From the monthly archives: "May 2006"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello we live in Columbus, Ohio and Iam trying to identify this moth. My son ’s bug book shows an Atlas moth but they are from Asia. Any info would be great. Have a great day!

Hi Jen,
The Cecropia Moths in your photo and Atlas Moths are in the same family, Saturnidae, so the error is understandable. Thanks for sending us your photo of mating Cecropia Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Interesting bee photo!
Last year I was mowing the yard, and I saw what appeared to be a huge bee flying towards my face. It turned out to be a bumble bee flying about with a honey bee in it’s mouth. It was flying around, and landed on a bush, to apparently devour the bee. It allowed me to get close enough to snap a couple of pics. Can you tell me if this is normal behavior? Here it is.
Richard Staron
Houston, Texas

Hi Richard,
This is most certainly not normal behavior for a Bumble Bee, but it is perfectly normal for a Southern Bee Killer, Mallophora orcina, a species of Robber Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Assassin/Kissing Bug
Hello. I was wondering if you could help me determine the difference between Kissing Bugs and Assassin Bugs. I understand that Kissing Bugs feed on vertebrates while Assassins feed on invertebrates, but I’m not entirely certain what this bug eats. They are pretty common around my house in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi Nick,
Sorry about the delay, but it is impossible to answer every letter. All Kissing Bugs are Assassin Bugs in the family Reduviidae, but the reverse is not true. This is a Blood Sucking Cone-Nose Bug, also known as a Kissing Bug in the genus Triatoma. It can spread Chagas Disease.

Kissing Bug Update
(11/09/2006) Kissing bug (Triatoma dimidiata)
Hello! This summer I was fortunate enough to research Kissing bugs, T. dimidiata. I noticed on your website some information on them, but I thought I would clarify some misconceptions on these very cool creatures! 1st, they transmit Chagas disease not by their bite, but by their feces. As they feed on sleeping creatures, they can bite for up to an hour. During this time, they excrete. The victim later scratches the itchy bite, pushing the feces into the skin. Also, while the insects live throughout the Americas, cases of Chagas disease are reported almost exclusively in South America. It can also be spread through food and contact with the mucus membranes after touching the feces. Kissing bugs are attracted to CO2 and heat, like mosquitos. They fly only when hungry, and only the adults fly. They are not to be confused with very similar-looking assassin bugs that feed on plants. In domestic conditions, the insects live usually in woodpiles or in wooden bedframes in homes near the woods with lots of dirt and dust. They dislike moist conditions. I included a powerpoint made for educative purposes in Latin America with some nice pictures… I love your website!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bugman, I found quite a few of these guys hangin out on my roses here in Southern California this morning. I think they are Aphids and are about to move on to the next level of their spiritual journey as soon as I can find the rose spray. I know that you are not into carnage on global scale but…………… They are very interesting looking upclose and personal.

Hi Rus,
We have no problem killing Aphids, but we prefer to shoot them off the plants with a strong jet of water, or occasionally, spray them with soapy water. While your Aphid photo is wonderful, we are thrilled with the Aphid Wasp you have sent in. Aphid Wasps are in the family Aphidiidae. They are small parasitoid wasps that lay eggs in the abdomen of aphids. The larva then devours the Aphid’s internal organs, leaving a dry hollow shell known as an Aphid Mummy. Looks like nature is taking care of your Aphid problem.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

elm beetle?
Hi.. wondered if you wanted these pics…they are some type of elm beetle( sorry , in too big ahurry to look them up) found in Maud,Ok,74854 yesterday , May 28 2006 Thanks for your fabulous site..and have a safe Memorial Day…..
I got some time to look on your site ..heres what you have under the first beetle page: “8/13/2003) The COTTONWOOD BORER, Plectrodera scalator, is a large black and white beetle that is most likely your culprit. It is a member of the long horned borer family. The grubs bore into the trees and can cause considerable damage.” Hi …got wondering if those first pics I sent were too big , so here they are resized…though , as dangerous looking as they are , a full size pic is much more impressive,lol…Debbi in Maud,OK

Hi Debbi,
We see you already identified your Cottonwood Borer before we had a chance to respond. We spent the whole day gardening, stopping just long enough to bar-be-que.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This bug’s identity is bugging us
Dear What’s That Bug – I wonder if you can help me and my daughter, Charlotte, identify the bug in the attached photographs. We live in Phuket, Thailand and these pics were taken in the slightly damp kitchen of my ground floor office building, which backs tightly onto a large area of forested hills. Any ideas? I look forward to your reply.
Simon J Hand
Phuket Post

Hi Simon,
Exotica can sometimes be very difficult. We believe this is a Firefly Larva, or possibly a Netwing Beetle Larva. We will contact Eric Eaton to see what his opinion is. Eric Eaton wrote in: “The firefly larva from Thailand is actually an ADULT female Demosis species of net-winged beetle (family Lycidae). They are known commonly as trilobite beetles. Nice work just getting in the neighborhood on that one!”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination