Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bees are these???
Location: Springfield Pa
July 5, 2015 10:34 am
Can someone please tell me what kind of bees these are? We noticed them last week and sprayed where they seem to be making a nest in the arm of our awning? We thought we got rid of them and now they are back.
When my 4 year old sees them she wont go outside:(
Thanks in advance for your help!!
Signature: Dina

Giant Resin Bee

Giant Resin Bee

Dear Dina,
This sure looks to us like an invasive, exotic Giant Resin Bee,
Megachile sculpturalis, and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to those on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.”

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Subject: Robber Fly?
Location: Watsonville, CA
June 11, 2015 2:33 am
Hey Bugman!
I have been finding large numbers of this mysterious (but beautiful) fly in my front yard… I’ve done a lot of internet research and cannot for the life of me figure it out… Is it a Robber Fly??? I have found them all of my Armenian Basket Flower and Artichoke… Please help! I need to know if it’s a pest or not.
Thanks,
Signature: Matt

Mating Artichoke Flies

Mating Artichoke Flies

Dear Matt,
These are most certainly not Robber Flies.  This is an introduced Artichoke Fly,
Terellia fuscicornis, a species of Fruit Fly.  Your images of a single individual are both females, as evidenced by the long ovipositor, and the image with the three flies include two males that are attempting to mate.  Interestingly, bugGuide only has images of female Artichoke Flies, and they do not provide a common name.  There are many nice images on the Natural History of Orange County site.  As an introduced species, they may pose a threat to cultivated artichokes, but we have also found information that they use Milk Thistle, an introduced pest weed in California, as a host so the jury is still out if they are an agricultural pest or a biological control agent.

Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

Female Artichoke Fly

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Ed. Note:  Because our previous posting of Elm Seed Bugs has received so many recent comments, we have decided to make the Elm Seed Bug our Bug of the Month for July 2015 and to post it live a few days early.

Subject: Invaders!
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
June 27, 2015 12:13 pm
We have these little buggers that we seem to keep finding on the back end of our home near the windows. I found a nest of them underneath one of the blinds in our bedroom window. They dont appear to fly. They are about 1/4 inch long. What are they? Do they bite? How can we get rid of them? Thanks in advance…
Signature: -Loyal WTB fan for 5+ years

Elm Seed Bug

Elm Seed Bug

Dear Loyal WTB fan for 5+ years,
It appears that you have an Elm Seed Bug,
Arocatus melanocephalus, infestation, a nonnative species first reported in North America in Idaho in 2012.  As you must know, we do not provide extermination information, though we are sometimes freer when the species is invasive like the Elm Seed Bug.  There are currently numerous comments from readers on the first Elm Seed Bug posting in our archives, and you may find some help there.  According to Gemtek:  “Identification: Elm seed bugs are typically ⅓ inch long and are dark brown in color, with an abdomen that is reddish colored. Like a boxelder bug, their wings fold to form a thin X shape. Aside from color differences, elm seed and boxelder bugs look nearly identical.  Diet, Habitat, Life Cycle, and Habits:  Once again, elm seed bugs are similar to boxelder bugs in all of these aspects. A key difference is that elm seed bugs are primarily found on elm trees. They feed on elm seeds, but will also feed on and live in other types of trees. They are most visible in warmer weather and will create an unpleasant odor if crushed.”  According to BugGuide:  “Invade homes during the summer to escape heat, and then stick around through the winter … One generation per year and adults overwinter. Doesn’t pose a threat to trees, but may show up indoors in huge swarms.”

Elm Seed Bugs invade home.

Elm Seed Bugs invade home.

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Subject: Looks kind of like a firefly
Location: New Jersey
May 25, 2015 4:56 pm
Rescued this bug from a pool after it flew in, but I don’t think it’s a firefly. I did some googling but I haven’t found anything quite like it. Thanks for your time!
Signature: David

Longicorn

Tanbark Borer, we believe

Dear David,
This is a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, and we believe its dramatic coloration, especially the red thorax, and its spring emergence should make it relatively easy to identify.  We were wrong and for now it is running unidentified.
P.S.  We are tagging you as a Bug Humanitarian.

Update:  May 26, 2015
We used Arthur V. Evans book, Beetles of Eastern North America, where we found a similar looking Phymatodes amoenus pictured, and that led us to the related Tanbark Borer, Phymatodes testaceus, on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “native to Eurasia; widely established around the world, incl. e. US and, more recently, in the Pacific Northwest” and it feeds on Oaks with the larvae boring in the wood.  According to NatureSpot:  “The adults are active nocturnally and will come to light but are rarely seen otherwise under normal circumstances.”  Seems like you were tagged with the Bug Humanitarian Award for rescuing an Invasive Exotic species, another tag on our site.

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Subject: curious…
Location: north nj
May 12, 2015 9:26 pm
Can’t figure out if this is a European wasp, or a Japanese wasp. I’m in North Jersey.
Signature: adam minick

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi Adam,
This is a European Hornet and we believe it is a queen.  According to BugGuide:  “Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new nest. They build the nest with chewed wood pulp, and a few eggs are laid in individual paper cells; these eggs develop into non-reproductive workers. When 5-10 workers have emerged, they take over the care of the nest, and the rest of queen’s life is devoted solely to egg laying. The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.  The nest reaches its peak size towards mid September. At this time the queen lays eggs that develop into males (drones) and new queens, she then dies shortly after. The new queens and males mate during a ‘nuptial flight’, after which the males die, and the newly mated queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate; the old nest is never re-used.”

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Subject: Small beetle
Location: Aliso Viejo, California, USA
May 7, 2015 9:25 pm
This bug walked across our patio during the day, on a breezy spring day in Southern California. The bug is approximately 1/2 centimeter in length.
Signature: Lori

Thank you for your help! I believe this bug is a Mediterranean Red Bug. Is that correct?

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Hi Lori,
We agree with you that this is a Mediterranean Red Bug,
Scantius aegyptius, a recently introduced Invasive Exotic species.

Thank you, Daniel!
Warmly,
Lori

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