Green thing eating a fly?
Location:  Guelph, Ontario, Canada
July 25, 2010 4:21 pm
Saw this bug on a walk today. Looks like it’s eating a fly. It’s summer and I live in Ontario Canada.

Ambush Bug eats Flesh Fly

Hi Brittany,
My, this is a beautiful photograph of an Ambush Bug eating a Flesh Fly.  Ambush Bugs in the subfamily Phumatinae (See BugGuide) have recently been downgraded from having their own family status to being considered a subfamily of the Assassin Bugs.  Ambush Bugs wait on flowers to ambush their prey, often insects that pollinate the flowers.  The fly in your photograph looks like a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae.  Our own Mt. Washington, Los Angeles offices have recently been host to Flesh Flies which seem to enter when the doors are open.  We find several indoors every week.  Flesh Flies maggots feed on rotted meat, be it animal carcasses or putrefied meat from the market.  Adults feed on sweet fluids including nectar (hence the ambush on the blossom), sap and fruit juice.  See BugGuide for more information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fishing Spider?
Location:  Ellsworth, Maine
July 24, 2010 9:11 pm
We were vacationing in northern Maine and after a few days, this spider appeared on the dock with an eggsack. The eggsack then hatched and there were probably around 50-100 little spiders running around. A few days later, Mom and her babies had all disappeared. I looked through your website and it looks like a fishing spider, but I just wanted to check. She was rather large – her body was probably two inches long. In the picture you can sort of see all the babies in the web. We never actually saw her go in the water or leave the web.

Fishing Spider with Spiderlings

Hi Nyle,
This photo is wonderful documentation of the maternal behavior of a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  The female begins by carrying her egg sac around in her chelicerae or fangs.  She will then weave her nursery web in a protected location and continue to guard the egg sac and the newly hatched spiderlings until they begin to disperse.  We believe the species is Dolomedes tenebrosus, though we would not rule out Dolomedes scriptus.

Long tail Skipper, maybe?
Location:  Atlanta, Georgia
July 25, 2010 11:55 am
My wife and I found this on our stairs last night. This thing is about 5 inches across and it didn’t seem to mind being photographed. The photo was taken at around 2:45am on July 25th 2010. It was still pretty warm out. Thanks!
D. Ruffin

Luna Moth

Dear D.,
Though the Long Tailed Skipper has extensions on the hind wings similar to your insect, your Luna Moth is a much larger insect.  Additionally, Skippers do not fly at night, unlike the Luna Moth, arguably North America’s most distinctive looking moth.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for the speedy response! We were amazed when we saw this insect and were anxious to know what it was. I’ve never head of the Luna Moth, but there was a full moon out last night; any correlation to that? Thanks again, you guys are great!

Hi Damon,
We are not certain if Luna Moth flights are in synchronicity with the moon, but we like the idea.  Perhaps one of our readers knows of a study.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Timulla Grotei? Velvet Ant of some type?
Location:  Seminole, Oklahoma
July 24, 2010 6:00 pm
I think I’ve identified this properly! I found this little lady (?) on some leaves in central Oklahoma (Seminole). It was about 1/2-3/4” long and a little hairy. Love your site!
Amy Goodman

Velvet Ant

Hi Amy,
You did an excellent job of identifying your Velvet Ant, though we would caution taking the identification to the species level.  We looked at the specimens of
Timulla grotei posted to BugGuide, and though they look similar to your specimen, the abdominal markings seem different.  There are many similar looking species in the genus Timulla posted to BugGuideOne image in particular, also from Oklahoma, is only identified to the genus level, and that image more closely resembles your gal, though the legs are differently colored.  YOur photos are excellent and perhaps an expert in Velvet Ants will be able to provide a species identification.

Velvet Ant

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila Fly (Boo Hiss!)
Location:  Edmonds, Washington
July 24, 2010 10:37 pm
Hello again, Daniel, here is a picture of a male Spotted Wing Drosophila (only the males have the spots on the end of the wings), as mentioned in an earlier e-mail. It met its demise in one of my vinegar traps by my blueberries. I included the tip of a standard double-pointed wooden toothpick for scale. One pic of it’s belly, the other from the back. You can put the pics/me in your Unnecessary Carnage section if you choose, but this uninvited recent alien arrival on the West Coast is a serious problem (anything that cuts my raspberry harvest in half, is a serious problem–and that’s what they did!). I think I read that they came in from Japan via California. Doing an on-line search brings up more info, particularly good are the sites by the University Extensions in Oregon and Washington. And by the way, in answer to ”Herding Grasshoppers” Mama’s question about 10-lined June Beetles being native to the NW — yes. One of my earliest ”bug memories” is of one of these impressive creatures droning through the air to land with a loud thud on our screen door, on Vashon Island in Puget Sound. That was quite some time ago, ahem…. Being a Nature Geek from a tender age, I was both terrified and fascinated. Anyway, she can let it go, they aren’t in the same league with SWD (Spotted Wing Drosophila). Hope all is going well with the chickens.
Cheers, Beachdee

Cherry Vinegar Fly

Dear Beachdee,
Thanks for sending these important images of a new Invasive Exotic threat to agricultural crops to our site.  We would never consider the control of Invasive Exotic species to be Unnecessary Carnage.  BugGuide identifies this species as the Cherry Vinegar Fly,
Drosophila suzukii, and indicates:  “It is an introduced species from Japan and Far East.
It feeds on healthy fruit, not just rotting fruit as other drosophilids, so it can be a serious agricultural pest. The hosts include:  “Many commercial fruits, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

Cherry Vinegar Fly (ventral surface)

We are amused that there is so much interest in our chickens.  The sun has been up for hours, and we really need to abandon the computer and let the chickens roam for a bit.  We worry about the hawks which are quite common in the area, so we do not leave the youngsters out unsupervised.

Thanks for the kind words and good info, Daniel.  I’ll try for (think I can) a follow-on pic of one of the maggots in a raspberry (to add to your collection and so people know what to look for), but probably can’t until the end of the week because of our schedule.
By the way, good idea to watch the hawks.  Also a word of caution (we had quite a few “pet” fowl when I was a youngster), don’t know if this is a concern in your area, but we ended up having to use the small-bore chicken wire and electrified fence for the night-lockup coop for our ducks, geese, chicken, and peacocks — besides a problem with racoon predation, weasels can get through a very small opening, and the larger-holed chicken wire means nothing to them.  After some losses, we went to electrifying the perimeter, using a double layer of offset small-bore chicken wire below the electrified line, and then could use the larger above it,  because we found one bird dead, not torn up and munched upon, but dead of loss of blood in a locked and intact cage.  We were told it was the work of a weasel or mink.  Turns out it had lain down too close to the front wire and the weasel had snuck up and grabbed it, pulled it to the wire, and they’ll often bite and lap the blood but not actually eat the meat.  Not to alarm but just to caution, as there are ways to make it difficult to impossible for such to happen, if one knows ahead of time.  We did have a weasel living in our patio rockery in town, it’s not just the countryside…and I know what a bummer it is to lose one of the flock.  If nobody in your area is having problems with predators, probably not to worry.  Hopefully you’ll never have problems.    Cheers, Beachdee

Thanks for the followup information.  Our Los Angeles predators include coyotes and raccoons as well as hawks and owls, and there are no longer any foxes in the vicinity.  Luckily we do not have weasels.  The coop has a heavy duty screen, and though the chicken run is made of chicken wire, we lock the hens away in the more secure coop at night.

Your wonderful website assists in Blister Beetle “bite” in Arizona
July 25, 2010 1:42 am
Hi Folks,
Love your website and just registered. As soon as I can find my darned Visa, I will be sending along a donation; I truly appreciate your labor of love and use your site frequently. Tonight, I was “bitten” by a Blister Beetle, which I identified due to your website. Of course, I wasn’t bitten; Mr. Beetle was in my shirt (I had just taken it off the clothesline) and laid down on it…CRUNCH! Then, burning and swelling. I washed the area with soap, took a Benedryl, applied a cold compress over Neosporin on my back. There was no itching, but certainly a burning feeling, and I became very worried. The bug (crushed) was still identifiable with the help from your site. Then I googled Arizona Blister Beetle and found from other sites I was not “bitten”. The substance in the joints of the bug had caused a chemical reaction on skin that can result in blistering and just the reactions I experienced. I also found I had already done all the right things. But I wouldn’t have known where to
begin identification without your website. A big thanks, watch for my grateful donation!

Dear elliemay,
Thanks for letting us know that we have been helpful.  We hope you recover quickly from your encounter with the Blister Beetle.