From the monthly archives: "June 2008"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(06/07/2008) Hoverfly
Here’s a picture of a hoverfly I took in my garden. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I took this during April on a pea plant. It’s a pretty common hoverfly (as in I found it on Google), but I was just wondering what it was doing on my pea plant. I think I might have been laying eggs where there were aphids (it was hovering around my cabbage as well). There was another picture of this fly on your site. I think it’s a Scaeva pyrastri.

Hi Brandon,
Thank you so much for sending us your image of a correctly identified Hover Fly, Scaeva pyrastri. According to BugGuide, a larva may consume 500 aphids in its lifetime. We will, however, correct some grammar. When the descriptive common name for an insect includes multiple words, like hover and fly, they may be joined or kept separate, but they do follow certain rules. A Hover Fly is a true fly, so the words are kept separate. A Dragonfly, Dobsonfly and Butterfly are not true flies, so the words are connected.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Daniel: about the red legged purse spider
Hi Daniel,
I continue to very much enjoy Whats that bug?, even though you don’t hear from me as often. I wanted to say that I write on Wikipedia, (mostly on mollusks) so if there is a problem with the info they are quoting from WTB about the red-legged purse spider, do let me know and I will fix it. Very best wishes to you!

Hi Susan, We do try to do our research on What’s That Bug? My comment has more to do with the fact that we are supporting our own information with information from Wikipedia, but we noticed that Wikipedia is citing us, meaning that we are citing ourselves. Just an amusing observation. To the best of my knowledge, it is correct. Thanks

Oh, I see! Sorry I misunderstood… Always nice to hear from you, Daniel, thanks. You are doing really great with WTB, congratulations. Also you are really getting through to people and changing attitudes slowly but surely.

hi again Susan,
Our goal is to conquer global warming, and we feel that this needs to begin on a microcosmic level. Awareness of personal space is a good beginning to reducing each person’s carbon footprint on the planet. have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

unidentified cool bug from johua national park
I think it’s some kind of beetle but am not sure. I know I’ve never seen any like it. Anyway I’ll share naming rights with you if it’s never been seen before.
Henry Hagemeyer

Hi Henry,
We believe the location of your photo is Joshua Tree National Park, and this is the second image of a Master Blister Beetle we received today.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this bug?
This photo was taken on the hood of my truck. It is approximately 1 inch long from the front of its head to the end of its body. I saw this in Southern California on May 30, 2008 at 3:45pm. What is it?

Hi Randy,
This is a Master Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. Adults are active in the spring in the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hey bug-peoples!
This thing just scared the hell out of me!! It’s getting to be about midnite-ish and I was heading to bed when this copper-coloured death beetle streaks across the carpet sending me running into the next room like a sissy! I’m absolutely terrified by the size of it….so of course I plop a quarter down next to it, trap it under a glass and get my camera! I tried to get as close as I could so you could see the pretty bump-pattern on it’s back and the sheer magnitude of it’s teeth-mandible things. So here ya go! What is this thing?? Now I am off to scoop it up and release it outside….. if it somehow escaped in the middle of the night, I’m pretty sure it could kill me…. Oh! I’m in Battleford, Saskatchewan if it helps! Thanks alot!!

Hi Lindsay,
We are happy to hear that despite your terror, you released the Fiery Hunter after the photo session. The Fiery Hunter, Calosoma calidum, is one of the Caterpillar Hunters, a genus of large, conspicuous beetles. As their name implies, they feed on caterpillars, and are an important natural biological control agent. Without predators like Caterpillar Hunters, plant eating species would devour our food supply.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis?
I was just given your site when trying to find the identity of this moth. I see from other shots that it appears to be a Nessus Sphinx – am I right, and is this unusual for northern illinois, as I’ve never seen one before in this area. Thanks, enjoyed you site very much – thought you might like the pictures….
Bill Gigliotti

hi Bill,
Your identification of the Nessus Sphinx is correct. Bill Oehlke’s website lists Illinois as withing the typical range.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination