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

COVERED IN OTHER BUGS OR SPIDERS!!!!
November 18, 2009
Found this bug outside my house this summer(sept23) in schreiber, ontario canada. I also have video i am willing to send ( you can see the small bugs/spiders moving around). Is this the bugs babies or are they killing it?!?!
Monica
Northern ontario

Sexton Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Sexton Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Hi Monica,
The beetle is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetles.  The hitchhikers are Phoretic Mites.  Amazingly, this is a mutually advantageous situation.  Sexton Beetles bury small dead animals and lay eggs on the corpses and the beetle larvae feed on the putrefying meat.  Rotting flesh also attracts flies that lay eggs that hatch into maggots that compete with the beetle larvae for food.  The Mites hitch a ride on the beetle, since mites cannot fly, an act known as phoresy.  The mites eat the maggots, ensuring there will be more food for the beetle larvae.  We have seen images of Sexton Beetles covered in so many Phoretic Mites that it seemed impossible that they could fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Brown bug beachside
November 20, 2009
I took this at a beachside campground in the South Carolina LowCountry. He was not quite a half inch long.He was very content and did not mind my presence.Could you tell me what it is?
macroguru62
South Carolina LowCountry

Immature spiny Assassin Bug

Immature spiny Assassin Bug

Dear macroguru62,
This is a spiny Assassin Bug nymph in the genus Sinea.  BugGuide has many images of this genus.  Your photo is wonderful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need more information
November 21, 2009
Hey bugman,
I’m from Woodford, Queensland in Australia, and have recently had an increasing (then decreasing) number of what I have found out (from your site) to be Brown Prionids. A good deal of my room is made of timber from the timber yard next door, and I have a full length porch made from said timber around my room. Just wondering if these beetles are dangerous in any way. The pincers on these buggers are freaking my missus out BIG TIME! And the little buggers have flown across the room, brushed my face while lying down, and freaked my missus out a few times. Any further information than that I have already read about them on this site would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Nathan from Brisbane
We don’t see bugs like this in Australia, really…. :-S
Woodford, Queensland

Poinciana Longicorn from our archives

Ed. Note:  January 30, 2012
The included photo came from another posting and is replacing a photo we originally incorrectly identified as the Poinciana Longicorn.

Hi Nathan,
Though our website has gotten you a subfamily identification, we actually believe your species may be local for you.  In our opinion, this may be a Poinciana Longicorn, Agrianome spinicollis, or perhaps some closely related species.  When you say your room is made from the timber from the timber yard next door, you did not indicate when the room was constructed.  Often fresh timber is milled with beetle larvae inside, and if the wood is not treated, the adults may eventually emerge.  Also, if you live in an area where milled wood is produced, you may just be attracting the beetles because many Prionids are attracted to lights.  The mandibles on Prionids are quite strong since they need to chew their way out of the trees they have been boring in during the larval stage.  A bite might even draw blood, but it will heal as there is no poison.  Perhaps someone will write in an confirm that our identification is correct.  We posted a photo of a Poinciana Longicorn several years ago, and there is also a link to a site with some photos.  Your specimen seems a richer color than the images we found online.  Sadly, the Brisbane Insect website has nothing devoted to the subfamily Prioninae.

Hey Daniel,
The house was built roughly 5 years ago. These beetles have only JUST started to show up. The owners of the house before us have stated they have no idea what we’re on about because they didn’t have them. As I said, they seemed to show up almost every night (for about 2 weeks), then all of a sudden they stopped showing up as often. We now see 1 every now and then. Ironically, the beetles stopped showing up as often when we caught one and kept it in a bottle. They must be tough bugs, because this bugger lasted 2 weeks without food, water or air…
And the picture I included was one I found on the internet. I didn’t have a camera on me when I sent that message to you. In actuality, the beetles we have here are a deep brown colour, as opposed to the rich red-like colour in the photo.
Nathan

Hi Again Nathan,
We wish you had indicated that the beetle in your photo was just some random similar looking specimen, because as you should realize, any accurate identification is now impossible.  We will be removing the image from your letter (since we do not have the photographer’s permission to use it) and replacing it with the likeliest suspect, the Poinciana Longicorn.  Often there are years with population explosions of some species, generally triggered when conditions are perfect.  While it is possible that the beetles have been in the larval stage in the wood of your house for the past five years, we do not consider that as strong a possibility as them entering the home from the outside after being attracted to the lights.

Hey Daniel,
First off, my apologies for including a random shot of the beetle from the internet. But as your inquiry form would not allow me to continue without a photo (and the fact I didn’t have a camera on me at the time) I grabbed the next best thing.
I ran an image search of this Poinciana Longihorn, and found a closer image match to this beetle than I originally did, so I now have a better idea of what this bug is, thank you. And I’m not sure if they are actually attracted to the lights, per say, because if you leave the doors open, they DO enter (and the outside lights are always on of a night). Every time I have accidentally left the door open, I see them flying in. So needless to say, I now make every conceivable effort to keep the house closed up of a night.
A larval stage of 5 years??? Freaky… 🙂
Anyways, I want to thank you for helping me trying to understand this small creature and giving me a little more appreciation for them. I no longer kill them. Rather, pick them up with some paper and a glass, and set them back into the backyard.
Cheers,
Nathan

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tiny White Spiky Insect
Hello Bugman,
This afternoon in our backyard I noticed something white on my arm, thinking it was a piece of lint I went to blow it off and then noticed it was crawling.
It was an insect I have not ever seen before. I quickly ran inside and grabbed my camera. I carefully removed him from under my arm hair with the tip of a dulled toothpick; I placed him on our patio furniture and took some images of him, I was using a macro lens with a close up filter and was able to get in close for his size.
It was no more then a quarter inch in length and a eighth of an inch wide, it had soft white spike like spines all over, what was strange is some of them came off when trying to maneuver it into a better position for an image.
Got an idea, if you need more info please feel free to ask.
Thanks
Daryl
Southern California

Mealybug Destroyer Larva

Mealybug Destroyer Larva

Hi Daryl,
WE are relatively certain your larva is a Mealybug Destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
, a beneficial species of Lady Beetle.  According to BugGuide, it was:  “Imported to the US from Australia in 1891 to control citrus mealybugs in California. Widely used for control of citrus and long-tailed mealybugs, soft scales and related pests. Will not survive cold winters, so it is mostly used in greenhouses or mild-winter areas, or has to be introduced annually.

Mealybug Destroyer Larva

Mealybug Destroyer Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange White Larvae In Webbing Under Rock
November 21, 2009
Hi,
I’ve been using your site to identify insects ever since I discovered it a year ago. The work you guys do here is really amazing, especially encouraging people not to kill the insect for identification!
Please note that the image here was taken in September under a rock on the bare ground. There were none of these larva on the ground under the rock, they seemed to be confined to their ‘webbing’. I only took one photo unfortunately, as I figured they’d be pretty characteristic and easy to identify. This has not been the case so far…
Christie
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Unidentified Mass of Larvae

Mass of Larvae: Fungus Gnats

Hi Christie,
Your image represents one of two letters with mystery larvae we just received.  We thought your example must be some species of fly, but our preliminary search drew a big blank.  We also entertained the possibility that they might be Flea larvae since they spin a silken cocoon, and though there is a resemblance, we cannot find any information indicating this degree of group habitation.  We will contact Eric Eaton in an attempt to give you an answer.  You might want to consider providing a comment to this posting online in the event that we get a response far in the future.

Unidentified Mass of Larvae

Mass of Larvae: Fungus Gnats

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
I have now found several images of fungus gnat larvae on the ‘net that show a distinct head capsule.  They are well-known to spin silk or mucus, too, so that part fits.  There may be a species up in Canada that is colonial as suggested by the image, but that is a group of flies I am barely familiar with (families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae).
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Vespa orientalis – Oriental Hornet
November 19, 2009
Epheseus, Turkey — Vespid found wandering about in front of a nest of its compatriots in a crack between some rocks. Seemed unable to fly. Identified as Oriental Hornet. May be male?
Kris Fricke
Epheseus, Turkey

Oriental Hornet

Oriental Hornet

Hi Kris,
We agree that this is an Oriental Hornet.  There does not appear to be a stinger, and the antennae are long, indicators that this is probably a male or drone.  We will see if Eric Eaton can confirm the sex of the individual.

Oriental Hornet

Oriental Hornet

Update from Eric Eaton
Daniel
think the hornet is a female, based on males I have seen of Vespa crabro….
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination