From the monthly archives: "February 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hoverflys mating in flight
Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 9:43 PM
Hi guys,
Just spotted a hoverfly in the garden that was staying very much in the one spot so grabbed the camera and turned out to be this pair in mating flight.. Sorry the top guy is not real sharp around the head, ID is Common Hover Fly – Ischiodon scutellaris. Thought you might like them for the buglove pages
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Hover Flies Aerial Mating

Hover Flies Aerial Mating

Hi Trevor,
What an amazing and romantic photograph.  Thanks for providing our readership with a species identification as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

15 cm big cricket?
Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM
South of France in August. Photo shows the ”beast” on a laurel branch. Location around the Mont Ventoux.
Vitus
Location around the Mont Ventoux. Near camping site

Southern Saw Tailed Bush Cricket

Saddle-backed Bush-cricket

Hello Vitus,
This is a Shield-Back Katydid or Bush Cricket in the subfamily Tettigoniinae. We found one European website with images of a species Barbitistes obtusus that look very similar to your specimen. ZipCodeZoo.com gives the common name Southern Saw-Tailed Bush-Cricket, and in France it is called Le Barbitiste Empourpré or Le Barbitiste Empourpr . We also found a BBC page on the Alpine Bush Cricket, Anonconotus alpinus, that graphically chronicles the mating habits of another related species. We have also learned that Bush Crickets are called Wart Biters in English speaking Europe. We are going to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki for substantiation of the identification.

Correction: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:52:28
Hi Daniel,
The katydid in the photo is a member of the subfamily Ephippigerinae,
commonly referred to as Saddle-backed Bush-crickets. It is a fairly basal
(“primitive”) lineage of katydids, restricted in their distribution to SW
Palaearctic. They have fascinating reproductive behavior that involves
enormous paternal investment and female singing.
The insect in the photo is in the genus Ephippiger, possibly E. ephippiger,
but two or three very similar species are also known from Provence.
Cheers,
Piotr

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this insect?
Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 4:04 PM
We had just put some towels that were drying into our beach bag, when we noticed a long black thread-like thing inside the bag. Upon further review we saw some sort of insect, with long black legs, a brown body like a HUGE grasshopper or beetle, with pincers like a crab. We convinced it to leave the bag, but it was not aggressive in any way. it scared the hell out of my wife who now wonders if there are more, is it dangerous, did it lay eggs???
Jerry & Nora
Zihautenejo, Mexico

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpion

Hi Jerry and Nora,
This is a harmless Tailless Whipscorpion, and it is an Arachnid, not an insect.  Tailless Whipscorpions are shy, nocturnal predators, any your specimen was likely just hiding from the sun and heat inside your bag.  In Mexico, there are many superstitions about the Tailless Whipscorpion,  but the rumors that it is dangerous and venomous are not true.  We have had one reader report that the Tailless Whipscorpion is known locally in Mexico as a Cancle, but we cannot verify that in our web research.  We doubt that it laid eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dragonfly Some kind of Meadowhawk?
Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 12:25 PM
Can you help me identify what kind of Meadowhawk dragonfly this is. I found this one late July, Hennepin County, Minnesota.
Jeanne
Richfield, Hennepin Cty., MN, USA

Meadowhawk

Meadowhawk

Dear Jeanne,
We have often mentioned that the exact identification of Dragonflies and Damselflies is not our strongest area, but just yesterday, Renaud Bernhard of Switzerland was kind enough to write to us and provide corrections to many of our unidentified or misidentified postings. We will post your letter and photo and hopefully Renaud can provide you with a correct answer.

Meadowhawk

Meadowhawk

Update: Monday, February 23, 2009
Hi Daniel,
That one is tricky. There are three north american meadhowhawks species with female that are troublesome to ID
without close examination, all three shows those black triangles on the side of the abdomen and more or less extended
amber patches on the wings: Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum), Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum) and
White-faced Meadowhawk (Symeptrum obtrusum). There I would say Ruby Meadowhawk but that’s only because the guide I have
says that female of it can have as much extended yellow patch on the wings.
I’m just an amateur wildlife lurker but I’m fascinated with dragonflies-damselfies so I have collected a few
identification guides.
Renaud Bernhard

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Yellow mantid
Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM
I found this in mesic pine flatwoods in Lee County Florida, near Fort Myers, among grasses and saw palmetto, in October.
Keith
Ft. Myers, Florida

Carolina Mantis??

Carolina Mantis??

Hi Keith,
We believe that this is a Carolina Mantis, Stagmomantis carolina. There is a photo on BugGuide that is very similar. It is a native species. We will try to get a confirmation on the ID.

Carolina Mantis??

Carolina Mantis??

Update: Sunday, February 21, 2009
Daniel:
The mantid just about ‘has’ to be a species of Stagmomantis, though I don’t know if it is the Carolina mantid.  My references don’t show any similar genus from there.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

baby mantids!
Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 6:40 AM
Hello, bugman! My baby mantids are finally large enough to take a decent photo of. My grandmother brought this egg case back from Maryland to Florida while on vacation and it hatched. Is it safe to release these babies into the woods here in Florida, or would they be invasive? I think my husband is tired of me keeping them in a box on the kitchen table. Thanks!
Kelly
Panama City, Florida via Easton, Maryland

Mantid Hatchlings

Mantid Hatchlings

Hi Kelly,
It usually isn’t a very good idea to transport insects from one location to another. With that said, many of the Mantis species in the eastern U.S. are already non-native, like the Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis and the European Mantis, Mantis religiosa. Those two species are also frequently sold as ootheca, the foamy egg sac, so that home gardeners can use natural methods to control harmful insects instead of using pesticides. Interestingly, Mantids are not particular about the insects they eat, and they frequently feed on pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We doubt that your baby Mantids would be happy in the woods. The garden or a meadow would be more to their liking.

Mantid Hatchlings

Mantid Hatchlings

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination