Spider Wasp: Entypus unifasciatus
Location:  North Middle Tennessee
August 3, 2010 8:32 pm
Hi Daniel,
I think I have an ID on this very busy wasp. I believe it is an ”Entypus unifasciatus” (no common name) It was in the grass and a brush pile. It would go beneath the grass and emerge several inches away, never still. A bit diffult to photograph, this is the best shot of three or four attempts. My very best wishes to you.

Spider Wasp

Hi Richard,
You have done a nice job of identifying your Spider Wasp,
Entypus unifasciatus.  BugGuide has a very informative page on this species which is reported to have a transcontinental range but for the Pacific Northwest.  The active behavior is a characteristic of the Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae.  The females often rapidly dart about on the ground waving their antennae in search of spiders to feed to their progeny.  BugGuide describes the habitat as:  “Always in semi-open or open situations (“waste areas”, meadows, pastures, open woods and edges, desert, semi-arid grassland, etc.). Never found in deep woods.”  Of the life cycle, BugGuide explains:  “Parasitoid of spiders, including wolf spiders (Lycosidae). Prey records only exist for E. unifasciatus unifasciatus. They are known to prey on Pardosa riparia and Rabidosa rabida and “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.”  Though this is reported to be a common species with a transcontinental range, your letter is only the second posting we have of this species on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thank you!
August 3, 2010 10:23 pm
I’ve been faithfully reading every new entry on WTB, and I can’t help but feel happy knowing that you’ve created an avenue for the public’s questions about the little six-legged creatures they find. You have a wonderful way of encouraging the acceptance and enjoyment of the arthropod world, and I wish you best of luck on any future endeavors.
Thanks again!
Megan Hussey

Hi Megan,
Your email really cheered us up.

Robber fly
Location:  Fairfield, Maine
August 3, 2010 9:40 pm
Dear Bugman,
I was taking photos of this Robber fly on my hammock stand, when it swooped at my face and caught a flesh fly (I think) right in front of me and landed back where I was photographing it to eat. I have checked BugGuide and believe this is female Efferia pogonias. Does it have a common name or nickname? Do you know what the little honey-colored sacs on its sides are? There is one between the wing and the behind the wing and the ”shoulder” of the hind-most leg. You can also see them looking down through the wings from the top.
James R

Robber Fly eats fly

Hi James,
We cannot tell if the prey in your photo is a Flesh Fly, but it is definitely another Dipteran.  You may be correct that this is
Efferia pogonias based on images posted to BugGuide, but we believe, based on the shape of the tip of the abdomen, that this is a male.  Perhaps someone with more experience can confirm.  The vestigial wings you asked about are known as halteres, and they are primarily for balance according to the Orkin Fly Anatomy web page.  According to BugGuide:  “haltere noun, plural halteres. – two small knobbed appendages rising from each side of the thorax in the order Diptera just where the posterior pair of wings would arise were they present, and to which they are analogous. They tend to balance the insect in flight.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the I.D. and extra info!
I never would have guessed those were vestigial wings;  What a cool feature.
Best regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Moth
Location:  Sarasota, FL
August 3, 2010 8:43 pm
Saw this moth outside of my office one day, it was yellowish and fairly big. it looked like it had color under it’s wings so I nudged it (very lightly I promise) to see the pattern under the wing. I was not disappointed as it had two very large faux eyes and bright red, yellow and orange coloring. Just hoping for an ID. Thanks a lot guys. Love the site by the way, found it Stumbling one day and I’ve been addicted since.

Male Io Moth

Hi Tim,
Thanks for the compliment.  Your moth is a male Io Moth.  The female is slightly larger and has brown upper wings.  The eyespots are very effective in dissuading predators like birds.  When the bird nudges the moth and the eyespots are revealed, what was once thought correctly to be a toothsome meal is mistaken for a large threat.  Interestingly, the Io Moth is one of the smaller North American Giant Silkmoths.


Location:  Bellville, Ohio
August 3, 2010 6:26 pm
I thought you might like these pictures of A Black Swallowtail, from start to finish.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Jim,
Thanks for sending us your wonderful documentation of the metamorphosis of a Black Swallowtail.  Maria Sibylla Merian would be impressed.  It appears as though the Chrysalis image is of the exuvia, the cast off skin after the butterfly has emerged.  It is also quite curious that the Chrysalis is up-side-down.  Generally the Swallowtail Butterflies make a Chrysalis that is upright and supported by the silk girdle.

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis (butterfly emerged)

The adult imago is a female.  The female has blue markings while the male has yellow spots.

Female Black Swallowtail

Form Test
Location:  Queensland. Australia
August 3, 2010 5:10 pm
Hi Daniel,
Hope this gets there okay. A wandering doodle bug (antlion). Poor ants, those jaws must be a nasty surprise when they fall in a pit trap.


Hi Trevor,
Thanks for helping us to improve our submission form.  Your Doodlebug photo is awesome.