Woolly caterpillar ID?
Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:16 PM
Hi, Bugman!
I love your site, and I’ve used it many times to identify creepy and not so creepy crawlers, hoppers and fliers that I’ve found while out photographing the wonders of nature. However, I browsed your caterpillar category all the way back to 2005, and didn’t see one of these. The closest was the ‘Laugher’.
This past September, I noticed something white and fluffy on a tree or bush (sorry! I can’t now remember which). On close inspection, it turned out to be a caterpillar, and there wasn’t just one, but many.
They looked for all the world as though they were covered in cotton wool shag carpeting. I wish I could tell you what sort of bush or tree they were feeding on, but I know as much about horticulture as I do entomology, and that’s not a whole lot. Plus I kinda, sorta forgot to take note.
These pics were taken at ~15:40 on the 7th of September in Southwestern Ontario, in an area with diverse habitats nearby. Lots of woods, open spaces, small marshy spots.
I severely reduced the size of the images to save bandwidth, but they should be large enough to identify the subject. If you do want larger ones, you need only ask!
Thanks in advance!!
Frank
Southwestern Ontario, Canada

Butternut Woolly Worm

Butternut Woolly Worm

Hi Frank,
Though it looks like a caterpillar, the Butternut Woolly Worm, Eriocampa juglandis, is actually a Sawfly Larva. Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees. The Butternut Woolly Worm feeds on the leaves of black walnut, butternut and hickory.

Butternut Woolly Worm

Butternut Woolly Worm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What the…
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 3:55 AM
Hello.. Can you please identify this bug that we have been finding around. We have found it crawling on our body, laptop screen and even in the bathroom.
Help is required
Australia, Melbourne

Tropical Rat Mite, possibly

Tropical Rat Mite, possibly

Dear Help,
We believe you probably need a true specialist for this identification, but we are leaning toward the Tropical Rat Mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti. We first located an image on BugGuide, but it is very tiny. Then we found a wonderful informative website on Biting Mites in Homes. The website states: ”
Rat and bird mite infestations occur in structures where rat or bird nests are located. Infestations are sometimes first noticed following extermination, or after the natural hosts have died or left the structure. Infestations may also occur where heavy mite infestations have developed around a rodent or bird nest. Rat mites are small, approximately the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They move actively and can be picked up with a wet finger, brush or piece of sticky tape. Distinguishing between different species of Ornithonyssus mites to determine whether birds or rodents are the likely source is difficult and requires special expertise. The best first course of action, when faced with biting mite problem is to look for all potential bird or rodent sources.”

It could also be the tropical fowl mite or bird mite (Ornithonyssus bursa). For information check out: http://www.wsahs.nsw.gov.au/icpmr/pdf/0263.pdf Good luck.
KK

Flying insect
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 5:43 AM
Hello! Once again I am calling upon your wealth of knowledge to help me ID a most intriguing insect….seen in one of our fields while out looking for butterflies to ‘shoot’. This was taken in July. Any idea what he/she is?
Thank you for your time!
Pat Garner, Hawk Point, MO
Taken in Lincoln County

Picture Winged Fly

Picture Winged Fly

Hi Pat,
This unusual creature is a Picture Winged Fly in the family Ulidiidae. Of all the species posted to BugGuide, your photo looks most like Delphinia picta, but both the head shape and wing pattern are different. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide a species identification.

Daniel:
Sorry to be late in replying….
The picture-winged fly is Tritoxa incurva.  Looks like it has its mouthparts extended, giving it a long-faced look.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this rare to Minnesota?
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM
I photographed these in August in my backyard, I had never seen them before. I have learned, from the University of Minnesota and your website that they are megarhyssa atrata. They are beautiful. Can you tell me if these are rare to my area, or can I expect more of them in the future? Thank you so much for your help.
Anita, Plymouth MN
Plymouth, Minnesota

Giant Ichneumons laying eggs

Giant Ichneumons laying eggs

Hi Anita,
Your Giant Ichneumons, Megarhyssa atrata, do range in Minnesota and they are not uncommon.  the likelihood of seeing them in the future probably depends upon a food source.  The adult females in your photo are laying eggs in the wood of a tree that is infested with wood boring larvae, most likely those of the Pigeon Horntail.  As long as dead and dying wood is present and that wood is infested with the host insect, there will be a ready food supply for the Megarhyssa atrata and you will probably see the adults.

Large Ant? with arms
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 9:12 AM
Dear Bugman,
I have been searching the internet to figure out what this bug is, but can’t seem to figure out how to describe it. When I first saw it walking across the floor I thought it was a scorpion. (but obviously not from the photo) It is about an inch long with large body(?abdomen) and 10 appendages. The front two it seems to use to feel along the ground and when at rest it holds them up like claws in a defense-like stance, but I can’t see any pincers on the ends. It has a tear drop shaped head with a single spot on the top that looks like the only “eye” sort of spot on its head. It is also rather furry like a honey bee. I’d really appreciate it if you could tell me what it is and whether it is potentially harmful. I found it indoors in a hangar that was converted into office and lab space, so not well insulated/sealed and with lots of trees and undeveloped areas nearby.
Wondering in CO
Northern Colorado

Sun Spider

Sun Spider

Hi Wondering,
This amazing creature is a Solpugid, also commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion though it is neither a spider nor a scorpion. Solpugids do not possess venom, so they are harmless unless you are small enough to be prey. We believe Solpugids might well be the fiercest predators, gram per gram, on the planet.

Mantispid?
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 10:18 AM
Back in June, we found this fascinating insect in our kitchen. He must have flown in and been attracted by the ventahood light. At first, I thought it was a wasp and was going to smash it (I’m allergic to wasps, so they get no quarter from me), but then I noticed that its front legs were distinctly mantis-like. So I called the boys to see the “funny-looking” mantis, and my son (a budding naturalist) said he thought it might be a “mantis-wasp” imitating a pepsis wasp. After an hour of searching through images of
wasps and mantids with no luck, I found the mantispid pictures on your site. I think we’ve properly identified him, but the naturalist wants confirmation.
Wendy (Mom), Caleb (the budding naturalist), and Isaac Anderson
Memphis, Tennessee

Mantidfly

Mantidfly

Hi Wendy, Caleb and Isaac,
You are correct. This is a Mantidfly or Mantispid. Of all the genera and species posted to BugGuide, your specimen looks the most like Leptomantispa pulchella, but it doesn’t appear to be a perfect match.