From the monthly archives: "December 2006"

Scorpion-tailed wasp thing?
My fiancee and I came across this interesting looking bug in Frozen Head State Park, which is in the town of Wartburg, Tennessee (eastern TN.) It didn’t move for quite a long time, though it was alive.

This amazing creature is an American Pelecinid. It is related to wasps, but does not sting. Your specimen is a female. She uses her long abdomen as an ovipositor to place eggs underground on beetle grubs. The larvae parasitize the grubs of June Beetles.

What is this Black Wasp with Yellow Abdomen and Legs
I spotted this beauty late September while he was feeding on a lechagialla bloom in Bib Bend National Park. I checked your site and a few others (yours is the best, hands down) but couldn’t find a certain match.

Hi Daryl,
This is a Polistes Paper Wasp. We cannot be conclusive about the species but will check with Eric Eaton. Here is Eric’s suspicion: ” I believe this is Polistes comanchus, but not absolutely positive. Very similar, anyway. Please see if Bugguide has an image you can compare to. Eric”

Hi, I’m just learning how to use bugguide, and I thought I’d see if I can contribute to the ID of the Polistes paper wasp from 12/05/06. That could definitely bee a Polistes comanchus, but I think maybe it’s a Polistes aurifer. Thanks so much for such a great site.

Hi, I hope the summer swamping has slacked off enough that you can help with this beetle. I went through your beetle pages, but couldn’t find it. Two of them appeared here in mid-coast Maine last summer. I hadn’t seen any before or since It could fly, and was about an inch long. Thanks.

Hi Steven,
We are seeking assistance from Eric Eaton with your mystery Scarab Beetle. Here is Eric’s response: ” Hi, Daniel: The scarab from Maine is Osmoderma scabra, I’m pretty sure. That genus certainly. They supposedly give off the odor of Russian leather, but no one I know knows what that is supposed to smell like! Eric”

a couple of bugs
hi from Canada!
i’ve included two pics of bugs, one we’re pretty sure is a ‘green stink bug’ (we looked it up in ‘bugs of ontario’). … identifying the other one has been a bit of a chore. it was about 3-4 cm long. here it is seen on our screen door. we see them frequently in the summer months, most often perched on a wall outside or on the screen door and sometimes they find their way indoors and have to be evicted, usually i simply hold a margarine tub near them and brush them gently into it where they sit quietly while i move them outdoors. some of them can be quite large. thanks for any help you can provide,
D. Mitchell

Hi D,
Your mystery bug is our featured Bug of the Month for December, the Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis.

Can you identify this beetle?
I have searched the web and can’t find this beetle anywhere. My mom found it already dead in Elbert County, GA. If you can help me that would be great. I hope that the attached pictures are clear enough. Thanks,

Hi Ashley,
This is one of the Scarab Beetles known collectively as Rhinoceros Beetles. It is in the genus Phileurus, and is most likely the Triceratops Beetle, Phileurus truncatus. They are attracted to lights. There is more information to be found on BugGuide. This is a new species for our site and we are thrilled to post it. Eric Eaton has this to add: ” Yes, the triceratops beetle ID is correct. That is a genus of carnivorous scarabs, believe it or not. Eric”

Identification of butterfly
To whom it may concern:
2) Also, could you give me the name of the butterfly, seen in Rustler’s Park in the Chiracauhua mountains, also in Portal, ARIZONA? I have attached an image of both sides of the butterfly. Thank you very much for your help!
Irene Kitzman MD
Portal, AZ and Hamden, CT

Hi Irene,
What wonderful photos of the Painted Lady you have supplied to our website. The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui, is a migratory species that often forms impressive swarms. We are relatively confident with this identification, but it might be a closely related species, the West Coast Lady, Vanessa annabella.