From the monthly archives: "June 2009"

six legs, scorpion end, black & red/orange, walks like a walkingstick
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 5:36 PM
Hello!
This is my first submission of a picture to you, I think. Though I have used your site for years. Thanks! 🙂 We live in West Lafayette, Indiana and we found this bug on June 26th, 2009. We took several pictures – do with them what you like. I found this bug crawling up the side of an interior door frame in our house. At first glance, I was sure it was a spider. Then I could only find six legs and two long antennae. I also thought of a scorpion as its rump went up in the air. The way it walked reminded me of a walkingstick or praying mantis. It was black and bright red/orange. We tried to take pictures of it inside, then finally took it outside and got a few shots.
Please, do you know what kind of bug this is?
Thanks! 🙂 -Anne
Anne
West Lafayette, Indiana

Wheel Bug Nymph

Wheel Bug Nymph

Hi Anne,
This is an immature Wheel Bug and it is one of the Assassin Bugs.  Most Assassin Bugs are beneficial predators, but they are also capable of biting painfully if mishandled.

Moth?
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 3:05 PM
Here is another bug that I am curious about. It was on the same wall as the Stag Beetle. I think it is quite stunning.
Chris Bullard
Wilson, NC

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Hi Chris,
Your moth is a Virginia Creeper Sphinx or Grapevine Sphinx, Darapsa myron, and we identified it on Bill Oehlke’s fabulous website.  We are going to include Bill Oehlke in our response to you so he can add your sighting information to the data he is compiling on species distribution.

giant 5″, beetle-like bug with long mandibles, 6 legs and 4 glassy clear and black wings
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 10:56 AM
he or she is clinging on the wall outside our office in Indianapolis, in the shade, it’s about 95 degrees outside. When agitated with a paper, it bites at the paper with mandibles, but doesn’t fly away. It moved over to the edge of the column away from the paper after a while. It did not move it’s wings at all, but would move it’s head, articulating on the long neck.
My guess is some kind of North American Stag Beetle? Maybe it’s moulting or something and doesn’t want to use it’s wings?
Disappointed I can’t use “Green or Brown, depending on if I’ve watered.” as the answer to the human test.
Alex in Indy
Indianapolis, IN, USA

Dobsonfly

Dobsonfly

Hi Alex,
We have been away for several days attending a wonderful outdoor wedding in the redwood forest in Mendocino. While there we saw our very first live Banana Slug, though we did not photograph it. We will talk to our web host about the human question on our form. This is actually a male Dobsonfly. We have recently posted several images of female Dobsonflies with their smaller mandibles as well as an image of an immature Hellgrammite. The male Dobsonfly, according to the information we have read, uses his mandibles to compete for a mate, but we have never seen photo documentation to that effect.

What’s That Bug?
Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 6:06 PM
I love your site. I check it every day to for the new wonder of the day. Not only do you give information and ID, but the photos submitted by your other fans are usually fantastic! So much beauty out there. And yet there are people who hate “bugs.” I always refer them to your site and tell them to say they hate the beauty and variety of the insects they see
Mary Thorman

Name that Beetle
Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 6:11 PM
I was at work and took a picture of this beetle on the wall. I have been looking on the internet and have not been able to identify it, yet. Any ideas?
Chris Bullard
Wilson, NC

Giant Stag Beetle

Male Giant Stag Beetle

Hi Chris,
The Giant Stag Beetle, Lucanus elaphus, might well be the most strikingly unusual of the wealth of North American Beetles. Your beetle is a male, and male Giant Stag Beetles use those formidable mandibles to compete for mates.
Update: 30 June 2009
Since it is time to select a new Bug of the Month, and since there were two images of male Giant Stag Beetles submitted in late June, we thought this might mean there would be several more sightings in coming weeks. This was a very difficult decision as there are many worthy candidates for the Bug of the Month honors, but beetles and moths are probably our most common summer identification requests. The Giant Stag Beetle, according to BugGuide, may be in need of conservation. BugGuide also indicates: “Food Adults may feed on plant juices, rotting fruit (?), and aphid honeydew.
Life Cycle Eggs are laid in crevices of moist, decaying wood. Larvae feed on decaying logs, stumps, where adults can be found in spring, early summer. (Presumably males battle there.) Larvae take one or more years to develop. Adults can be found at lights in early summer. Adults live two or more years, but one generation per year. ” Almost all sightings submitted to BugGuide have been in June, but there are some July sightings indicated as well.

We will be going to Mendocino to a wedding for the weekend and we will not be posting any new letters nor answering any emails between Friday morning and Monday morning. Sorry for the inconvenience.