From the monthly archives: "June 2007"

What the…. My neighbor “captured” these THINGS which were crawling around by the hundreds on one of her bushes! I can’t find a picture that even vaguely resembles these THINGS. Sorry about the tape. I didn’t want them to get away.
Lindy A

Hi Lindy,
These are Lace Bugs in the family Tingidae. They most resemble a species on BugGuide, Corythucha associata.

Mating Water beetles?
Been a while, but here is one I just couldn’t pass up! We have these little guys in our pool all the time in NW Indiana, yet this was the first time I saw some amourous activities happening….. These little beetles can fly if they are out of the water long, and were coupled for many minutes and not really interested in my closeups.. Hope you enjoy!
Michael Kovacs

Hi Michael,
These are Backswimmers and they are not beetles. They are True Bugs with piercing mouthparts in the family Notonectidae. Thanks for sending us your wonderful image.

thanks again!
Thanks very much for posting my photo of the cabbage butterflies! I was able to identify these two wasps I took photos of today A spider wasp, and a golden digger wasp; thanks as always!

Mydas Fly Great Golden Digger Wasp

Hi Again Adam,
Not only are you an accomplished nature photographer, it seems you have a stable of coopertive models at your disposal. Both of your images are a welcome addition to our site. We hope you haven’t gotten spoilt by us posting three letters with four images in two day.

(06/27/2007) Adam’s Spider Wasp
Greetings, Bugman!
I think that the “blue-black spider wasp” that Adam sent may be a mydas fly. The photo angle, though very beautiful, makes for a slightly harder ID on account of perspective and foreshortening. Thanks again for the wonderful site!

Thanks Emily,
We were rushing and missed that.

Early instar of swallowtail?
Hello –
I love your site – I am amazed at what people will put in their hands. Anyway, I have been using the fab book Caterpillars of Eastern North America to try and identify some caterpillars in my veggie garden in Southern New Jersey but think I have become a bit to eagle eyed as they are all very small and none of them seem to be in the book! I think I am not versed enough in the various instars and color variations that caterpillars can come in. This is the most recent caterpillar my husband and I have found. She was on a dill plant that is smooshed between tomato plants. She appeared on June 25 in the evening. Only about 1/2″ long. The white bands in the middle are really throwing me. Who is she? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Jessica Ferguson
Woodbury, NJ

Hi Jessica,
Caterpillars undergo five instars, each followed by a molt. The fifth molt results in the chrysalis stage. Each of the five caterpillar instars results in a larger size, and in some species, a radically different appearance. This early Black Swallowtail instar looks nothing like the fifth instar caterpillar with the distinctive black and green stripes and yellow spots.

Hercules Beetle in perspective
Hello! After my mother-in-law sent me some pictures of an unusually large beetle they found in Central Texas, I did a search on the internet to figure out what it was, and discovered from your site that it was a Hercules Beetle (I think!). I noticed there didn’t seem to be a picture of the beetle with an object to show it’s actual size, so I included a couple of the pictures taken (on my father-in-law’s hand) to show how big they actually are. I apologize if the pictures are too large, but I hope you can use them on your site sometime.

Hi Samantha,
Thank you for sending us your wonderful image of a male Hercules Beetle with the human hand for scale.