Subject: Fly mating with dead fly?
Location: Northeast Florida
June 29, 2014 3:56 pm
I saw this fly (or these flies) today in northeast FL. I thought at first that it was a pair of mating flies and took a few photos. However, it appears that this is a live fly that had been mating with a fly that died, and it was now dragging the dead fly along with it as it walked and flew around. I’ve never seen anything like this before.
Signature: Karen in FL

Flesh Fly matings ends with death of the male!!!

Flesh Fly with dead mate

Dear Karen,
We are positively stunned by your images, which appear to have captured the mating of Flesh Flies in the family Sarcophagidae that ended with the death of one of the partners, from unknown causes.  We can assure you that Flesh Flies do not practice necrophilia, and that for some reason, the individual succumbed while in flagrante delicto, and for yet more unexplained reasons, the sexual bond was not broken after the death.  The red-tipped abdomen is a rather distinctive feature, and upon searching though images on BugGuide, we found at least three genera that have this characteristic:  
SarcophagaOxysarcodexia and Arachnidomyia.  Though they are not necrophiliacs, BugGuide does indicate that:  “Larvae: many species are necrophagous, but some feed in mammalian tissues or parasitize other arthropods (bees, cicadas, termites, grasshoppers/locusts, millipedes), earthworms, or snails(3). Adults feed on various sugar-containing materials such as nectar, sap, fruit juices and honeydew.”  Thanks for providing a very intriguing posting for our site.  Typical Flesh Fly mating should look like this.

Flesh Fly mating ends with death of a partner!!!

Flesh Fly mating ends with death of a partner!!!

Hi Daniel,
I was pretty stunned too when I realized what was going on with that fly! I assumed both flies had been alive when mating began, but I couldn’t imagine what might have killed one partner while leaving the other looking perfectly fine and healthy, except for dragging the dead partner around everywhere it went.
Karen in FL

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID please
Location: Roanoke, VA
June 29, 2014 2:21 pm
Hi. This moth-butterfly alit on the siding of a house. Look familiar?
Signature: denis

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Denis,
The Luna Moth is unmistakable among North American insects, and it is the only member of its genus found in North America, though relatives that look similar are found in other parts of the world, including the Moon Moth of India and 
Actias rhodopneuma from Thailand.

Subject: Beetles in Portugal
Location: Serra da Mamede, Portugal
June 29, 2014 12:39 am
Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for the identification. At the risk of being greedy, could I also ask you to identify this lovely two tailed fly. Found near a stream in the same area, its wingspan and tails are about two and a half inches long.  What does it use these amazing tails for?
Peter Burrows

Thread-Winged Lacewing

Thread-Winged Lacewing

Hi again Peter,
This is a Thread-winged Lacewing or Ribbon Winged Lacewing,
Nemoptera bipennis.  We are not certain why the wings have evolved to have such delicate tails.

Dear Daniel,
Many thanks for this. It is wonderful to have your expertise available on the internet.
With bets wishes, Peter

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Remains of a Swallowtail Exuvia on Avocado Tree
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
June 29, 2014 12:13 PM
We noticed this shell of a Swallowtail Chrysalis in the avocado tree, and we tried to research which species of local Swallowtail has a caterpillar that will feed on the leaves of Avocado.  We have Western Tiger Swallowtails, Giant Swallowtails and Anise Swallowtails in the garden, but none of them feeds on avocado, to the best of our knowledge.  The only Swallowtail listed as eating avocado on the Easy Butterfly Garden website is the Magnificent Swallowtail,
Papilio garamus.  Perhaps this will remain a mystery.  Can the Magnificent Swallowtail have ventured this far north?  Here are additional images of the Magnificent Swallowtail from Animal PHotos.

Shell of a Swallowtail Chrysalis

Shell of a Western Tiger Swallowtail Chrysalis

Julian Donahue provides some input.
Hi Daniel,
The Spicebush Swallowtail is recorded as feeding on another species of Persea, but Tietz’s Index to Described Life Histories…. lists the only swallowtail feeding on Persea americana as Papilio rutulus, the Western Tiger Swallowtail. The BAMONA website doesn’t mention avocado as a hostplant.
Hope this helps,
Julian

The Western Tiger Swallowtails have been seen flying near that avocado tree.

Subject: Found in garden
Location: Central Michigan
June 29, 2014 5:47 am
Hello, I found this in my garden. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Do you have any idea what it is? It is about 3/4 of an inch long.
Signature: David

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Hi David,
We just posted another image of a Squash Vine Borer earlier today.  Your image is interesting in that it contains the exuvia of the pupa, indicating that your individual just emerged as an adult.

Subject: Borer, hickory?
Location: Nashville, Tn
June 29, 2014 9:26 am
These bright yellow bugs are unlike any I have seen. They have a lot more yellow, and the pattern is different than all the other pics on your site. Can you identify this for me? They are all over a Hackberry tree. I did not see any Hackberry borers on your site. Is there such a thing?
Signature: Tanya

Six Banded Longhorn Beetles

Six Banded Longhorn Beetles

Dear Tanya,
Your images are very blurry, and though the details are absent, it is possible to make out the bold markings and bright colors on these Six Banded Longhorn Beetles,
Dryobius sexnotatus, which appear to be mating.  According to BugGuide:  “Primary host: sugar maple (Acer saccharum) (4) (larvae bore in living and dead trees); also basswood, beech, linden and rarely elm (1) Can maintain itself on other hosts for a short period, but survival seems to depend on the availability of large, very old (overmature) sugar maple trees (Perry et al. 1974).”  BugGuide also notes:  “Uncommon/rare (3)(4); widely scattered, populations are sparse (1); listed as rare and threatened on several state websites.  Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.  Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.”

Awesome! Thank you very much for getting back with me! Are they still rare? They were mating quite aggressively a few weeks ago .. lol.
I also inquired about a spined micrathena spider, also a blurry pic. I have attached a better one. Quite beautiful color!

To the best of our knowledge, the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle is still rare.  We did see the Micrathena image, and we did not post it because of the poor quality of the image.  The significance of the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle sighting prompted us to post despite the poor image quality.  We like to choose high quality images for posting whenever possible unless there is some other significant reason, like a great letter, that will encourage our staff to post blurrier images.