this stung my wife
Location:  SE PA woods
August 27, 2010 5:08 pm

Mating Wheel Bugs

This is a they and they are mating Wheel Bugs.  Wheel Bugs do not sting, but rather, they bite, and the bite is reported to be quite painful, but not dangerous.  You should release them from their cup as they are important predators that will help keep the population of plant eating insects in check.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Canoodling Saturniids
Location:  Western Pennsylvania (Slippery Rock)
August 27, 2010 9:26 pm
Hi, Daniel,
I am attaching two pictures of mating Saturniid moths, but I could not tell if they were Promethea Moths or Tulip Tree Silk Moths. You’ll notice from the file names that I first misidentified them as Io moths. About six weeks ago, these two were found on the screen over our mud room window, and there they stayed for many hours – literally most of the day. When night fell, they were gone. These are such elegant creatures.
Glenn Marsch

Mating Prometheus Moths

Hi Glenn,
These mating Prometheus Moths are truly lovely.  The moth closer to the camera is the dark male, and we suspect he looks larger because of the use of a wide angle lens which is distorting the perspective since the female is generally the larger of the sexes.

Wow, that was quick, and I am impressed.  Thanks for the ID.  Now I can go to my Flickr site & update the caption.
Best Regards,

If you’re there, What’s This Bug?! It just bit my son…
Location:  Seminole, Oklahoma
August 27, 2010 7:42 pm
He crawled into a hole my boxer had dug to get a toy that dropped into it. Apparently this beetle got into his shorts, and then bit him. It has a probe/proboscis mouth, not pincers. Just want to know if it’s anything I need to worry about. I’m searching Bugguide now. Thanks so much…
Amy Goodman

Black Assassin Bug

Hi Amy,
it is very difficult to see through the bag.  Might be a Black Corsair.

or maybe a Masked Hunter.

That is what I identified it as myself, though I’m the beginner of beginners in identifying bugs.  I found a photo, based on the shape of a wheel bug (minus the wheel) and knowing that the wheel bug was an assasin beetle.  I googled “black assasin beetle” and came up with a photo of a female black corsair with the same exact “vestigal wing pads” and body, down to the horizontal segmented look to the concave back.  Also, remembering what you said about the wheel bug using it’s mouth to pierce reminded me of this bug.  So I thank you very much.  I know she’s not dangerous, but all sites say the bite is “quite painful” or “nasty” and my five year old agrees!  He’s much better now, and I won’t let him crush the bug… I promise!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful egg or chrysalis
Location:  Cherokee County, NC
August 23, 2010 5:28 pm
I’ve seen these things every now and then, but I’ve never been able to find an image(or identification for that matter) of them online.
The ”capsule” was hanging from a thread about an inch long that was fastened to the underside of a privet leaf. It reminds me of a lacewing’s egg, but I’ve never seen one this color, and image searches proved to be useless as well. I figure that it could possibly be some sort of chrysalis, but it’s rather small and seems to be fairly smooth.
Any ID or some pointers leading to an ID is greatly appreciated. I love checking in on the site every day or two to see what’s new.

Ichneumon Cocoon

Hi Jacob,
We opened your photo and letter the other day, and we were pressed for time and we didn’t know where to begin with your identification.  Today, we were trying to identify an Ichneumon image that was sent to us and we stumbled across this posting on BugGuide that is identified as the Cocoon of an Ichneumon in the subfamily Campopleginae.  Bingo, that was your cocoon.  Please excuse the late response.  We identified this mystery quite by accident and then we had to go through old mail to locate your letter.  Luckily the subject line was memorable.  Here is the comment Charley Elseman posted to BugGuide:  “One of many subfamilies of ichneumonids. Most other ichneumonids form cocoons within their hosts, or at least within their hosts’ cocoons, and as far as I know none have fancy patterns like this. I think that many different campoplegines make cocoons with a pattern reminiscent of this one, but only a few suspend them from a string like this. Bob Carlson may be able to say something more specific about it.
”  Bob Patterson wrote this comment:  “See the page on Parasites, Predators and Parasitoids at MPG. There is no doubt equivalent and even better material to be found here at BugGuide.

Thanks for the identification! That link to BugGuide helped ID some of the little wasps that have been sneaking around the house lately on top of helping to ID the cocoon.

Better SLR pics of the possible Carolina Mantis
Location:  SW Ohio
August 27, 2010 2:36 pm
Lucked onto the mantis again when my DSLR was handy. My apologies for the ones I sent before.

Carolina Mantis

Hi Kitsa,
This is indeed a Carolina Mantis,
Stagomantis carolina, and the short wings and wide abdomen indicate that this is a flightless female.  See BugGuide for more information.

Carolina Mantis

Some kind of fly
Location:  Portugal
August 27, 2010 3:12 pm
I found this fly on my bean plants the other day. No idea what it is. Can you help me identifying it?

Feather-Legged Fly

Hi Dania,
We started to try to identify your fly on BugGuide before we realized you were writing from Portugal.  Your insect is a close match to the Feather-Legged Fly
Trichopoda pennipes, and we suspect it is closely related.  Feather-Legged Flies are Tachinid Flies and according to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on nectar, larvae are internal parasites of true bugs.  Life Cycle:  Adult female lays one to several eggs on a hemipteran host. The larvae hatch from the eggs and burrow directly into the bug’s body, though only one larva will survive within each host. The larva feeds on the host internally and eventually a large cream-colored maggot exits from body of the bug (which soon dies). The maggot pupates in a dark reddish-brown puparium in the soil and emerges as an adult about two weeks later. There are up to three generations a year depending on location, and larvae may overwinter in the bodies of overwintering hosts. BugGuide also indicates:  “Often used as biological control of hemipteran pest species such as squash bugs, stink bugs, and plant bugs.  May hover above squash plants in search of prey.  According to Paul Beuk it has been ‘introduced into Europe and is now frequently spotted in the south. Its exotic appearance has dumbfounded many a European entomologist. That final statement implies that Feather-Legged Flies are not native to Europe, so this fly may be a North American species afterall.  Your beautiful images are a wonderful addition to our archives.

Feather-Legged Fly

Thanks, Daniel.
That’s very interesting. I was quite intrigued by it since I had never seen anything like that before. Now I’m curious as to how common they are around here, I will certainly be paying more attention from now on. Thanks again.