Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp
Location: Pennsylvania
August 19, 2015 1:51 pm
We have these wasp in our yard think they have a nest underground how do we know for sure and get rid of it
Signature: Sharon

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Sharon,
This is a solitary Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and it is not an aggressive species.  They develop underground, but they are not social wasps with hundreds of members of a colony.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”  Any insect that preys on the invasive Japanese Beetle is a friend to the gardener.  We do not provide extermination advice.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: As coined by a commenter – a Nope Striped Nopey Nope Nope
Location: South Eastern Wisconsin
August 7, 2015 7:03 am
Good Morning!
First off, thank you for providing such a valuable resource for us “what in the heck is this thing”ers; it has helped solve more than a few similar situations and I continue to direct people here when they have bug identification questions (and to donate).
This morning a friend of mine posted the attached pictures (apologies for the blurriness) asking for help. At first glance it was assumed to be a black and yellow mud dauber, but the abdomen seems to be much too large (as well as striped). I had attempted (in vain) to identify what the forked end on the abdomen was as well, but looking at it now I think it may just be other parts (legs?) that are folded under the body. Also, the fat thorax (much larger than I’m accustomed to around here) throws me for a loop. The segmentation just doesn’t seem right for a wasp.
Sadly, this little guy (gal?) said hi to individuals who were less than hospitable and was swatted down in their prime.
Thanks for your help in advance!
Signature: Matthew

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Matthew,
Based on the long antennae, we decided to begin our searching among the parasitic wasps known as Ichneumons, and we quickly found a similar looking individual identified as
Setanta compta on the Nature Search site, but the striping on that individual goes to the tip of the abdomen while your individual has a black tipped abdomen.  The striping on the legs is also different, but we still turned to BugGuide to see if there was more variation in the species.  We then determined you have a different species, and we located a very good match on BugGuide, but alas, it is only identified to the tribe Ichneumonini.  Your individual also looks similar to Diphyus palliatorius pictured on the French language page Aramel.Free.  According to BugGuide, in the family Ichneumonidae there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family,”  and we don’t believe we will be able to provide you with an exact species identity, but we do believe the closest we can come is the unidentified individual on Bugguide.

You are incredible – thank you so much for your work in this! I can’t imagine how much time you, and your team, invest into these requests, but know that it is sincerely appreciated.
best regards,
-Matthew

You are most welcome Matthew.  Were it not for identification requests with excellent images, we would not have much of a site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what kind of flying bug is this?
Location: massachusetts, USA
July 23, 2015 12:18 pm
it was flying around my room and had a very loud buzz.
Signature: tim

Robber Fly Carnage

Robber Fly Carnage

Dear Tim,
This is a harmless, beneficial, predatory Robber Fly, and it will obviously buzz no more.  In an effort to educate our readership on the harmlessness of most insects, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage  In the future, if you are able to trap an unwanted bug indoors in a glass, you can slip a postcard over the opening and relocate the critter outside.

Thank you for telling me what the bug was. I killed the insect because i saw the huge tail it had. It looked like a stinger that could do some damage. I don’t love killing anything, but i wasn’t going to take the chance to get a sting or a bite from a potentially poisonous insect.
I did read they can bite humans. They also have a toxic saliva that liquifies their prey.
Sometime i do catch the insects and let them outside. I wasnt going to take a chance with this unknown bug with a baby in the house though. Hopefully you understand.

Dear Tim,
Your explanation is fully understandable.  What you mistook for a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female, an organ used to lay eggs, and interestingly,  in wasps, bees and some ants, the ovipositor has evolved into a stinger.  We imagine the bite of a Robber Fly might have some unpleasant side effects, but we have never received a report of a person being bitten by one, nor have we heard of anyone who tried to handle a Robber Fly, which we imagine might result in a bite.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large wasp-like insect. Social.
Location: Cherokee County, Iowa
July 18, 2015 7:10 am
Hello. Last week on Thursday, I noticed a large, wasp-like insect flying around a storm drain at the place where I work. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention, but they were in an area of high traffic, and they seemed to “multiply” as the day went along. I first noticed just the one insect flying in and out of the drain Then there were two, and by the end of Thursday, there were four coming and going. Friday’s end brought with it six insects flying in and out.
Every time a truck would park near the storm drain, all of the insects would “swarm” the truck. No one was stung, however, the freight drivers did complain about the bugs. We were forced to eradicate the nest. Inside the drain was a softball-sized nest completely constructed of mud. I witnessed one of the wasps carrying a katydid, and a co-worker of mine noticed the same thing.
I live in northwest Iowa. I have included a picture of the wasp. I was unable to get a good picture of the nest as it was inside the storm drain. Thanks for your help
Signature: Sean

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Dear Sean,
This is a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, and most of the information you have provided seems consistent with the recorded behavior of the species except the social behavior you stated.  Great Black Wasps are solitary wasps, not a social species, though we concede that if conditions for nesting are ideal, multiple females may nest in the same vicinity.  Great Black Wasps do prey upon Katydids to provide food for the brood.  In an effort to educate our readership, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty, Mary Sheridan Page Fatzinger liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identification of this insect
Location: Southwest Iowa, Harrison County, Jefferson Township
June 28, 2015 6:42 pm
This insect was found crawling on a red oak tree in our house yard., that we have been having trouble with what seemed to be Beatles boring into the tree trunk in the fall or late summer and then in the spring hatching out because we see sap running down tree. We live in Southwest Iowa and Harrison County Jefferson Township in the country.
Signature: Cindy Myer

Firefly

Firefly

Dear Cindy,
Your images are very blurry.  The first image we opened appeared to resemble a dead Firefly, but there are several similar looking species and we could not be certain due to the poor quality, however, your second attached image with the view of the underside clearly shows the light producing organ at the tip of the abdomen.  This Firefly is not boring into your tree. Fireflies are beneficial insects.  The larvae are predatory, and they feed on small creatures including on snails and slugs.  In an attempt to educate the public on the importance than insects play in the complex web of life, and because this Firefly that was found crawling and it appears it will crawl no more, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Firefly

Firefly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a House Centipede?
Location: Northern middle Tennessee
June 4, 2015 4:36 pm
I found this critter in my kitchen today. Scared the you-know-what out of me. Let’s just say, the sucker had to die. But not before I got some good pictures of it so I could look it up to identify. It looks just like the House Centipede except the markings down it’s back is different and it is mostly black instead of brown. All the pictures I have come across show stripes going down the back of the centipede while this one looks like it has stripes going across. Is it just another variation of the House Centipede?
Signature: Dayna

House Centipede

House Centipede

Dear Dayna,
This is indeed a beneficial House Centipede and we are sorry to hear that “the sucker had to die.”  Your submission will be posting live to our site in the near future, while we are out of the office.

Alisha Bragg, Gary Vance, Linda Kirk, Sue Dougherty, Kitty Heidih, Tracey Fertally, Sean Gaukroger liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination