black and yellow bugs
August 13, 2009
I saw these guys munching on some strange mushroom-like growth that appeared on the edge of the woods. The fungi and the bugs seemed to have appeared overnight. The bugs were quick but did not leave the mushroom even when I harassed them with my close contact. What are they?
Linda
southcentral Kentucky

Carrion Beetles
Carrion Beetles

Dear Linda,
These are American Carrion Beetles, Necrophila americana.  Both adults and larvae consume carrion and the maggots that are attracted to the rotting flesh, but we have received other reports associating them with mushrooms.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thread Waisted Wasps Mating
August 13, 2009
Hi, I just saw these two in the garden, and just found them on your site! Ironic that the description onsite said they could often be seen mating in the garden because that’s exactly what they were doing when I saw them! Hope you can use the pictures and thanks again for a great site!
Kathleen Haines
Newport News, VA (southeastern VA)

Thread Waisted Waps Mating

Thread Waisted Waps Mating

Hi Kathleen,
Thanks for sending us your excellent images of Thread Waisted Wasps, Eremnophila aureonotata, mating in your garden.  Indeed, Bugguide does state:  “Female digs burrow and provisions with a single large lepidopteran larvae. These are reported to include various moths from the families Noctuidae, Notodontidae (especially), and Sphingidae, and also skippers (Hesperidae).  The wasp is commonly found on wildflowers with large clusters of blossoms, such as Queen Anne’s Lace, from summer into fall. One frequently observes mating pairs on the flowers.

Thread Waisted Wasps Mating

Thread Waisted Wasps Mating

Sphinx Moths
August 13, 2009
Hello there! First of all, I love your site!
I just wanted to share these pics of what I believe are a Virginia Creeper Sphinx and Rustic Sphinx that I found at the gas station early this morning. Thankfully I always keep at least one of my cameras with me and was able to take these photos. Especially since I’ve never seen a Rustic before. It was pretty big! I tried to pick it up for a size comparison, but it fluttered around in my hand and then flew away.
D. Ashley
Minden, Louisiana.

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Dear D.,
Thanks for sending us your two wonderful photographs of correctly identified Sphinx Moths.  The Virginia Creeper Sphinx is Darapsa myron, and you can read more about it on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  The Rustic Sphinx is Manduca rustica and it can also be found on Bill Oehlke’s website.

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Owlet Moth?
August 13, 2009
This preaty fellow was hanging out a few nights ago. According to BugGuide it seems to fall into the owlet moth catagory. There are no colorful ones like this on that sight, nor any that matched on yours that I could find. It was about 1.25-1.5 inches in length. Had pale yellow and black markings on the wings, and a bright orange head. Most of the moths up here look like leaves, so this one caught my eye, I wasn’t sure if he was trying to be disgued as something, but I couldnt make out anyting in the pattern. Thanks again!
Jess
Rhode Island, USA

Clymene Moth

Clymene Moth

Hi Again Jess,
We are in that “just one more” mode of posting and we really need to rush off to work.  This is not an Owlet Moth.  It is a Tiger Moth, Haploa clymen, commonly called the Clymene Moth.  You may read more about it on BugGuide.  Tiger Moths and Owlet Moths are both in the superfamily Noctuoidea.

Louse Fly! Self defense or carnage?
August 13, 2009
This handsom fellow decided to scuttle off a patient I was holding and onto my shirt. While I’m very bug friendly, something about a tick with wings was scary. The patient I was holding was a red tail hawk, so needless to say I couldn’t let him go as I was more concerned about raptor claws than the ugly flat bug. After searching it looks like this is some kind of louse fly, you only seem to have one from England on your web page so here is another. I hmm impaled it on a very small 25 g needle, though it looks like a railroad spike in the pics. I didn’t want it jumping ship and visiting some of our more domestic patients avian or otherwise. From your one post it looks like they are species specific like lice. I still call it defense, at least of the patients in the animal hospital, but maybe it’s carnage? Oh he’s 1 cm long and flat as a tick, flies at a moderate pace, and scuttles sideways when walking.
Jess
Rhode Island, USA

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

Hi Jess,
Extenuating circumstances are always considered when we try to decide if a posting with a dead insect should be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  You are off the hook on this one in our mind, but another jury may decide differently.  We believe this is a Pigeon Louse Fly, Pseudolynchia canariensis, an introduced species from Europe.  BugGuide has the following information on the Pigeon Louse Fly:  “Range  Found wherever pigeons are encountered in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas with mild winters worldwide. It occurs throughout the Southeastern United States. Imported from Europe.
Food  A common ectoparasite of pigeons and doves
Life Cycle  Louse flies have a very interesting reproductive strategy. The female produces one larva at a time and retains the developing larva in her body until it is ready to pupate. The larva feeds on the secretions of a “milk gland” in the uterus of its mother. After three larval instars, the larva has reached its maximum size, the mother gives birth to the white pre-pupa which immediately begins to darken and form the puparium or pupal shell. The pupa of the pigeon louse fly looks like a dark brown, egg-shaped seed. The pupa is found in the nest of the host or on ledges where the birds roost. When the fly has completed its metamorphosis, the winged adult emerges from the puparium and flies in search of a host.
Remarks  Both adult males and females feed on the blood of their host. They are adapted for clinging to and moving through the plumage and pelage of their hosts. Strongly specialized claws help them cling to the hair or feathers of their particular host species. Pigeon flies retain their wings for their entire adult life.  This fly is a carrier of a protozoan disease, pigeon malaria.
”  Since hawks prey upon pigeons, we suspect this Pigeon Louse Fly may have “jumped ship” when its intended host was snatched by the hawk.

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

We do have additional images of Louse Flies on our site, but when we migrated last year, we did not sub-classify the flies.  Our archive is so extensive.  We are trying to create subcategories for new postings, and the old ones may have to wait for a paid intern.  That sounds like an excellent opportunity for a grant for a graduate student.

Pigeon Louse Fly

Pigeon Louse Fly

Two-Spotted Tree Cricket
August 13, 2009
i too live in Ohio, near Dayton. just last night, i found a male two-spotted tree cricket on my kitchen blinds. i searched the internet in hopes to identify it, and found my answer here. my cricket had the same body, but was different in color – light all over with red eyes! i don’t see where I can upload a pic to show you, but thanks for the help!
betsy

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Betsy,
We cannot be certain that this is a Two Spotted Tree Cricket, but it is definitely some species of Tree Cricket.