From the monthly archives: "July 2005"

flies or bees?
flies or bees? i’m guessing flies by the eyes. are they similar because they hold their wings out straight? both about 1/2 inch long.

Hi Bennett,
We wrote to Eric Eaton to try to get a species name for your fascinating fly. Here is his response: ” Yes, that is a featherlegged tachinid fly in the genus Trichopoda. They are parasites of leaf-footed bugs and squash bugs, rarely stink bugs. Those raised white spots on the head or thorax of a leaf-footed bug are the eggs of this and related species in the genus. Eric”

Enjoy your website
Hello – Just wanted to say Thank You for your great website! I’m not fond of "bugs" – especially spiders – but it’s getting easier, thanks to you. Also, I want to tell you that for two years now my mailbox has been the birthing room for hordes of earwigs – and this year I chased them all out with garlic! Just a sliced clove of garlic spread around in the mailbox and the lid left open – they skittered out of there in a hurry. Also have had good luck with chasing ants away with powdered cloves. I had ants coming up through my bathroom flooring (I assume through cracked concrete and then through small holes in the vinyl). I mixed a little vegetable oil (for staying power) with a lot of powdered cloves and filled the holes in the vinyl; when the level went down, I poured more in, etc. After several days, the ants left, never to return (and this had been a 6-month + battle). Thanks again for all you do – you are much appreciated.

Thanks for the helpful hints Mary.

More unidentified critters
I photographed three of these on recent trips to Arkansas and one at a local park here in Southern Cal. Hoping you could help me identify them.

Hi Rus,
This Mayfly is one of your Arkansas critters. Mayflies belong to the Order Ephemeroptera which alludes to the fact that they only live a day, though some live several days. May is not the only month they are found. When they emerge as adults, they usually do so in great numbers. Their nymphs or naiads are aquatic. Your photo is stunning, and will result in a new page for our site.

Identification Update:
(08/01/2005) The mayfly is a male subimago of the genus Hexagenia. The nymphs are burrowers in mud and debris in clean streams and rivers. This one is related to the mayflies that occasionally form huge emergence swarms on the upper Mississippi and the Great Lakes. Hope this helps.
R. Wills Flowers
Center for Biological Control
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307

Interesting Bug
I’m assuming this is the male, given the extra ornateness; I got a picture of the presumed female, but unfortunately it’s very poor quality and she’s barely visible. I saw this fellow in a park nearby. He was crawling around, and headed toward me; I moved several times and he tracked me each time. I think he was just looking for something climb on – the female showed up a few minutes later, and he climbed up on the post that he’s next to in this picture, and arched his back and spread his wings, just holding the pose. He’s pretty good size – I’d say 5-6 inches, stem to stern. He had a couple of pincer-like appendages on his tail, of a fleshy material, similar to what’s on his head, but shorter. Unfortunately they’re folded under him in this picture. I have never seen anything like this. Any idea what it is?
Alan Little

Hi Alan,
Nice photo of a Male Dobsonfly. We were getting several letters a day in May and June and not so many in July regarding this fascinating insect.

I thought you guys might like a photo of a whitefly you did not seem to have one. Also the link to your snakeflies page is busted. This whitefly shot was taken at the Owens Rose Garden in Eugene Oregon. Great Site.
Pat Griffin

Nice Macro Photo Pat,
We have fixed the link problem. Thanks for your vigilence.

More unidentified critters
I photographed one at a local park here in Southern Cal. Hoping you could help me identify them.

Hi Rus,
You have outdone yourself with this Tarantula Hawk, Pepsis species photograph. The orange antennae are not something we are used to seeing. Curved antennae signify a female who has a powerful stinger. She uses it to paralyze tarantulas, the food for the larval wasps.