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

What is this bug? Is it harmful?
December 26, 2009
I found this bug inside the house on the window curtain. It can fly. I have found a couple of dead ones around the house recently. It is winter here but we have had some warm spells. This is the first year I have found this type of bug inside or outside.
George
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug

Hi George,
This is a species of Assassin Bug in the genus Pselliopus, most likely Pselliopus barberi.  According to BugGuide, the adults overwinter and it might have sought shelter from the cold inside your home.  Though they are not considered harmful, many Assassin Bugs will bite if carelessly handled, and Pselliopus barberi is no exception.  Assassin Bugs are considered to be important predators in the control of other insects and their presence will help to ensure that problematic species do not become too plentiful.

Hi Dan
Thanks for the ID on the Assassin bug. I had put it outside so checked and it hadn’t moved since yesterday. Was into hibernation. When picked up (with a glove on) it began to move so I moved it to a safe place to overwinter. Certainly can use it to control unwanted bugs next spring and summer. Thanks, George

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bad colour choice
December 25, 2009
Bad colour choice  on this page
that blue writing does not render very well against your background. It plays with my eyes. (Unless I have just discovered that I am colourblind to that particular combination).
Otherwise, I appreciate your contribution to both the web, and mankind as a whole.
this as an excellent resource for sharing such an outstanding knowledge with the rest of us!
thank you.
Carl

Hi Carl,
We checked and we are inclined to agree with you.  We will contact our web host and recommend changing the color to a nice warm dark brown.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red and Black bug – Israel
December 22, 2009
I remember I used to see this bug all the time usually in large groups. I saw one while eating lunch, just one alone and took this picture.
I took this in downtown Jerusalem. I know I have seen it in other parts of the county, but mainly in the Jerusalem area and in pine forests. I would say that it is about 1.5-2 cm long
Seraphya Berrin – Israel
Jerusalem, Israel

Unknown True Bug

Unknown True Bug

Dear Seraphya,
The best we can provide at the moment is that this is a True Bug in the order Hemiptera.  We believe it may be a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae.  It closely resembles Lygaeus equestris, a European species.  It is pictured on the Fauna of Israel website.  Unless there is variability in the coloration of individuals, your specimen differs from the images online in that it has fewer black spots on the wings and lacks the red mark on the head.  Hopefully, we will get some family or species identification assistance from our readership.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
December 25, 2009
We have never seen a bug like thin in NZ before. Any idea what it might be? It looks like a cross between a blow fly and a wasp. Any light you could share on it would be great. Thanks heaps
Paulo the wonderer
Auckland New Zealand

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Paulo,
The ventral view of your photograph is not ideal for identification purposes, and a dorsal view is much preferred.  We believe this is some species of Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  You might try comparing the images on the Insects of Brisbane Syrphidae page to see if any look close to your specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

help with identification
December 26, 2009
Dr. Mr. Bugman,
Like a lot of very silly people, I called this a bee. Then, I started looking for what kind of “bee” this is and realized that it’s probably not a bee at all. Smooth, bright yellow and black markings…I’m guessing a very poor pollinator….short antennae… and spotted in southeaster Alabama in late October on my cold frame plastic.
Would love to know what this little flyer is…since I did a graphic design of it…and want to call it something more than BeeArt…since it’s not a bee at all. Of this, I’m pretty certain. Thanks to your wonderful web site!
Kimberly, a master gardener, lover of bugs, but still learning about the birds & the bees
Ozark, Alabama (southeastern Alabama)

Yellow Jacket Hover Fly

Yellow Jacket Hover Fly

Dear Kimberly,
This is a Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis.  It is one of the Syrphid Flies in the family Syrphidae, commonly called Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  Many species in the family mimic bees and wasps, hence your original confusion.  The adult Yellow Jacket Hover Fly feeds on nectar and pollen from plants like Queen Anne’s Lace, and it will also be attracted to the blooms of related plants in your garden like parsley, dill and carrots.  BugGuide has a wealth of information on the Yellow Jacket Hover Fly, including this tidbit gleaned from AllExperts.com:  “Flies aggressively and buzzes like a hornet. In the southern United States, sometimes called the news bee or good news bee for its habit of hovering in front of a person and “giving them the news”. It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do.

Dear Mr. Marlos,
You have made my day….and I so appreciate your prompt response to my question re: identifying this colorful creature.  I adore the BUGS website and am grateful to folks, like you, who give this your time.  Such a worthy endeavor.  Thanks to you I am now a more informed individual and will be addressing this bee/yellow jacket mix up on my blog.  After I do, I’ll share the link with you…..so you can see the YJHF Art I created.
Thank you,
Kimberly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

‘large brown moth
December 25, 2009
We found a live moth in our house that we have not seen before. It has a wing span of about 12cm the length of a pen and has cicles on the lower wings. see photo.
Missie Macdonald
Leithfield, North Canterbury

Emperor Gum Moth

Emperor Gum Moth

Hi Missie,
We needed to check an Atlas to determine that North Caterbury was not in England, but rather on the South Island of New Zealand.  We are quite certain that this is an Emperor Gum Moth,
Opodiphthera eucalypti, and the species has been introduced to both the North and South islands of New Zealand.  This is our second report of an Emperor Gum Moth from New Zealand in a few weeks.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination