From the monthly archives: "November 2006"

I just discovered your site, When I took this picture last month I thought it was a mother doting over a dead relative. Now I think it’s a robberfly eating it’s victim? This insect wither was there for a couple of days, and didn’t mind my getting to within 2 inches with a macro lens.
Loren Lewis

Hi Loren,
The only insects that exhibit anything remotely resembling doting are the social insects in the order Hymenoptera, the Ants, Bees and Wasp, and Termites in the order Isoptera. Robberflies are dispassionate about their meals.

Can you help me identify this wasp?? I came across this 2 years ago in July at Lake Edison, which is located in the Sierra’s in California. It was about 2 1/5 inches big…. maybe a little larger then that even. (Embedded image moved to file: pic18023.jpg)
Denna Myers

Hi Denna,
This is a female Horntail Woodwasp, Urocerus gigas. She uses the ovipositor, that appears to be a stinger, to deposit eggs deep in dead and dying wood.

Good photos of 2 spiders and a 17 year cicada
Thanks to your site I was able to identify the two spiders in the
attached photos. One is an orb web weaver and the other an orchard spider. I thought the pictures were good enough that you might be interested in having them. The orchard spider was outiside in the basement window well of my house and looked quite unlike the usual bugs here in suburban Essex county, NJ. The orb web weaver was taken in the Poconos in PA. I also attached a photo of a brood X 17 year cicada taken in Princeton, NJ. I have a short video of the 17 year cicadas that captures both the sound a large number of them make as well as the sound of the individual cicada that is the subject of the video. If you are interested let me know and I will send you a copy. Thanks,

Hi Peter,
At this point in time, we do not have the man hours to post all your great images, but we are thrilled to post the Periodical Cicada.

yellow weevil from cyprus- genus lixus-
Hi there. I wanted to let you know that i found one of these on my rose bush two days ago. I have never seen one before, but as I find weevils very fetching with their enormous noses and beady eyes, I took a photo. It ate a whole rose leaf before it disappeared but was there all day. Are they actually native to another country, eg, Cyprus as seen on your website. We are in a severe drought here, and I thought it may have come to the garden where a few things still have green leaves. cheers,
Jenny Davis

Hi Jenny,
There are over 35,000 species of Weevils worldwide, making the family Curculionidae the largest on the planet. Your letter is unclear if you are from Cypress, or if you think your Weevil looks like the one from Cypress. It does possess the yellow powdery bloom that Eric Eaton describes for the genus Lixus.

Corpse Bug in New Mexico?
Hello WTB,
This guy was crawling over the boulders (gravel) in my garden yesterday. He went on his way after I took a couple of pictures. I only wish I’d had better depth of field. He was (and still is, somewhere) about an inch long. I think he is of the Silphidae? What do you say? (I just couldn’t resist adding the greeting on the last pic!) best to you,

Hi Sarah,
This is indeed a Silphid or Burying Beetle. They are also known as Sexton Beetles. We aren’t sure what your exact species is.