Subject: Fly on calico asters
Location: Kent County, Michigan USA
September 21, 2014 3:57 pm
What is the name of this cool fly I found enjoying calico asters in Michigan in late September? Thanks!
Signature: Patricia

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

Dear Patricia,
This is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Tachinid Flies are parasitic on other insects and arthropods.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: thought it was a huge crane fly at first glance
Location: New York/Connecticut Border
September 21, 2014 6:58 pm
… but then I realized it was a bit different. it’s wings are swept back fully and it appears to have a sharper tail than most. also absent are the nubbins of secondary wings on the crane fly.
spotted on my car in southern NY state (Purdy’s, NY) this last Saturday. had driven from nearby Connecticut but I am pretty sure it landed on my car after having parked for dinner. I’d estimate he was almost 3 inches long from front legs to rear legs.
Signature: Eric R.

from perusing your site a bit more I see it is most likely is a giant crane fly. great site, will definitely refer to it in the future!

Giant Crane Fly

Giant Crane Fly

Dear Eric,
In comparing your image to images on BugGuide, we agree with your identification of a Giant Crane Fly,
Tipula abdominalis.

Subject: Can you identify?
Location: Orrstown, PA
September 22, 2014 6:28 am
I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of caterpillar this is? Found it eating one of my pine trees. Can you help me? I am worried about my trees. Please and thank you.
Signature: Lori

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Lori,
This is the caterpillar of an Imperial Moth, and recent taxonomic changes have resulted in the recognition of a subspecies, the Pine Imperial Moth,
Eacles imperialis pini, with a caterpillar that feeds exclusively on conifers.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed exclusively on conifers, mainly White Pine and Red Pine; also recorded on Jack Pine, Scotch Pine, and White Spruce” and “uncommon and local in Ontario; rare and local in Quebec and elsewhere within its range.”  Unless they are so plentiful as to defoliate plants, caterpillars are generally not much of a problem when they feed on trees.  The few leaves, or in your case the few needles, that are lost do not have a negative impact on the health of the trees.

Thank you very much. I feel much better.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some sort of catterpillar?
Location: Central New York
September 21, 2014 10:31 pm
Summertime in central new york. No idea what this bug is
Signature: Mac F

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Mac F,
This is the caterpillar of a Tiger Swallowtail.  Recent taxonomy has resulted in the classification of several different species based on the range, and several different species, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail have ranges that overlap in your vicinity.

Subject: The Gambia

Location: Sami Pachonki, The Gambia, Africa
September 22, 2014 3:12 am
Found this sort of hemipteran looking bug in my garden one evening. He must be covered in some kind of fungus, but i’ve no idea what it is!
Signature: Dee

Unknown Immature True Bug

Unknown Immature True Bug

Dear Dee,
We agree that this looks like a Hemipteran, but we can be even more specific in our guess.  This appears to be a True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera, and it appears to be an immature individual.  Though it appears to be infested with fungus, we would also like to propose another possibility.  There is at least one species of Heteropteran that has a nymph that has a sticky exoskeleton that attracts lint and debris, effectively camouflaging the insect.  That species is the Masked Hunter, a species of Assassin Bug.  We hope we are able to provide you with a more concise identification that is not based on pure speculation.

Unknown Immature True Bug

Unknown Immature True Bug

Thanks Daniel!
that makes since, it was tracking my every movement even though i was a few feet away. Next time i see it i’ll invite it into my hut to eat all the critters running around in my rice bag roof.
thanks again!
dee

Subject: Butterfly in Ann Arbor, MI
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
September 21, 2014 10:52 am
Hello,
I took these pictures on my phone in August at the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, MI. I just moved to the area so I’m not yet familiar with its wildlife. I have seen lots of black swallowtail caterpillars and butterflies this August and September but I’m not sure if this butterfly is one as well. It doesn’t seem to have the blues, yellows or reds… and it has a band of that white-ish yellow color across its hindwing that I haven’t seen before.
It may have a swallowtail wing shape – I can’t tell. But something interesting about its wings is that it seemed to fold the forewing somewhat independently of the hindwing. I tried to include a picture showing that, but it was hard to catch.
Thank you!
Signature: Butterfly Observer

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Dear Butterfly Observer,
The Giant Swallowtail, a native species, has adapted as a caterpillar, called an Orange Dog, to eating the leaves of imported and cultivated citrus trees, and its range has expanded where citrus is grown.  Consequently, it is now more common in the southern portion of its range including Florida, and the expanded western regions all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
  We imagine your Michigan sighting is not a common occurrence.

Wow!!! I’ve heard the name Giant Swallowtail before but I didn’t even know what they look like and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. How exciting! I’m glad I asked you guys. I really love your site- thanks for the work you do!