From the monthly archives: "August 2005"

Hello, Thank you for all your hard work! My 6yr old Jenna and myself spend alot of time here, especially since we’ve moved back to "Buggy old Michigan" as Jenna says. Our question today is regarding this flying buggy that looks to me like a dragonfly with a scorpioin like tail that appears to have a stinger (created much controversy in our neighborhood of bugs to beware)??? We are very curious as the population of these guys is increasing this month. Thanks Again
Jenna and Shelly

Hi Jenna and Shelly,
The population explosion of the American Pelecinid might be a good thing. These non-stinging relatives of wasps use that long ovipositor to lay eggs underground in the burrows of beetle grubs. The grubs are parasitized. There might be a future population explosion of destructive June Beetles if you kill the Pelecinids. Pelecinids are totally harmless.

What’s this one?
I love your site! I’ve been wondering if there was such a place to ask "what the heck is that" bug questions, and a friend just identified a hummingbird clearwing moth thanks to you…so I’m hoping you know what this bug is, too: I took this picture while camping in Ontario, and I’ve never seen this particular bug before. The colours were really amazing, though, and I wish I’d been able to get a better shot. I posted it on my blog and asked readers to identify it, but most people could only come up with the name of the flower, not the bug.
Thanks for any information you can offer!
Lee Ann Balazuc

Hi Lee Ann,
This is a Virginia Ctenuchid, Ctenucha virginica. This moth is found in wet meadows in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. The caterpillar feeds on grasses.

Praying Mantis mating
I took this picture two weeks ago in Port Elgin Ontario, I haven’t seen a better one on the internet, enjoy.
Sean J. Patrick Bates

Hi Sean,
We agree your photo is “Aces” and are proud to post it.

Louisiana swamp bug
I was startled by the size of these when I saw them while vacationing in New Orleans this July. They were just sitting happily in the grass outside the ticket office where we took our Swamp Tour. I thought they must be some kind of grasshopper, but I’ve never seen anything so big. What are they?
Thanks very much. The web site is fascinating!
Jim Smith

Hi Jim,
These are grasshoppers, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This species is usually brightly colored, but we found a posting on BugGuide with a comment by Eric Eaton, our favorite expert, regarding the unusual dark coloration.

Devil’s Horses
(09/14/2006) Just a tidbit
L Hi:
I’m glad you had info on the Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. My grandparents called the black variety “Devil’s Horses”, in case you didn’t know. Oops. In case it matters, I forgot to tell you, I’m from Birmingham, AL. Thanks,