Big Moth with red dot.
Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 3:23 PM
I’m going to guess it was about three inches long. It was about eight at night when I heard some fluttering, which, by the way, was really loud. At first, I thought it was a big bee. After awhile of it being a Kamikaze, smacking itself in the window, it just kind of sat still, tired or giving up. And I moved into bombard it with pictures.
Rachel
San Jose, California

White Lined Sphinx

White Lined Sphinx

Hi Rachel,
Your moth is a somewhat battered While Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata. The red dot on the thorax has been caused by the scales wearing off the body, revealing the hard chitinous exoskeleton beneath. The White Lined Sphinx seems to be experiencing quite a population explosion this year, with numerous individuals being reported. We received one letter from the La Jolla, CA area reporting hundreds of White Lined Sphinx flying at dusk.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Boring Beetle? – Turkey
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:39 AM
We saw these flying rather loudly around willow trees near a stream north of Gaziantep, Turkey. They were quite active and a bit skittish but once I caught one it calmed down long enough for me to get a photo. It’s about an inch and a half long or a little more.
kipouros
Gaziantep/Araban Prefecture/Turkey

Mediterranean Flathead Woodborer

Mediterranean Flathead Woodborer

Dear kipouros,
Many years ago we identified a very similar Buprestid, or Metallic Wood Boring Beetle from Italy.  We believe it is the same species, Capnodis tenebrionis which goes by the common name Mediterranean Flathead Woodborer. The adults feed on the leaves of apricot trees, almond trees and other stone fruits. The larvae bore into the roots and cause great damage.  We located a fine website with information and photos.

Ed. Note Correction: December 31, 2010
Two different readers have provided a correction for us, identifying this Borer as a different member in the same genus:
Capnodis cariosa.

Arachnid, stingerless scorpion???
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM
found this creature on my kitchen counter. about 1/8 in. long and 1/16-1/8 in wide, a very tiny thing. this is the second one that we have EVER laid our eyes on. pictures are attached.
c_seiber
East Tennesse Region

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpion

Dear c_seiber,
This is a harmless Pseudoscorpion.  Various species are found nearly worldwide, and they are often encountered in peoples homes where they do their best to dispatch unwanted insect and arthropod visitors.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hitchhiker on a crane fly
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM
I was taking pictures of the moths and bugs surrounding our outside light last night and after enlarging this shot of a crane fly I noticed this little white guy waving from a rear leg while hanging on for dear life. I know crane flies don’t carry their young around so I was wondering what it is. I sent you a larger file so you can enlarge it enough to see the critter.
Larry
Sonoma County, California

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Hi Larry,
When we saw your subject line, we thought the hitchhiker must be either a mite or a pseudoscorpion, the two common phoretic organisms that are frequent subjects of our identifications. Phoresy is a nice scientific name for opportunistic hitchhiking. Your creature appears to be an insect, though we are uncertain of its identity, and we wonder if the hitchhiking may have been accidental. We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion on this.

Phoretic Insect? or Accidental Hitchhiker???

Update: Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Daniel:
LOL!  I’m sorry, I just had to laugh.  The “hitchhiker” is a shed exoskeleton, most likely from an aphid that might have used the crane fly’s leg as a place to perch while molting.  I laugh out of empathy because I’ve made the same kind of assumption myself, many times, when presented with unfamiliar circumstances.
Eric

Shiny Green Beetle
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM
HI, I found this beetle outside the local elementary school. I live in far western Kansas, and the weather yesterday was in the 70s (after a weekend of rain and several weeks of 50s-60s weather). I didn’t think it was a June beetle because the back looks a little different.
Jonathan Liu
Tribune, KS

female Rainbow Scarab

female Rainbow Scarab

Hi Jonathan,
You have found a female Rainbow Scarab, Phanaeus vindex, a species of Dung Beetle.  The male Rainbow Scarab has a prominent horn.

Bumblebee-like Hovering
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM
This is mid-April in Concord, CA. These guys seem to stake out a territory. This one hovers near the potted Asparagus Fern and the geraniums. Another hovers around the white Lilac. They chase others of the same species and then come back to their hover spot. They are there all day, day after day. They are quite bumblebee like, in that they are black with yellow thorax and shiny black abdomen. They make a buzzing sound and they don’t seem at all aggressive or concerned about human presence. There are citrus trees in bloom on the property, though not sure these are active in those flowers.
ApU
Concord, CA 94520

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Dear ApU,
Your photo resembles a Carpenter Bee and the behavior you describe is similar to the behavior we have witnessed in male Valley Carpenter Bees staking out territory and hoping to attract mates, but male Valley Carpenter Bees are an overall lovely golden color.  We consulted BugGuide, and we believe your specimens are a related species, Xylocopa tabaniformis.