Bess Beetle
Location:  Spencer, TN
October 13, 2010 6:02 pm
Hello!
First of all, I LOVE your website. I came across it about three years ago, and it has been quite useful for me in identifying the House Centipede, the Micrathena Spider, the female Velvet Ant, the female Dobsonfly, and most recently (today) the Bess Beetle. I went camping last weekend and found this ’little’ guy on our firewood. I quickly scooped him into a box and put him on a tree away from the campsites (and away from people). Of course I took a couple photos before letting him go on his way, so I have two photos for you. One with him next to my hand for size comparison (I have long hands, so he was right at 1.5 inches), and another close-up in front of his face. Enjoy!
Signature:  Sarah

Bess Beetle

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your kind letter.  We love Bess Beetles, also known as Patent Leather Beetles, because of their complex family structures where the larvae are cared for by the adults.  We wish we were not late for work or we would elaborate more on this posting.  We hope our readership will search for Bess Beetle postings in our archive to read more about these fascinating social insects.

Bess Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Praying Mantis
Location:  Corona,CA
October 13, 2010 8:59 pm
I found a praying mantis at school in a bush. I was just wondering what kind it is.
Signature:  Freeman

Mediterranean Mantis

Dear Freeman,
We really love your photo of this Mediterranean Mantis in a threat posture.  You will find other images of Mediterranean Mantids in the threat posture on BugGuide.
According to BugGuide, it is a non-native species whose range is expanding.

Mediterranean Mantis

Ancient looking bug
Location:  Branson, MO
October 13, 2010 7:23 pm
Hi Daniel,
My folks took this picture of a very cool bug while vacationing in Branson MO. I tried to find it on your site but was not able to.
I am not sure of the size of it either, unfortunately.
The picture was taken in September of this year.
Signature:  Mike Healy

Ed. Note:  29 Minutes Later
Hey Daniel,
I just logged on and took a quick look at the top ten and low and behold, there was the bug that I could not find when I was looking for it. I was looking the wrong family entirely. I was thinking that it was some sort of weevil. Clearly a Wheel Bug is not a weevil.
Have a great holiday season with your family.
Mike Healy

Wheel Bug

Hi Mike,
We are so happy you were able to find your Wheel Bug identified in our archives.  We wish more people would check out our Top 10.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Not a cicada killer

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Not a cicada killer
Location:  Cocoa (Brevard Co.), Florida, USA
October 13, 2010 8:54 pm
Hi Bugman!
Can you ID this big hymenopteran for me? He’s big, like almost cicada killer size, but seems more delicately built and slower moving. (We have cicada killers in the yard too–this is different, I’m pretty sure.) I’ve seen him several times on my stand of Monarda punctata and he sticks his little head waaaaaay into the flowers(nectaring? Pollening?). Seems almost clumsy while climbing on the plants (compared to the bees, wasps, flies, skippers) that are zipping around on there). He’s by far the biggest critter out there–except for the bigger butterflies–and among the slowest. He’s also quite hairy. A scoliid? Photos taken in late afternoon, Oct. 13, 2010, on Monarda punctata.
Thanks for your help and for this site–I can spend HOURS just looking and reading….fascinating stuff!
Signature:  LG

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Hi LG,
You are correct about this being a Scoliid Wasp, and we believe it is
Campsomeris plumipes, one of the Scarab Hunter Wasps.  You can compare your images to the numerous images posted on BugGuide.

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Thanks very much for getting back to me—and so quickly! Doing more reading I’m now thinking that what I thought were standard scarab hunters in the yard are the females on their hunting mission and this guy is a male? Looks like the shape of the abdomen differs between sexes.

Insects
Location:  Orlando, Fl
October 13, 2010 3:22 pm
Dear Bugman, I was out by the lake taking pictures, when I spotted this little guy. I’ve lived in Fl all my life, where weird bugs are the norm. But I have never seen anything like it before. Could you please tell me what type of insect this is? Thanks, I appreciate your help!
Signature:  Sincerely, Karen V

Monkey Slug

Hi Karen,
This is a Monkey Slug Caterpillar, but it looks quite different from other Monkey Slugs on our website, and we believe that this is because it is an earlier instar.  We did find a matching image on BugGuide.

October 13, 2010
Daniel just listened to the excerpts from the forty minute interview he gave to The Osgood File producer, and he was quite surprised by the lead in regarding making money by killing bugs.  Anyone who has spent any time on this website knows that we promote tolerance of insects and we prominently display the phrase “
What’s That Bug? does not endorse extermination” on each of our posts.  While it is true that indiscriminate extermination is a way to make money off of bugs, this option is not discussed anywhere in the book The Curious World of Bugs, nor on this website.  It is our mission to educate the web browsing public about Unnecessary Carnage and to promote tolerance of the lower beasts.  Daniel has learned an important lesson.  He will be very cautious about answering any interview questions about Bed Bug infestations and he will clearly state that extermination is beyond the scope of his expertise lest his words be taken out of context again through the editing process.  Now that you have gotten the disclaimer, tune in to The Osgood File interview on westwoodone.com.

October 11, 2010
This morning Daniel did two additional radio interviews with WOCM-FM “Bulldog and the Rude Awakening” in Ocean City MD, and WLW-AM “Jim Scott Show” in Cincinnati OH.  If they are local shows for you, be sure to tune in.  Last week Daniel had an interview with IRN-USA Radio Network in order to provide sound bytes for national news broadcasts.

Hitting Shelves October 5

You can preorder the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an Independent Bookseller now!