Beetle
Location:  Socorro, NM, USA
July 19, 2010 8:30 am
I encountered this fair-sized beetle on our door upon taking out some trash. It was kind enough to stay put as I ran and grabbed the camera. Sorry for the relatively poor quality; it was dark and my camera has a tendency to over-saturate with the flash. It was a little over an inch long, by my estimation.
Grady Owens

Lined June Beetle

Hi Grady,
As you indicated, your photo is not ideal quality, however, we are confident that this is a Lined June Beetle in the genus
Polyphylla.  We cannot, however, commit to an exact species identification.  Perhaps it is Polyphylla hirsuta, a species that BugGuide reports from nearby Arizona.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

New book on Alabama butterflies
July 19, 2010
Over the years, many of you have asked us to let you know when our book, Butterflies of Alabama: Glimpses into Their Lives, is published.  We are excited to announce that it should be available at the end of August. Currently it can be pre-ordered from the University of Alabama Press at a substantial discount.  It is also available at a significant pre-publication discount on Amazon.com.  The attached flyer contains a description of the book as well as an order form. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think would be interested.
We hope that by offering close-up views of butterflies, the plants they rely on, and their remarkable life histories, our book will further the causes of environmental education and conservation.  Thanks to all who have offered support and encouragement!
Paulette Haywood Ogard and Sara Bright
Pre-order flyer

Beautiful metallic green spider
Location:  Birmingham, Alabama
July 18, 2010 10:59 pm
This gorgeous spider has been living in the same spot amongst my thornless blackberry vines all summer. She looks like a crab spider to me, but I’ve never seen one like this before. She lives in my backyard in Birmingham, Alabama.
Karen L

Head and Thorax of Green June Beetle

Hi Karen,
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is not a spider.  We believe it is the head and thorax of a Green June Beetle,
Cotinis nitida.   Compare your image to this photo on BugGuide.  We suspect a bird or other predator feasted on the fat abdomen and left these remains behind.  Have you ever seen it move during the time you observed it?

Hi Bugger,
I gave my “spider” a poke after receiving your email, and you are right… I have been admiring a carcass for the past few weeks! Hee hee!
Thanks a bunch!
Karen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large, colorful, bee
Location:  Costa Rica, near San Vito
July 19, 2010 8:35 am
Can you identify this bee. It was photographed at Las Cruces in Costa Rica. It is about 1 inch in length and very colorful.
Thanks
Doug Goodell

Orchid Bee

Hi Doug,
Your excellent photos should make identification quite easy, but alas, we have had no luck trying to identify this species.  We suspect it may be one of the Carpenter Bees in the subfamily Xylocopinae, but that is pure speculation.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had with a species identification.

Orchid Bee

Karl identifies the male Orchid Bee
July 20, 2010
Hi Daniel and Doug:
I believe this is a male orchid bee (Apidae: Apinae: Euglossini) in the genus Eulaema, possibly E. cingulata.  The odd looking object attached to its side or hind leg (hard to tell) looks like an orchid pollen packet, or pollinarium.  Apparently male Euglossine bees are attracted to certain orchids not to gather nectar, which these orchids don’t possess, but rather to collect fragrant compounds which are then used to attract female bees. The male flowers are designed so that the pollinarium is flung onto the bee when it lands, where it sticks until the bee visits a female flower where it completes the pollination. Both males and females visit other flowers to obtain the nectar they need. I did quite a bit or reading last night when I was looking into this because the bee/orchid relationship is truly fascinating, but I will leave it at that for now. I have attached a few links to photos that show E. cingulata, one with pollinaria attached. Regards. Karl
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mario_martins/2476618449/
http://www.iepa.ap.gov.br/probio/banco_img/imagensg/abe13.JPG
http://fotos.infojardin.com/subida-foto/images/arx1233284345s.JPG

Thanks Karl,
As always, your contributions are greatly appreciated.  You are awesome.

Hi Daniel
Thanks so much for this info, and please if possible send my thanks to Karl.  I have seen the orchid bees before (in Belize) but they did not have these great colors — but then there several types.  They are certainly facinating. Your links were very convincing.  Again thanks.
Doug Goodel

Looked like a cross between a…
Location:  Castalia, Ohio 44824
July 18, 2010 8:36 pm
Looked like a cross between a humming bird, a bumble bee and a moth. It was feeding on our flowers and seemed to pay no mind to us. The pix are taken in macro and are quite striking at full zoom. We decided to call it a ”Humble Moth”. It had translucent wings, the body of a Bee, the beak of what could be described as a Humming Bird’s beak, eyes and long antenna of a moth….
What’s that Bug??!!
very Curious

Hummingbird Clearwing

Dear very Curious,
This may be any one of three Sphinx Moths in the genus
Hemaris that range in Ohio.  Our best guess is that this might be the Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe.  You can read more about it on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. What an interesting creature this little thing was. I enjoyed your site and the other you recommended too!
Again, Thank you!
Tony

Butterfly lobster tailed bumble bug?
Location:  New Jersey, Monmouth County
July 19, 2010 8:04 am
Help!
My son and I watched this bug for a while flying around my phlox, it was fast and fed like a butterfly, the wings where long and the body was almost 2 inches. The tail was the most interesting, the shape was like a lobster tail, the head area was fuzzy and yellow. We took so many pictures and these were the only ones in focus, the little guys was flying flower to flower like a bee or wasp, not at all interested in his observers. This guy was found early July in Monmouth county , New Jersey
Curiously Yours, Dom and Mom

Snowberry Clearwing

Hi Dom and Mom,
It is impossible for us to be certain of the exact identification of your moth because there are three members of the genus
Hemaris, which look quite similar, that are all found in New Jersey.  We believe, because of the dark legs and coloration, your moth is a Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth, Hemaris diffinis.  You can read more about this Sphinx Moth which is often mistaken for a hummingbird on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.