Subject: Very strange
Location: 17022
May 22, 2017 7:28 am
This was actually from two years ago but the spring time has me wondering whats in store for this year. I found this on my car. I do have a lot of trees and ornamental landscaping. Its freaky and having two young kids its scary. Any ideas? Cell phone pics arent the best, sorry.
Signature: Matt

Wheel Bug Molting

Dear Matt,
You have captured images of a Wheel Bug molting.  The black part is the cast off exoskeleton and the orange insect is freshly emerged and it will soon darken.  Wheel Bugs are beneficial, predatory Assassin Bugs that should be handled with caution as they might bite.  Your Wheel Bug is still a nymph.  Adults are winged.

Wheel Bug Molting

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pool visitor
Location: Barkhamsted, CT
May 21, 2017 7:41 pm
Found this little dude in the pool while prepping for spring setup. Grasshopper? Cricket? About 3 inches long.
Signature: Kate

Mole Cricket in Swimming Pool

Dear Kate,
This is a Mole Cricket, and though we have gotten reports in the past that they swim quite well, we do not consider them to be aquatic.  They are subterranean dwellers that can also fly.

Subject: Bee or Fly?
Location: Swansboro, NC
May 21, 2017 3:56 pm
Is it a bee or a fly? I thought maybe a hoverfly? I’m at a loss. My friend took the picture in her yard.
Signature: Miss Sheila

Horse Guard Wasp, we believe

Dear Miss Sheila,
This critter has four wings, so it is definitely NOT a fly.  We believe it is a Sand Wasp as the abdominal markings remind us a bit of a Cicada Killer.  The closest match we could find is a Horse Guard Wasp,
Stictia carolina, but as you can see by comparing your image to this BugGuide image, that is not exact.  We will contact Eric Eaton for assistance.  Based on this BugGuide image, we now believe the Horse Guard Wasp might be correct, but the abdominal markings seem to vary.  Eric Eaton is quoted on BugGuide as stating:  “a really big sand wasp (just behind the cicada killer). They get their name by hanging out around equines and pouncing on tabanids which they paralyze and stuff into their burrows for their offspring.”  Also according to BugGuide:  “‘The horse-guard (Monedula carolina Drury), a predaceous wasp, is among the more important checks on the horsefly. These wasps lay their eggs in burrows and watch over them until they hatch. As soon as larvae appear, the wasps supply them with food, which consists of horsefly adults. The wasp frequents pastures where they pick the flies off the molested horses and cattle and carry them to their nests.’ — Bernard Segal, Synopsis of the Tabanidæ of New York, Their Biology and Taxonomy: I. The Genus Chrysops Meigen, Journal of the New York Entomological Society 44(1):51-78 (1936).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not kissing bug is it?
Location: Berkeley, CA
May 20, 2017 10:00 pm
Found in second floor bedroom on wood floor.
Signature: Thank you!

Mediterranean Seed Bug

This is NOT a Kissing Bug.  It is a recently introduced, invasive, exotic Mediterranean Seed Bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, and according to BugGuide:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant” and “earliest NA record: CA 1994can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”

Subject: Northern California Caterpillar
Location: Northern California
May 20, 2017 10:57 pm
Hi, saw this little guy outside tonight and just wondering what he might turn into
Signature: Rachel

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Rachel,
This is but one color variation of the highly variable Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar,
Hyles lineata, and this BugGuide image is a very good color match to your individual.  The high rainfall we had this past season produced plants upon which the caterpillars feed, and we expect to be getting reports of caterpillar population explosions, especially from desert areas.  Our own porch light has attracted numerous adult Whitelined Sphinx Moths this spring. 

Subject: Jewel Beetle
Location: Augusta, GA, NA
May 21, 2017 3:12 pm
Can you tell me what kind of beetle this is and where is it from?
Signature: CJC

Red Legged Buprestis

Dear CJC,
This Jewel Beetle is a Red Legged Buprestis,
Buprestis rufipes.  According to Beetles of Eastern North America:  “Adults are active in spring and summer.  Larvae develop in deciduous hardwoods” including honeylocust, beech, maple, hickory, tulip tree and slippery elm.