Subject: Ichneumons
Location: Minneapolis, MN
September 1, 2015 9:19 pm
Here’s a cool photo of two Ichneumons, taken today in Minneapolis by my daughter Colette Walters while out on a walk, very warm here.
Signature: Jodie Walters

Stump Stabbers

Stump Stabbers

Dear Jodie,
We agree that Colette’s image of two Stump Stabbers laying eggs is quite beautiful.  They appear to be
Megarhyssa macrurus.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Arizona
Location: Tucson, Arizona
September 1, 2015 8:23 pm
Hi Bugman!
We live in Tucson and have had a lot of rain this year. We took the kids to the waterfalls at Tanque Verde and found a few of these odd bugs. They look like a cross between some kind of caterpillar and a scorpion (at least how the tail curls up?)
They were right near the shrubs by the water and some just on the rocks. I have been here 11 years and never come across these before- I am thinking its a larvae for something? Any ideas?
Signature: Lara

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Lara,
Five years ago, we had some difficulty trying to identify the Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva,
Physonota arizonae, but now there are more images available online.  The shrub upon which you found them is most likely the Canyon Ragweed.  It is interesting that the images you provided show two projections at the tip of the abdomen, while our previously posted images show fecal droppings carried at the tip of the abdomen, so we presume the projections have adapted for that purpose, perhaps as camouflage or to make the larva less appetizing.  Many species of Tortoise Beetles have larvae that behave similarly.

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

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Subject: orange dog wasp
Location: courtice arena, ontario canada
September 1, 2015 5:49 pm
sorry lost my last submission trying again. Found this orange looking wasp that has a puppy face. search but could not find any identification on this guy. Was really lucky he sat still and posed for me. sept 1/2015 around 6;30 pm in an open field .
Thanks
Signature: Terri Martin

Male Pigeon Horntail

Male Pigeon Horntail

Dear Terri,
Though we have no shortage of images of Pigeon Horntails on our site, male specimens like your individual are at a premium.  Almost all the images of Pigeon Horntails on our site are females, and we even have a good number of ovipositing Pigeon Horntails.  These Wood Wasps are known scientifically as
Tremex columba, the sole food eaten by larval Stump Stabbers, Megarhyssa atrata.  The female Stump Stabber has a much longer ovipositor than the female Pigeon Horntail because unlike her prey, she must lay her egg with incredible precision so the hatchling can locate its host.  Here is a BugGuide image of a male Pigeon Horntail.  By the way, your images are gorgeous.

Male Pigeon Horntail

Male Pigeon Horntail

Thanks Daniel.  Hoping one day to find an insect that no one can identify then I can name it.

Pigeon Horntail

Pigeon Horntail

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is going on – two photos?
Location: Essex, UK
August 31, 2015 10:38 am
I photographed these at Thameside Nature Park on 30 August.
The fly appears to be sitting on a nest apparently containing tiny youngsters – and with a trapdoor at the end. Has the fly been caught and left as food for the youngsters? Is it eating them itself?
These is also this strange red thing which appears to be spinning itself a cacoon.
Signature: Karenina

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Dear Karenina,
We believe this is a Tachinid Fly, a parasitoid, and we believe your image might have something to do with the adult Tachinid Fly emerging from its host insect.  The other image might have something to do with fungus.  This is all conjecture and we eagerly welcome any additional information.

Possibly a Fungus

Possibly a Fungus

Subject: Beekiller?
Location: Germany
August 31, 2015 12:23 pm
Hi guys,
my dad found this in one of his beehives? It’s about 2.8 inches long and I have absolutely no idea what this could be.
Kind regards,
Signature: Benedikt

Death's Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Death’s Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Dear Benedikt,
Would that we had a lepidopterist on our staff, we could conclusively provide you with an identification of this Hawkmoth based on vein patterns and other characteristics, but you have submitted your request to a pop culture site with artists, not entomologists, on its staff.  Since there are no scales remaining on the wings or body of this Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, our identification is conjecture.  We believe this is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, a species reported in Europe during the summer months.  According to Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic:  “Many individuals have been seen to frequent bee-hives where, upon entry, they feed undisturbed on the honey, puncturing combs with their short, sharp proboscises. Moritz et al. (1991) have shown that this species makes itself ‘chemically invisible’ to honeybees by mimicking the cutaneous fatty acids of its hosts. If disturbed while feeding, or for that matter at any other time, the adults raise their wings, run and hop around, while emitting high-pitched squeaks.”  We don’t know what caused the loss of wing and body scales in your individual, which resulted in a loss of the visual characteristics of the species, including the thoracic pattern that has been likened to a human skull.  You did not indicate if the moth was found dead or alive.  We believe it would have been very difficult for your individual to fly in its condition, we causes us to conjecture that it lost its life once it entered the bee hive, though we cannot say if it was stung by bees as an intruder, or if your father killed it while attempting to collect it.  As we know of no other Hawkmoths that enter bee hives, we are relatively certain our identification is correct.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Nectar and sugar eaters, adult moths like honey, and because they produce a scent mimicking the scent of bees, they can climb into hives without alarming the bees inside. Their thick skin also protects them from stings. Unlike the other two species which are more general in types of bees they raid, A. atropos only invades the hives of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Another unusual feature of this moth is that it makes a loud squeaking sound as a protective device if it is threatened.”

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Subject: Black Witch
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
August 31, 2015 1:43 pm
6:45 am, Cheyenne,Wyoming. Approximate size inches.
Signature: Wayne Barton

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Wayne,
Congratulations on this extreme northern sighting of a male Black Witch, a neotropical species found in Central and South America.  As far back as the late Nineteenth Century, sightings of Black Witch Moths as far north as Canada have been reported.  According to BugGuide:  “The northward June migration out of Mexico coincides with Mexico’s rainy season which typically starts in early June and lasts through October” and “Often flies great distances in only a few nights, hiding by day wherever it can find dense shade – frequently under the eves of houses.”   While sightings in border states including California and Texas, and southern states like Florida are not rare, northern sightings are not as common.  Black Witch Moths are now thought to be breeding in some border states, but harsh winters in the north will most likely prevent naturalization.  We followed a link from BugGuide to the Texas Entomology site where Mike Quinn is keeping records of state, and though there were three Black Witch sightings in 2004, there is nothing recent.  We would suggest that you contact Mike at entomike@gmail.com to report your sighting, though we are going to pass on the information, but should he require additional information, we would not be able to provide anything.  We can’t help but to wonder why Black Witches continue to migrate north though they would not stand much of a chance of passing on genetic material, because even if they were lucky enough to find a mate in Colorado or Canada, the harsh conditions would not favor the survival of the progeny. 

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