Huge female spider with egg sac
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM
Hello – We were pulling up rocks from around my garden pond to replace the liner and came across this big spider, with a baby sac. Do you know what kind it is? If you like the picture, feel free to post it. Just let me know if you do. I named her Mary Beth, the Jurassic Pregnant Pond Spider. We relocated here to a different part of the yard.
Cathy
Miamisburg, Ohio

Female Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Female Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Hi Cathy,
This is a female Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, probably the Northern Dolomedes, Dolomedes tenebrosus.  They are generally associated with bodies of water, which makes her habitat around your pond significant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Ichneumon
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 6:48 PM
Hello! I found this incredible creature flying around in the grass on a warm June night in Western Massachusetts. I think it is an ichneumon, but I just can’t seem to find out much more. Can you tell me its species? Thanks so much!
Jamie
Sheffield, MA

Unknown Ichneumon

Unknown Ichneumon

hi Jamie,
We agree that it is an Ichenumon, and we agree that it is beautiful, but we are uncertain of the exact species. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any additional information. We will also post your letter in the hope that one of our readers knows more than we do. We would recommend that you either keep checking the posting to see if there has been a comment, or better yet, supply an additional comment to the posting with any additional information that may be helpful. Then if a reader provides a comment with an identification, you will automatically be notified.

Update
Daniel:
Yes, it is an ichneumon, but no telling what subfamily, let alone genus or species, without the specimen in hand.
Take care, enjoy the holiday weekend….
Eric

Blue and Yellow Beetle?
Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 5:35 AM
Hi, My husband noticed these beetles all over a small tree in our backyard there are all mating and seem content to stay there doing just that… ther are kind of pretty but I am worried that they are not native to Newfoundland Canada.
Angela
Newfoundland Canada

Elderberry Borers Mating

Elderberry Borers Mating

Fear not Angela,
The Elderberry Borer, Desmocerus palliatus, is a native insect.  Considering the reported range of this Cerambycid Beetle, from Oklahoma to the east coast, and considering its striking beauty, we do not get as many reports as we would expect.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Swampy areas and edges of streams with host plant” and not many people live in swampy areas, so that might explain the dearth of identification requests.  BugGuide also has this information:  “Adults feed on pollen, found on flowers, especially those of elderberry, Sambucus. Life Cycle Larvae feed on elderberry, Sambucus . Eggs are laid on stems, near base of plant. Larvae burrow into stems and then tunnel down to feed on living roots. ”  We are very happy to be able to post your wonderful photo of a mating pair of Elderberry Borers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big red/white(yellow?) moth
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Hi! I found this moth this morning hanging out in my yard. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of what it could be? thanks!
Danielle
Charlotte, NC

Royal Walnut Moth

Royal Walnut Moth

Hi Danielle,
This beauty is a Royal Walnut Moth or Regal Moth.  In about September, we will begin receiving identification requests for its spectacular caterpillar, the Hickory Horned Devil.

What’s ON that bug? Ranatra w/ orange bumps
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 3:12 PM
I recently tracked down the ID of this odd insect in a local pond as a Water Scorpion (Ranatra spp.), but all of the individuals I’ve seen so far are covered in strange, orange bumps that do not appear to be “normal” or common. Do you have any idea what these might be caused by? The pond is next to the building I work in and appears to be the result of dam work by the local beaver’s union. There is plenty of food for these guys with damsel flies, tadpoles in the thousands and other small, crunchy things. The other wildlife in the area does not appear to be suffering from any apparent disease or sicknesses and the vegetation around the pond appears to be thriving.
Eric Snyder
Issaquah, WA 98027

Water Scorpion with Phoretic Mites

Water Scorpion with Phoretic Mites

Hi Eric,
Congratulations on identifying the Water Scorpion in the genus Ranatra.  That is not an easy identification.  The orange bumps are Aquatic Mites.  The Aquatic Mites often use flying aquatic insects to get from one body of water to another, a behavior known a phoresy.  Some time back when we posted an image of a ToeBiter with mites, we got this comment from a reader.

Previous Comment on similar posting:  Mites on the toe-biter?
Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne,
About the email on the Toe Biter from Tom on (01/27/2007) who talks about having 12 red mites on his Toe Biter? I remember seeing mites on aquatic insects, looking suspicious, and so I looked it up, and it turns out that *all* of the more than 5,000 known species of aquatic mites (Hydracarina) are partly parasitic. When they are larvae, aquatic mites are parasitic on aquatic insects, but as adults the mites become free-swimming and predatory. Winged aquatic insects, such as the toe biters, fly around of course, and that way the mites are spread from one body of water to another. You can read a lot more interesting stuff about them at:
http://www.tolweb.org/Parasitengona
And at :
http://www.tolweb.org/Hydracarina
Best to you as always,
Susan J. Hewitt

Large green beetle, orange legs, long antennae?
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:52 PM
I found this large green metallic beetle in my oak tree. I have never seen a beetle like this one before, and was wondering if you could tell me what it is! The body itself was about 3-3.5″ long, and the antennae nearly doubled its length. The legs are also very long and a verigated orange color. Any info would be very appreciated!
Amy G.
Seminole, Oklahoma

Bumelia Borer

Bumelia Borer

Hi Amy,
There are many beautiful Long Horned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae, but the Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, is one of the more beautiful North American species. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are trunk and root borers of Tupelo ( Nyssa ), Bumelia , and Mulberry ( Morus ). Adults are attracted to UV lights and bait.”

Thank you very much for your reply!  It was a very beautiful bug.  I darn near killed myself trying to get away from it when it flew towards me, LOL! By the way, it’s near impossible to pull your head/neck down inside your body to avoid a bug flight path!
Amy G.