Subject:  Red Haired Velvet Ant
Location: Peachy Canyon, Paso Robles, California
April 18, 2014
hello, what’s that bug? !
i know what this is called and saw it in Peachy Canyon, Paso Robles, CA.
in “California Insects”, (Powell and Hogue) it is described as, “It is one of our commonest species, ranging widely in the Coastal Ranges”. however, i have only seen two before. do you think they are less common now?
thank you,
clare

Red Haired Velvet Ant

Red Haired Velvet Ant

Thanks for the image Clare.  Do you have a larger file?  According to BugGuide, the Red Haired Velvet Ant is Dasymutilla aureola, and it is reported from California and Oregon.

Red Haired Velvet Ant:  Larger file

Red Haired Velvet Ant: Larger file

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Very Handsome Paso Robles Alligator Lizard
Location:  Paso Robles, California
April 18, 2014
we estimated 9-10”. and much lighter in colour than the southern california cousins.
c.

Alligator Lizard

Alligator Lizard

The editorial staff at What’s That Bug? encountered a nice Alligator Lizard last week while moving wood around in the wood pile.  Alas there was no camera handy.

Subject: Bee or Fly?
Location: Andover, New Jersey
April 19, 2014 9:10 am
I found several of these little guys sucking up nectar on some hyacinths this morning. Haven’t seen these before and am thinking that it is some sort of mimic fly? Hoping you can help.
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

Hi Deborah,
These are amazingly detailed images of a Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, a species that if found in Europe as well as North America.  As you have surmised, this is a fly that mimics a bee, and it is a pollinating species.  Greater Bee Flies generally make their appearance early in the spring.

Greater Bee Fly

Greater Bee Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What insect is this?
Location: Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia
April 20, 2014 6:04 am
Hi there,
I came across this insect by some flowers in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it, so I thought I’d see if you know. Thanks.
Signature: Chris

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Dear Chris,
Of this we are certain:  This is a parasitic wasp that is classified as Parasitica or Parasitic Apocrita, which is not a true taxonomic category, but it is a means to group parasitic wasps together.  We believe it is a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptiidae, which we identified on BugGuide, and then verified on the Atlas of Living Australia as being a family that is found in Australia.  We may be wrong, but the look of the hind legs and the antennae as well as the ovipositor are good indications that we are correct.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are predators or predators-inquilines (consume larval food, not the larvae) of other Hymenoptera that nest in twigs and in wood.”  The Atlas of Living Australia notes:  “Females oviposit in the nests of solitary bees (Apidae) and wasps (Vespidae) , where the larvae are predator-inquilines, eating the host egg or larvae and consuming the pollen store. Adult gasteruptiids may be seen on flowers or hovering near bare ground, logs or trees.”

Subject: Raining shrimp?
Location: Fairhope, AL
April 19, 2014 4:19 pm
I emptied the water out of a large bowl I had left outside the other day, but since it rained again yesterday I went to empty it again today and found about ten of these baby shrimp in the bowl. I live about 5 miles from Mobile Bay, but I still thought that was kind of weird… then I found your page and concluded they might be lawn shrimp. The antennae fell off before I took the picture.
Signature: Ray

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

Hi Ray,
You are correct that this is a terrestrial amphipod known as a Lawn Shrimp.  They are also known as House Hoppers because they sometimes enter homes in large numbers after a rain.  Lawn Shrimp are native to Australia, but they have been introduced to North America, and most of our reports come from California.  We have also gotten reports from Florida, but we believe your account from Alabama is a first for us.  Lawn Shrimp can proliferate in great numbers in gardens, but they are generally not noticed until it rains and they enter homes where they quickly die.

Subject: Rainbow larva
Location: Southwest Louisiana
April 18, 2014 6:35 pm
Located these beauties munching on a small tree a few hundred yards from the coast here in southwestern Louisiana. Relatively small at less than a 1/2 inch. Not very active and pretty much play dead when disturbed. Internet search turned up nothing. Any ideas?
Thank you!!
Signature: Karla

Groundselbush Beetle Larva

Groundselbush Beetle Larva

Hi Karla,
We were just going to write back that this is the larva of a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, but we decided to continue searching for its species identity.  After a bit of searching, we found a matching image of a Groundselbush Beetle Larva,
Trirhabda bacharidis, on BugGuide, and we are confident that it is the correct identification for your individual.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae and adults feed exclusively on leaves of Baccharis (Asteraceae) and it has been “Introduced into Australia and Asia to control Baccharis.”  We thought this was a new species for our site, but we were wrong.