGuide all have black-tipped abdomens.  Your individual appears to have a yellow abdomen all the way to the tip, which is why we believe it is a different species in the same genus, Mallophora fautrix.  Compare your images to this individual on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it ranges from:  “Texas west to California, southward through Mexico.”  We would really love to get an expert opinion on this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Painted Lady Butterfly?
Location: Coryell County
August 14, 2014 9:34 am
This beautiful – and quick!- butterfly visited our pentas as I was watering them this morning. It tended to feed upside-down, perhaps to show its eyespots to the world. Is it a Painted Lady? If so, it’s the first I’ve photographed in our yard. It has such beautiful colors! I darkened the exposure a bit.
Warm, sunny morning today.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Dear Ellen,
We agree that this is a Painted Lady,
Vanessa cardui.  There are several other butterflies in the genus that look quite similar, and this excellent comparison from BugGuide illustrates the difference between the Painted Lady and the American Lady.  We are thrilled that you were able to capture views of both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the wings.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

 

Subject: Moss mimic Katydid
Location: Atta Canopy Walkway, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana
August 13, 2014 2:23 pm
Hi!
I found this chap at Atta Canopy Walkway in Guyana, it was right outside my cabin hiding in the bushes at head height, during the day.
There are very few pics online to attempt an ID (I was searching Acanthodis and Haemodiasma) so I was hoping your experts could help!?
Thanks in advance!
Signature: Charlotte

Katydid

Katydid

Hi Charlotte,
We are attempting to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can assist in your identification request of this magnificent Katydid.

Katydid

Katydid

Fantastic, many thanks in advance! :)

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow wasp
Location: Taitung, Taiwan
August 14, 2014 8:34 am
This wasp was very busy getting nectar from the flowers on my dads tree, so I managed to get a few shots of it. I don’t know what kind of wasp it is, whether it’s dangerous or not. Either way, I left it alone after getting the photos.
Signature: Rebecca

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Rebecca,
This is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, but we are not certain of the species.  We suspect that Paper Wasps in Taiwan behave much like Paper Wasps in other parts of the world.  Some species are more aggressive than others, but solitary individuals gathering nectar do not pose much of a threat to humans.  Paper Wasps are social wasps that build a nest, and they will defend a nest against a potential threat, so we would strongly urge people not to disturb the nest of a Paper Wasp.  According to BugGuide, which deals with North American species:  “Semi-social wasps. Unlike social (eusocial) wasps, where workers are sterile females, in Polistes all females are potential breeders. (See comments below for details.) Fertilized queens overwinter in crevices or under bark. In spring they build a nest and the colony builds up over the summer. At first, only workers (sterile females) are produced. Mature colonies have up to 30 adults. A young queen is the sole survivor of the colony. (I am presuming this queen disperses to find an unrelated male on flowers in the fall.)”  BugGuide also notes:  “Not as aggressive as Hornets, Yellowjackets. May be considered beneficial to gardeners because of predation on herbivorous insects.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Subject: Shiny green fly/bee?
Location: China Spring, Texas
August 14, 2014 2:05 am
I have only seen this bug twice in 3 years, both times in the summer. Its antenna move very fast, and I found out they are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Not very good pics I know, just tell me what else you need from me to identify? He’s not aggressive at all and is actually very beautiful up front.
Signature: WeirdKitty

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear WeirdKitty,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae, and the common name arises, according to BugGuide, because of:  “the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts.”  Cuckoo Wasps are harmless to humans as they cannot sting.

Oh thank you very much!!
That’s pretty interesting, I will definitly be doing more research. Thank you!

Subject: Banana Spider
Location: South East Texas
August 13, 2014 6:44 pm
Not sure if it’s actaully called a Banana Spider but that’s what we call them in my area. We have many of these in the yard. Our yard is a like a spider wonderland!
Signature: S. Miller

Banana Spider

Banana Spider

Dear S. Miller,
Your spider is
Nephila clavipes, and Banana Spider is one common name, though the more widely used common name is Golden Silk Spider because of the strength of the silk, which is gold in color.  Though they might bite if carelessly handled, these Banana Spiders are considered harmless.