From the monthly archives: "August 2004"

Tree Cricket?
I can’t tell you what a find you were on the internet. Today, I was photographing insects on milk weed. I found six different insects. These three are not in any of my books.
They where in Orland Grassland in Orland Park Illinois.Thanks again… you are great!

Yes Suzanne,
You have a the Two-Spotted Tree Cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata, a female .

dear bugman,
I sent you info, but no picture about these which live outside (and now some inside as of a month or so ago) our southeast michigan home. i now have photos. they are about 3/8 to 1/2 inch long, walk around during the day (and we assume night too). they are very light brown, but don’t have any dark lines like the german roaches. I saw one fly only once, they usually walk or run. What are they and will they try to make a home in our house?? thanks a lot.

Hi LN,
You certainly have a cockroach. I can only guess you home would be attractive to them. You are correct in guessing it does not look like a German Cockroach, but I can’t help you on the species.

Some kind of hornet
I killed this hornet in the waiting area of an auto repair shop this afternoon in downtown Durham, NC. It seemed to have flown in and couldn’t get back out. I was more than happy to "help" it. Below is a description and attached are 3 pics for identification.
Full length (eyes to stinger = 37cm)
Abdomen widest width = 8.5mm
Thorax widest widthwidth 9mm
Wingspan = 63mm
Antennae = 13mm each
The eyes are large and brown. The face between the eyes is yellow with some brown on it. The antennae are made of small segments and gets slightly thicker toward the end, before tapering right at the tips. They are black. All 6 legs are kinda "spikey" like a roach or locust. at the 2nd joint of the hindmost legs there are 2 small appendages which look like small pinchers connected at the joint and proturding toward the feet Thorax is very dark brown and medium dark brown. Thorax is also a bit fuzzy near the abdomen There are 2 longer outer wings and 2 shorter inner/under wings. Abdomen seems to have 6 "sections". The 1st section from the thorax has 2 yellow markings. The 2nd section has 2 yellow markings on the back, 2 small ones on the sides and 2 small spots on the underside. The 3rd section has 2 yellow markings on the back. The last three are solid black.
I made a very detailed description as the photos from my SonyEricsson T616 cellphone camera aren’t that great. I searched quite a few sites for this formidable looking fellow but came up empty-handed. Hope you can help. Thanks 🙂
Very Sincerely,
Scott Walton

Hi Scott,
You have a Cicada Killer Wasp, Specius speciosus. According to the Golden Guide of Insects: “This large solitary wasp digs a burrow a foot or so deep. In side passages the female stores adult cicadas which she has paralyzed by stinging. The heavy cicadas are dragged up a tree by the killer till she can get enough altitude to fly back to her burrow. When the egg hatches, the lrva feedes on the helpless cicada. In a week it is full grown and pupates in a loose cocoon. It emerges the following summer, completing its life cycle.” Though your photos are blurry, we are thrilled to have them.

New pics
Hey Daniel,
I have a couple specials for you to add to your archives. I seem to be getting better at my photos. The unknown bug was
found in a drift fence array in West Texas, and none of the researchers could figure out what it was. Can you?!
Wendy A.

Hi Wendy,
The Green Sphinx Caterpillar is probably a member of the genus Eumorpha, formerly Pholus. Notice how the head is retracted into the thoracic portion of the body as well as the absence of a caudal horn. We entertain the possibility that it most resembles Eumorpha pandorus in its green form, but the abdominal spots do not appear to be ringed in black in your photo. This is a caterpillar that comes in both a brown and green form. We love your photo of a Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, Battus philenor. Most photos online show black caterpillars with red fleshy spines. We might be wrong, but we believe there is a red form as well. Your photos really are great.

Hello folks.
First, let me thank you for your excellent site. I had found a strange little critter in my home office and wondered what it might be. I found it on your site after many others had let me down. It turns out to be a Masked Hunter". Quite the strange little critter. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of the photos I’ve taken of both that "masked hunter" and a solfugid which was out on a parking lot near my office.
Here’s the link.
Mostly these photos have been another excuse to play with my digital camera, and the originals of many are in higher resolution than that shown on the site. If you have any use for some of these photos, just let me know.
Thanks again for your informative site.
Jim Harrison

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the photos as well as the advertisement on your site. The story on your site about finding the Masked Hunter on the roll of toilet paper is quite amusing. Sadly, we are currently down, yet again, due to heavy traffic. We will post your photos and letter as soon as September arrives.

My bugs
These tiny little bugs swarmed our kitchen a few days ago. They literally covered the counter top and we have no idea where they came from. One minute there was nothing, and then like 10 minutes later they were crawling all over the counter and the floor and flying around the light. There were hundreds of them. They sort of look like fruit flies but they seem bigger and I’ve never seen that many fruit flies together before. Maybe they all just hatched at the same time or something. Let me know what you think.

Hi Ayron,
You have flying ants. These are the reproductive queens and kings. They swarm and mate in the air, then form new colonies. You must have an ant nest that has an egress into your kitchen.