BUgs found in garden
Location:  Waddell, Arizona
August 7, 2010 3:55 pm
Can you please tell me what kind of bugs there are. They are all over in my garden and around my pond. What can i do to rid of them with out hurting the fish in my pond or our frogs?
thanks, Nona

African Painted Bug

i actually found the idenification after i submitted my request on your web site. They are african painted beetles, thanks anyway

African Painted Bugs: Imago (left) and nymph (right)

Hi Nona,
We are happy you were able to identify your African Painted Bugs,
Bagrada hilaris, using our archives.  These diminutive Stink Bugs were recently introduced to the U.S. and they have appeared in California and Arizona since 2008.  They feed upon plants in the cabbage family including black mustard, a weed plant that is also considered an invasive exotic.  Since you have so many immature nymphs in your garden and pond, we suspect you have mating activity.  You should try to locate the plants they are feeding upon, and limit your control methods to that area.  Spraying mild soapy water should help, and try to keep the solution away from your pond and its wildlife.

African Painted Bug nymphs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Comma or question
Location:  Western Kentucky
August 7, 2010 5:32 pm
Again I am having trouble with the book I have. The illistrated book does not show the underside of the wings. The illistrations also do not show the markings on the top of the wings like the ones I am seeing. I have several photos of this type of butterfly. One has a lot less brown on the lower wings. The first one I saw (with almost all orange wings with brown spots) I thought was an eastern comma. After looking on your site, I am thinking now that my butterflies are actually the question mark. Is there anyway to know for sure? (Especially if you don’t happen to see the underside of the wing?) I am going to attach both types. The more orange first then the more recent one that I did get the underside picture of.

Eastern Comma (Fall Form)

Can you help me positively identify this one? The first one was last year in October in Southern Illinois, and the other was July this year in Western Kentucky
Janet Fox

Eastern Comma (Summer Form)

Hi Janet,
Commas and Question Marks can be very difficult to distinguish from one another, and the matter is further complicated by the fact that there are multiple species of Commas.  The orange and dark forms are seasonal variations that are typical for both the Question Mark and the Eastern Comma.  The fall form is more orange and the summer form has the much darker underwings.  We believe both of your butterflies are Eastern Commas.  The Question Mark is a larger species, and according to author Jeffrey Glassberg in his book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, the Question Mark “is the only anglewing with a small black horizontal bar on the subapical FW above.”  His book nicely illustrates this, and he does have a book for the Eastern states as well.  Neither of your specimens has this small black horizontal bar.

Eastern Comma (summer form)

Unusual coloring on Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  floyd county, VA
August 7, 2010 3:32 pm
i was recently browsing your site, and was fascinated by Your feature the Tiger Swallowtail Gynandromorph.
Today while taking pictures of the butterflies on my butterfly bush i noticed one of the Eastern Tiger Swallow tails, had unusual coloring. It is the typical yellow, with stripes, but also has patches of dark. i’m curious as to whether it was a normal variation in pattern, or possible a form of mosaic Gynandromorph. Would love any info. i’ve been watching swallowtails for many years, and have never seen one quite like this.

Tiger Swallowtail: Transitional Morph

Hi Tree,
Thanks for sending us your photo of a transitional morph of a female Tiger Swallowtail.  Most female Tiger Swallowtails are yellow with black stripes, but a small percentage are dark morphs, with the yellow ground color appearing very dark.  It is sometimes difficult to make out the stripes unless the light shines through the wings.  Even rarer are transitional morphs like yours, where the female is not truly light or dark, but an intermediary phase between the two typical morphs.  These transitional morphs exhibit varying degrees of coloration and markings.  We have several examples posted to our site from previous years, including a mounted specimen from July 2010.  The gynandromorph is a real rarity, not just among swallowtails, but among all butterflies or insects for that matter.  The bilateral sexual division, where the left half of the insect is one sex and the right half the other sex is especially unusual, though in many insects that do not exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, many examples may go unnoticed.  The gynandromorph we just posted is an extreme example because the coloration difference between the left and right halves is so extreme.  We suspect gynandromorphs are infertile.

Tiger Swallowtail: Transitional Morph

Thank you so much for your reply and information.  It’s always exciting to see a new or unusual butterfly and be able to identify it! Thank you again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this bug?
Location:  Madison, Maine
August 7, 2010 12:01 pm
Hi, I am in Maine and have an outside light on my garage. In the mornings, I find many interesting bugs, however, this one is very unusual to me.
Jeff Brazier

American Pelecinid

Hi Jeff,
This very distinctive insect is a Parasitoid Hymenopteran known as an American Pelecinid.  Your individual is a female, and she uses her flexible abdomen to lay eggs underground where they can parasitize the grubs of June Beetles.

mystery bug in thailand
Location:  n.e. thailand
August 6, 2010 10:52 pm
hi, i found this odd creature resting on leaf in n.e thailand near mekong river. it seems to be some sort of bug. it seems to have very long antenna folded back. Im totally confused due to its strangeness. to make matters worse or better if one likes confusion I then found another creature similar in form but close up of eyes make me think weird spider. I will forward that one when processed. p.s really appreciate your educational site and thanks for IDing my leaf cricket as katydid nymph.

Assassin Bug

Hi heiden999,
This is an Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae.  It really is an unusual looking specimen.  We will try to determine the species.

Assassin Bug

Location:  Bismarck, North Dakota
August 7, 2010 2:53 am
I looked through your photos of dragonflies. Took time to read some of the letters and replies. Such an interesting group of creatures. I may have missed it, but don’t recall seeing this type of dragonfly. I photographed it in my garden last year. It was patiently resting while I ran back inside to grab my camera. This was such a pretty color combination. Just thought I’d share since the photos turned out so well.

Mosaic Darner

Hi again Doreen,
This Mosaic Darner in the genus
Aeshna is quite the beauty.  You can see the numerous species in the genus posted to BugGuide.

Mosaic Darner