1 cm long Red Nematode-like Worm in the Pool Water
I love your website, What’s That Bug. I’ve used it dozens of times to identify insects around my neighborhood and workplace. Now I’d like to try your amazing knowledge on these little wigglers! Every spring when opening our family above-ground pool, I find hundreds of 1 cm long red segmented nematode-like very wiggly worms in the pool water. They have a small black head, small legs near the head, a forked tail, are semi-clear with a dark gut, and are very wiggly. So what are they?
Jeff Smith
Ross, Ohio

Hi Jeff,
These are Bloodworms. Bloodworms are the aquatic larvae of non-biting Midges in the genus Chironomus. They are a prized live food for tropical fish kept by aquarists.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spring White/ Western Whites
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel,
it seems to be a good Spring for whites in central WY. Saw this Spring White (no pun intended) and pair of Western Whites today. Peace,
Dwaine

Spring White Mating Western Whites

Hi again Dwaine,
Thanks for continuing to add to our butterfly archive with the Spring White, Pontia sisymbrii, and mating Western White, Pontia occidentalis, images. Jeffrey Glassberg indicates in his book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West that the Spring White rarely stays still for long, which makes your photograph especially noteworthy.

Common Checkered Skipper
Bugman,
I photographed this “Common Checkered Skipper” on 4/10/08 here in Charlotte, NC. Sometimes it’s hard to catch this little butterfly with its wings in the ‘up’ position. I managed to get a picture of it. I tried many times last fall but without much success.
Patrick Crone

Hi Patrick,
Thanks for the great contribution of the Common Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus communis. Curious readers can get more information on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Carpenter Bee in Flight, New Hope, PA
I was able to get some pretty neat action shots of this carpenter bee as it kept returning to the same area to hover. I thought you might enjoy the photo.
Tamar

Hi Tamar,
Thank you for submitting your photo of an Eastern Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica.

What is its common & scientific nam
These bugs were found in Hamilton Co., OH 2nd last
week of April, 2008 in my garden on Sweet Woodruff & are very tiny. Can you please ID. Thank you.
Mary Jo White

Hi Mary Jo,
Your photo shows two species of Carpet Beetles in their typical adult environment. Many homemakers find adult Carpet Beetles in the spring on the windowsills of their homes. The larvae feed on natural fibers like wool carpet, pet hair and other similar items found in the home. Adults feed on pollen. The upper beetles (please note that we rotated your photo for our website) are of the Buffalo Carpet Beetle, Anthrenus scrophulariae, one of the showier members of the genus because of the red coloration. The smaller, drabber beetle is also in the genus Anthrenus, but we are not certain of the species. You can check possibilities on BugGuide. The Carpet Beetle was our featured Bug of the Month for April 2008.

A Better Picture and A Potato Bug Question
Hi Bugman,
I sent you a picture of a bug that we have been trying to identify a few days ago. I got a better picture today and thought I would pass it along. I have looked in grasshoppers, wasps, leaf hoppers, and a few other sections on your site to try to find it’s identity. I have another question for you that I have been searching for the answer to for a long time. Why do potato bugs exist? Do they have a purpose? They freak me out in a way that nothing else does. I am hoping if I can find their purpose, I can accept their existence. Thanks for your great website! I have spent lots of time here since I discovered it last week.
Laura

Laura’s Original Email
(04/25/2008) Can you tell me about this insect?
Hello,
One of my hobbies is identifying bugs in my garden. This one has me stumped. I live in Sacramento, CA and I have only seen these guys cruising on our teepee made of crepe myrtle. They are reddish with yellow stripes. I have seen them range from 1/2 to 1 inch long. They first popped up about 1 month ago. I have lived in this area for 10 years and never seen them before. Can you give me any information about these guys? Thanks!
Laura Stillmunkes
p.s. The pictures are not great. I can try to get a better one if it would be helpful. They move fast!

Hi Laura,
This response has been on our back burner since your original email. Thanks for sending a more in focus photo. We believe this is a Red Headed Ash Borer, Neoclytus acuminatus, but the map of submissions on BugGuide doesn’t show any reports in California. There are reports in Washington State and Texas. There are other closely related species found in California, but your photo does appear to be the Red Headed Ash Borer. Our quick web research has been unable to determine if there are reports of the Red Headed Ash Borer in California. Perhaps one of our readers can be more definite. The Potato Bug is part of that mysterious web of connectivity known as the Balance of Nature.