Cicada killer!!!
August 19, 2009
Thought you guys would like these cool pictures of a cicada killer (I think) attacking a cicada!!! I heard a weird buzz and saw them fighting so I ran and got my camera…enjoy!!!
Brian M
Baltimore, MD

Cicada Killer stings Cicada

European Hornet stings Cicada

Hi Brian,
Wow.  What a fantastic action photo of a female Cicada Killer stinging a Cicada to feed her brood.

Correction
August 29, 2009
Hi, Daniel:
“Cicada killer stinging cicada” is actually a European hornet, Vespa crabro.  They are large, pretty fearless predators on a variety of other insects.  They will also raid bee hives for the honey, crushing worker bees in their massive jaws along the way.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please identify these bugs
August 18, 2009
This summer I came across these two bugs and I haven’t been able to identify them. Could you email me info. Thank you.
Vanoy
Ballinger, Texas, June 2009

Mating Net-Winged Beetles

Mating Net-Winged Beetles

Hi Vanoy,
Though they look mothlike, there are actually beetles.  Net-Winged Beetles are in the family Lycidae, and we are relatively certain your specimens are in the genus Lycus.  BugGuide has two similar looking species, and we are not certain if your beetles are Lycus arizonensis or Lycus fernandezi.  BugGuide also indicates that adults eat nectar and honeydew.

Mating Net-Winged Beetles

Mating Net-Winged Beetles

never seen this one!
August 18, 2009
I was out shooting at Goose Lake Praire in Illinois and came across this red eyed black and grey bumble bee looking bug.Ive never seen one before …any ideas? One friend thought it was a bee fly but I cant find any photos that look like mine?! Also it looks like it maybe laying orange eggs or maybe thats part of the plant?
Denise
Illinois

Bot Fly Ovipositing

Rabbit Bot Fly Ovipositing

Hi Denise,
Someone has been hard at work on BugGuide identifying all the Bot Flies in the genus Cuterebra to the species level.  We do not have the necessary skills to perform that task for you.  Bot Flies are mammalian ectoparasites and they are generally very host specific.  Once we took a better look at your photographs, we realized that you caught this female Bot Fly in the act of ovipositing, or laying eggs on the grass.  We would need to further research this, but we believe the eggs hatch and then the maggots would attach to a passing/grazing host.

Bot Fly

Rabbit Bot Fly ovipositing

Comment from Karl
Daniel:
I think you are right on all points Daniel, except perhaps the ectoparasite part. It does look like a Cuterebra spp. which are opertunistic parasites of small mammals. According to the online Merck Veterinary Clinic (http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/71500.htm): “Adult Cuterebra flies are large and bee-like and do not feed or bite. Females deposit eggs around the openings of animal nests, burrows, along runways of the normal hosts, or on stones or vegetation in these areas. A female fly may deposit 5-15 eggs/site and >2,000 eggs in her lifetime. Animals become infested as they pass through contaminated areas; the eggs hatch in response to heat from a nearby host. In the target host, the larvae enter the body through the mouth or nares during grooming or, less commonly, through open wounds. After penetration, the larvae migrate to various species-specific subcutaneous locations on the body, where they develop and communicate with the air through a breathing pore. After ~30 days, the larvae exit the skin, fall to the soil, and pupate.” Sounds a bit nasty!  K

Hi Denise,
This is a female botfly, Cuterebra buccata which is a rabbit bot. Its host is generally Sylvilagus floridanus (and maybe other species of Sylvilagus in some areas). The larvae are sometimes seen in the neck or shoulder, and/or rump and hip of the rabbit. The red marks in the eyes are only observed in rabbit bots, and your location in IL helps narrow it to a few species. Luckily there is just enough of the white lower face showing in your photo to narrow it to C. buccata. They are not very often seen laying eggs, so nice to catch that on film.
equalrights4parasites

Comment from Eric Eaton
Daniel:
That is so awesome!  I know the guy who is working on Cuterebra, and I forwarded him your message.  His name is Jeff Boettner and he works in the building next door to me here at UMass.  He says that about 30% of the known bots from North America are already on Bugguide, and that the most difficult species to find are already documented, some probably imaged for the first time ever.  Keep those bots coming!
Eric

Professional Identification forwarded by Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
Here is Jeff Boettner’s response….”C” is for Cuterebra, so it is Cuterebra buccata.
Eric

Awesome,
Thats C. buccata a rabbit bot. I sent a post but I am not in the loop with that group so may take a bit for it to be posted.
Jeff

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big Blue Flying Insect
August 17, 2009
These bugs are living in a stone wall where I work in Rhinebeck, NY (it is summer right now). They fly out and bring back grasshoppers that seem to be paralyzed when they bring them back to the wall. They disappear with them in the wall and then a few days or weeks later (not sure) they drop the shell of the grasshopper out of the wall-like the entire inside has been eaten out.aaaaaaaa
Teresa B
Rhinebeck, NY

Blue Mud Wasp

Great Black Wasp

Dear Teresa,
This is one of two species of Thread Waist Wasps that we have trouble distinguishing from one another.  We believe it is a Blue Mud Wasp, Chalybion californicum, which according to BugGuide is :  “A large, active, blue-black wasp with irridescent blue wings. Frequents flowers for nectar and buildings for nest sites. Compare “Steel-Blue Cricket Hunter”, (or “Blue Mud Dauber”), Chlorion aerarium, which preys on crickets. This is about the same size as Chalybion, and is said to have a longer pedicel (narrow waist between thorax and abdomen). The body of Chalybion looks much more hairy, and more steely-blue, based on specimen photos.”  The other possibility is that it is Chlorion aerarium, also depicted on BugGuide. which states:  “Habitat  Although generally not closely associated with humans, they are found wherever their hosts (Gryllus crickets) are found, which could include close proximity to homes (though not so much as Sceliphron and Chalybion). Chlorion is usually found in open areas such as meadows, overgrown fields, dunes, beach edges, etc., although they may not necessarily hunt in the same habitat as they nest. They are sometimes associated with the Cicada Killer where the ranges of these two wasps overlap, C. aerarium digging burrows off side of the larger wasps nest (O’Brien, 1989).
Season  Late July and early August (in Michigan)
Remarks  Females mass-provision several serial cells, each containing from 2 to 9 nymphs or adults of Gryllus pennsylvanicus. Prey are transported on the ground, venter-up, with the wasp’s mandibles grasping the antennae of the cricket.
”  It is worth noting that the adults of both species feed on nectar and pollen, and the crickets are used as food for the brood.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide the exact identification.

Blue Mud Wasp

Great Black Wasp

Daniel:
Ok, here are all the identifications:
The “blue mud dauber” or “Chlorion” is neither.  These are two nice images of a female “great black wasp,” Sphex pensylvanicus.  They hunt katydids as food for their larval offspring, as the submitter observed.
Keep up the great work!
Eric

Unknown insect in near the flowers/deck
August 17, 2009
This thing spent most of its time flying about in the flowers, obscuring my view of it. Managed to get this shot when it finally landed on a piece of wood. I thought it might be some sort of wasp but can’t see a stinger.
Eric
Curlew, Washington (just below the Canadian border)

Unknown Robber Fly

Unknown Robber Fly

Hi Eric,
We spent a few minutes browsing through the family Asilidae on BugGuide, without any luck identifying what we believe to be a Robber Fly.  Though we found numerous individuals with this color pattern, we could not find a conclusive match.  We will try to get some assistance from Eric Eaton to identify the species, or at least the genus.

Correction from Eric Eaton
Daniel:
The “robber fly” is actually an atypical tachinid fly, genus Cylindromyia.  Great shot of it, too!  This page from BugGuide gives more information, and there is an “images” tab at the top for more pictures.
Keep up the great work!
Eric

Thanks Eric,
We were going to research Tachinid Flies before posting, but time was running short.

Black bug with red stripes and small wings
August 17, 2009
I have been seeing this unidentified bug on my walks for the last 3 or 4 years. They are usually walking across the road. The photos were taken in the evening at sundown. The bugs were climbing up to stay in the sun, and on the rocks they were finally being still enough to take good photos. I have not noticed them eating the vegetation. These bugs are as large as I have seen them, about 1 inch long. They drag their long abdomen leaving a very specific track.
The wings are hard, shiny, and dimpled like orange peel; very beetle like, and useless. The head looks like an ant head, without large pincers. I have more pictures if you want them.
What are they?
Rebecca, Cuba, NM
Cuba, New Mexico

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

Hi Rebecca,
This is a Blister Beetle in the genus Megetra, and sadly, it has no common name other than the general family name of Blister Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “Range  Restricted to Chihuahuan Desert of the USA (TX, NM, and extreme southeastern AZ) and Mexico (where most of this desert region is located).”  In the past, we received a submission from Spain that looks very much like the genus Megetra, and is probably in the same tribe, Eupomphini.  You should use caution if handling a Blister Beetle as they can release a compound cantharidin which is a blistering agent.

Blister Beetles