Subject: Large Horsefly…ish???
Location: Raleigh, NC
August 11, 2016 8:09 pm
Hi,
I’ve attached a photo (that I promise I took) of an insect in Raleigh, NC in June. It stands about an inch tall and is a little more than an inch long. I’m working on a “Critter Album” for my little girls, and I’m trying my best to ID all that I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Sam the inquisitive dad

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear San the inquisitive dad,
Your Critter Album sounds like an awesome way to educate your girls about the wonders of the natural world.  This is a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites.  They are commonly called Hanging Thieves because they frequently hang from one leg while feeding on prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cool looking
Location: Michigan
August 11, 2016 4:29 pm
What is this thing in n michigan
Signature: John Peters

Giant Ichneumon

Giant Ichneumon

Dear John,
This is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus
Megarhyssa, most likely Megarhyssa macrurus.  It appears to be drinking from a water fountain.  Please confirm that.  Giant Ichneumons are sometimes called Stump Stabbers because the female uses her long ovipositor to lay eggs that will hatch into larvae that feed on the wood boring larvae of Horntails like the Pigeon Horntail.

Subject: Hornet ID …
Location: Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
August 11, 2016 10:56 am
We saw these “hornets” August 11, 2016 in the area of Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
They were operating like dive bombers attacking and carrying away flies.
Accurate attacking the flies but did not appear to be bothering people.
Signature: Paul Kehoe

Bald Faced Hornet

Bald Faced Hornet

Dear Paul,
This is a Bald Faced Hornet, a species of social wasp.  Most adult wasps feed on nectar and other sugary substances, like ripe fruit or sap.  We suspect the Flies they were catching are being taken back to the nest to feed the larvae.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are common on flowers and take nectar. Adults feed pre-chewed insects to larvae. Also are carnivorous and eat fruit.”

Comment from our Facebook Page
Brenda Russell Armstrong
August 12 at 2:30pm
One of my favourites. Many years ago living in northern BC by the Stikine River we were cutting fish for drying and the black flies, horse flies, etc. were bad. Then the BF Hornets arrived and began capturing and processing the flies for their winter larder. There were catchers, and others that trimmed the various (inedible?) bits and others that wrapped the carcass into a leaf from a nearby wild apple tree and then turned the bundle over to other hornets that flew them off to the nest for storage. Not making this up. Would find it hard to believe if I hadn’t seen it myself. Any one else see something similar?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Nice Cicada-killer wasp with prey
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, US
August 11, 2016 3:38 pm
I actually have two of these in front of my door — one burrow is beneath a corner of my front walk, the other is apparently under a nearby holly tree. Here’s a pic I got of the former carrying a cicada
Signature: Dave H,

Cicada Killer with Prey

Cicada Killer with Prey

Dear Dave,
You don’t know how refreshing it is for us to receive an image of a Cicada Killer with its prey that we can tag with Food Chain as opposed to tagging it with Unnecessary Carnage since we receive so many images of dead Cicada Killers.  So many people have irrational fears about Cicada Killers, and we concur that they are large and quite formidable looking, but as the host to two underground broods, we would love to have you write back so we can verify to our readership that Cicada Killers are not aggressive toward humans.

A Facebook Comment from Wanda
In all my years of weeding and tending my Rain Garden, I have never – repeat never – been approached or threatened by a Cicada Killer Wasp, even those who were larger than my thumb! I can safely say the same for the other wasps in my garden: Northern Paper, Great Black, Great Golden Digger, Potter and others. They are all more interested in the nectar from the plants, especially the milkweed. I walk past them, they fly past me as I work, they don’t even land on me. I welcome them for the pollinating work they do.

Dave H. confirms Cicada Killer Docility
Subject: Re:  Indeed, Cicada-killers are quite mellow
August 12, 2016 11:42 am
I’ve watched them often as I stood outside smoking,  and they’ve never even made a warning swoop toward me.   Surely one of the biggest wasps most folks will encounter, but also one of the least dangerous.
While I’m at it, I just wanted to compliment that picture of a molting cicada — that one is truly spectacular, and the little girl in the background just underlines the wonder of the moment.
Signature: Dave Harmon

We agree that it is a wonderful image Dave.

Subject: Black Bee
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
August 9, 2016 12:12 pm
Greetings, What’s that Bug Volunteers!
I am happy to say the bug activity in my Rain Garden is finally picking up. I was wondering how long that would take, so I am now relieved. I watched a Leaf Cutter Bee cut a leaf and fly off with her prize for her nest. I witnessed a Monarch Butterfly lay an egg on a Milkweed stem. I’ve seen TWO Great Black Wasps on the Milkweed. The Soldier Beetles are back in abundance, as are the Cicada Killer Wasps. The Northern Paper Wasps like getting drinks at the birdbath. And the aphids are emerging on the Milkweed so I expect the lacewings and lady beetles will soon arrive, along with those tiny parasitic wasps.
The photos I’ve attached are of a black bee which has proven quite challenging to photograph. I finally caught it on a late Miniature Hollyhock blossom over this past weekend. I like the pollen sacs on the legs. I have Bumble Bees of various sizes in my garden; this though does not appear to be a Bumble Bee.
Can you help me out?
Blessings to one and all,
Wanda J. Kothlow
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow

Black Bee

Female Two-Spotted Longhorned Bee

Hi again Wanda,
How nice to hear your rain garden is thriving.  We just hear yesterday that Southern California may be expecting a dry “La Niña” winter next winter, though since our predicted wet “El Niño” winter last year was a bust, all bets are off on what will really happen.  In our memory, miniature hollyhocks are about an inch across, which would make this black Bee about half that.  Are we correct?  We suspect this might be a Carpenter Bee, and we are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton as we cannot provide you with anything specific at this time.

Black Bee

Two-Spotted Longhorned Bee

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
Female of the Two-spotted Longhorned Bee, Melissodes bimaculatus.  Males have antennae about twice as long as the females.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Ed. Note:  Here is a link to BugGuide.  There is also some great information on Discover Life.

Two-Spotted Longhorned Bee

Two-Spotted Longhorned Bee

Greetings, Daniel et al!
Yes, your memory is correct. Miniature Hollyhocks (Sidalcea sp) blossoms are an inch or just a tad larger. Quite prolific here and terrific pollinator draws; not as magnetic as Milkweed, Liatris or Monarda, but still good draws.
Speaking of milkweed, I noticed an overabundance of Large Milkweed Bug nymphs last week. And I do mean overabundance. The aphids don’t annoy me since I know my integrated past management system will address that issue. The large Milkweed Bugs though, well I guess I live with them or remove a colony here and there with snippers and a plastic bag …
Exciting to hear I can add a new insect to my list of photos! A female Two-spotted Longhorned Bee! WooHoo! She’s quite a “tease” in that she never landed long enough for me to focus and photograph until recently. Glad she was hungry long enough for me to take her picture!
Hope you are safe where you are in CA; I keep praying for rain where it is needed and dry where it is too wet.
Thank you yet again for your assistance in helping my insect list grow!
Blessings,
Wanda J. Kothlow

Subject: what is it?
Location: ohio
August 10, 2016 3:25 pm
I live in Collinsville Ohio. 30 miles North of Cincinnati. This interesting creature was on my garage door. Its Aug10th. A tad bit humid out. 85degrees.
Signature: Tracey

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Tracey,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, possibly from the genus
Tolype based on this BugGuide image.