Subject: Two Striped Walking Stick
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
December 23, 2013 9:49 am
Just thought this female was cool. She was hanging out on the side of the house and my grandpa scooped her up for me to see. We put her back after the photo and she went on her merry way.
Signature: Lindsey

Muskmare

Muskmare

Hi Lindsey,
Thanks for sending us your photo.  We want to caution you that the Two Striped Walkingstick, also known as a Muskmare, is capable of expelling a noxious substance with amazing accuracy.  They have a knack for aiming right at a perceived predator’s eyes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: florida bug
Location: south florida
December 26, 2013 8:34 pm
What is it?
Signature: mary

Dragonfly with missing abdomen

Green Darner with missing abdomen

Hi Mary,
Some predator, probably a bird, caught this Dragonfly and ate the abdomen, leaving the less palatable head, wings and legs for you to find.  Your Dragonfly is a Green Darner,
Anax junius, and you can read up more on this species on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults are strong flyers and may be found anywhere but are more common near larval habitat: still marshy waters, fresh and slightly brackish.”  

Subject: what is this bug? it has a nasty bite/sting
Location: Southern California
December 28, 2013 2:54 am
This bug was on edge of my glass when I went to take a drink and it did something to the edge of my lip that felt like I was stuck with a shard of glass. Still hurts about half hour later. While I’m in Southern California (USA), my glass is sitting right next to our Christmas tree so I suspect he could have been imported from areas growing Noble Pine trees.
Signature: B

Assassin Bug Nymph

Assassin Bug Nymph

Hi B,
The best we are able to provide for you is a general family identification as there isn’t much detail in your photo.  This appears to be an immature Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae, and they are predators with mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids.  While there is a subfamily Triatominae with members known as Kissing Bugs that suck blood and are a known disease vector for humans, however, we can eliminate that subfamily because the shape is wrong.  Other Assassin Bugs prey on insects and arthropods, however, most are capable of biting humans as well if they are threatened or carelessly handled.  For some reason, we get a disproportionate number of accounts of Assassin Bugs in the genus
Zelus as well as Assassin Bugs in the subfamily Peirantinae, the Corsairs, that will bite humans unprovoked.  There is an immediate sharp pain associated with the bite, exactly as you describe, and the area may remain tender for several days, however, the bite is not considered serious.  We are sorry we are unable to provide anything more conclusive on this Assassin Bug nymph.  Your supposition that this Assassin Bug arrived with the Christmas tree is a strong possibility, however, living in Southern California, it might have been a local species as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: pupa?
Location: san diego ca.
December 27, 2013 10:32 am
found this on Christmas morning attached to my outdoor umbrella! I’ve looked through countless photos and can’t find it. Can you help ID it. Thanks
Signature: don’t understand queastion

California Mantis Ootheca

California Mantis Ootheca

The signature is the name you would like used when we post images and questions.  This is the Ootheca or Egg Case of a Preying Mantis, and based on the similarity to this image from BugGuide, it is an Ootheca from the native California Mantis, Stagmomantis californica.  The ootheca that are sold by nurseries as organic means of controlling pest species in the garden are generally from non-native Preying Mantids that are larger and more aggressive than our native mantids.  While we applaud the good intentions of gardeners who want to use natural means for pest control, we fear that our native Mantids are being displaced and perhaps eaten by their non-native relatives.  This Ootheca appears to have already hatched into approximately fifty tiny mantids.  Here is a photo from our archives of the hatching Ootheca a different species of Mantis.  We also recently photographed a nymph of a California Mantis in our own Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden. 

Subject: Tick like liking bug?
Location: Central fl
December 27, 2013 1:34 pm
What type of bug is this? I was parked under a tree and near some shrubs. I had 5-6 of these bugs on my vehicle. Are they ticks?
Signature: Curious

Tree Stink Bug Nymphs

Tree Stink Bug Nymphs

Dear Curious,
These are not ticks.  They are immature Stink Bugs in the genus
Brochymena.  We matched them to photos on the Stink Bug page of Field and Swamp:  Animals and their Habitats (scroll down) and we verified that by finding this image on BugGuide.  Stink Bugs in the genus Brochymena are known as Tree Stink Bugs or Rough Stink Bugs.

Tree Stink Bug Nymph

Tree Stink Bug Nymph

Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate it.    Have a Happy New Year

Subject: Moth ID, please
Location: SW Nassau County, NY
December 27, 2013 7:08 am
I shot this last August on Long Island, NY.
Love seeing the reach of the proboscis?
Signature: Carl

Skipper

Peck’s Skipper

Hi Carl,
This is not a moth, but rather a Skipper, a member of the butterfly family Hesperiidae, a group that has traditionally been considered an evolutionary transition between the more primitive moths and the more advanced butterflies.  Alas, we are not very good at species or genus identification of Skippers, which according to BugGuide are:  “Generally small, mostly orange or brown butterflies with short fat bodies, hooked antennae and rapid, skipping flight. Some species (chiefly Spreadwing Skippers, subfamily Pyrginae) hold their wings in a single flat plane, many others hold hind wings flat and forewings at an angle.”

Update
Thanks to a comment from Richard Stickney, we now know that this is Peck’s Skipper,
Polites peckius, which is pictured on BugGuide.