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

Beetle?
Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 9:08 PM
This fat sucker landed on my screen with a WHACK. It sounded like a Junebug – but a little big and more aggressive-looking.
Note that it looks like it only has 2 sets of legs on it’s thorax, and pincers coming out of it’s head… of course I wasn’t getting too close.
It flies!
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – April 27th @ 9pm or so. It was really hot today (27C) – unsually hot for the season.
Please tell me about this lovely new neighbour.
Ottawa has banned chemical pesticides this year, so I assume I will be seeing a few new creatures around.
Any info would be interesting to have. Many thanks!
Jo in Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

Hi Jo,
Thanks for the awesome news that Ottawa has banned pesticides this year, though we wonder the extent of the banning.  We presume homemakers can still purchase aerosol insecticides, but maybe not.  You are lucky that your first encounter with a Giant Water Bug (yes it swims too) was at your screen door where it lived up to its other common name of Electric Light Bug.  The common name Toe-Biter stems from hapless swimmers encountering the Giant Water Bug and experiencing its piercing bite.  Giant Water Bugs do not habitually bite people, but the occasional encounter and the pain of the bite has led to that colorful appellation.  Interestingly, Giant Water Bugs are eaten in Thailand.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

In a stump, flies, mates. What is it?
Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 4:25 PM
My wife and I have a really decayed stump that we are planing on removing and planting a garden over. So I decided to kick it a bit to see how easy it would be to remove. It crumbled very easily (as does the ground around it where the roots have rotted) but a bunch of these bugs flew out. Well, they hovered because they were busy mating, ends stuck together and flew awkwardly around.
The bugs themselves are dark brown with light yellowish markings. The karings are kinda stripey down the abdomen and a blotch on either side of the thorax. The head looks tiny and curled under the round thorax. I caught a mating pair, one has what looks like a stinger, but I think I know what it really is *winks*. They are about an inch long, with thin long smoke colored wings.
Brian
Tacoma, WA

Crane Flies

Crane Flies

Dear Brian,
What a wonderful account of the mating activity of these Crane Flies. We believe they are Ctenophora vittata – Ctenophora angustipennis as evidenced by the images posted to BugGuide. The “stinger” is actually the ovipositor, and it is the female that is in possession of it. We are going to contact Chen Young at the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania website to see if he can elaborate on the mating activity you witnessed. Our guess is that these adults are newly emerged. Adult Crane Flies don’t feed, so they don’t live long anyways. The larvae, sometimes called Leatherjackets, eat decaying organic material, and perhaps they were in the stump as larvae.  We are also going to tag your images Bug Love despite the mating activity being observed and not documented.

Crane Flies

Crane Flies

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Turquoise colored beetle
Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 8:23 AM
On Saturday 4/25/09 at 11:30 A.M. while hiking in the decidious woods of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, I saw this pretty beetle sitting on a log by itself in the middle of an upland woods. It did exhibit any unusual behavior and it just sat there letting me take this picture.
Can you tell me what this is ?
The temp in the woods was 80 degrees and clear, with very little humidity
Kevin
Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois

Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

Hi Kevin,
This is a Tiger Beetle in the genus Cicindela. We believe it is a Six Spotted Tiger Beetle, Cicindela sexguttata, even though your photo reveals eight spots. This is a variable species and we did locate one image on BugGuide with markings nearly identical to your individual. Tiger Beetles are fierce predators. Several species of Tiger Beetles are endangered because of habitat loss.

Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 5:17 AM
Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for the identification….very interesting.  It does seem
to me that I have seen a few of these before, and always in deep woods.
They must prefer deep woods.  As far as habitat loss, at least the woods
where I saw this one is an 80-acre tract of woods that has been in my family
for 20 years and will probably remain in the family.
Thanks again.
Kevin

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Furry Mating Moths
Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 6:57 AM
Found these two almost furry looking moths mating on my window this morning. At least I think they’re mating. Since they were on the glass I was able to photograph them from the top and bottom. I apologize for dirty window. It’s pollen season down here.
Resa
Atlanta, GA

Mating Moths

Mating Moths

Hi Resa,
Our best guess on this is a Noctuid Moth, possibly in the genus Zale. We couldn’t find an exact match on either BugGuide or the Moth Photographers Group, and we are hoping one of our readers may have a more exact answer for you. Even if we can’t positively identify your amorous couple, we are thrilled to put their photos on our Bug Love page.

Mating Moths

Mating Moths

Comment: Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 4:30 PM
How about One-spotted Variant, Hypagyrtis unipunctata?
Artemisia

Thanks so much Artemisia,
Hypagyrtis unipunctata , the One-spotted Variant, as pictured on BugGuide is a much better candidate than our original guess of a moth in the genus Zale.  According to BugGuide: “Size wingspan 20-47 mm  Identification
Adult: note scalloped hindwing; extremely variable sexually, seasonally, and geographically; both sexes yellowish-tan to orangish, mottled with white, brown, and blackish; lines and discal spots on all wings black; forewing has pale subterminal spot near costa; colors in spring specimens contrast more than in summer brood; females usually larger with more deeply-scalloped hindwing; melanics commonly occur but paler spot still visible near forewing apex ”  and  “larvae feed on leaves of alder, apple, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, dogwood, elm, fir, hazel, hickory, maple, oak, pine, poplar, rose, serviceberry, willow.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large hard beetle-type bug
Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 9:55 AM
We came home one August night and heard a horrible scraping/grating noise coming from our fireplace. Upon inspection, we saw a dusty leg clawing desperately out of the fireplace vent. We unscrewed the vent plate and found this dusty fatty. (We live in the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia.)
Sara McMurray
Appalachian Mountains, southwestern Virginia

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Hi Sara,
This is a female Eastern Hercules Beetle.  The male of the species has some impressive horns.  The larvae eat rotting wood and the adults feed on rotting fruit.  According to BugGuide, the Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus, is the heaviest North American beetle.  Many beetles are attracted to lights, and it is possible that the light inside your home lured this impressive beetle to your fireplace.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 6:32 PM
I found these butterflies resting around a severed moose leg in Northern Ontario.
Katrena
Timmins

Canadian Swallowtails and severed moose leg

Canadian Swallowtails and severed moose leg

Goodness Gracious Katrena …
Was a former American vice-presidential candidate in your area?    Male swallowtail butterflies are often attracted to mud puddles where they drink in the moisture which contains essential minerals like sodium.  This behavior is known as a puddle party or just puddling.  We have also heard that they are attracted to urine and fresh feces and perhaps to putrifying flesh, presumably for the same reason.  We located an image of Pipevine Swallowtails on horse dung online.  There are some awesome puddling photos on this website.  The encyclopedia of Arkansas history butterflies and moths page indicates:  “The males of many butterfly species gather at damp areas to imbibe mineral salts, known as “mud-puddling.” Males use these salts for their own bodily functions, but they pass them to the female in the spermatophore during copulation. These mineral salts seem to aid female egg production. Males and females may be observed imbibing mineral salts and amino acids from carnivore scat, horse urine, and rotting animal carcasses.”  You photo of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, Papilio canadensis, with a severed moose leg will make quite the conversation piece on our site.  Thanks so much for sending us the image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination