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

Fly with black and white abdomen…
December 23, 2009
I saw this Fly on the base of my porch light… most of the body of this fly is black or is of a dark color except the abdoman which has white stripes.
The temp. was around 25 degrees outside… the season is winter…
LoLo Monae
Roanoke Virginia

Tachinid Fly, we believe

Tachinid Fly or Fungus Infection

Dear LoLo,
Though we cannot find a match on BugGuide, we believe this is some species of Tachinid Fly.  Tachinid Flies parasitize other insects including caterpillars, and they are important biological controls for pest species.

Karl believes this is a Fungus Infection
I don’t know what kind of fly this is, is but think its flashy appearance could be due to a fungal infection, perhaps by Entomophthora muscae.  There are numerous photos on the internet that look very similar to this this. The white banding occurs as the fungus bursts out between the abdominal segments (presumably just before the victim expires). For more information you could check out: http://www.hort.wisc.edu/mastergardener/features/insects/entomophthora/entomophora.htm or check out the photos at: http://magickcanoe.com/blog/2006/09/07/mystery-fly-and-crumby-internet-connections/
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind of bug is this?
December 23, 2009
I would like to find out what kind of bug we found in our back porch. It was found In oregon during September, by itself outside on a warm cloudy day. Specifically we are in the mid willamette Valey about 1 mile from Willamette River. We are in a rural area
Josh Hoffert
Independence, OR. Mid willamette Valley. 1 mile from the river.

Western Boxelder Bug

Western Boxelder Bug

Hi Josh,
This is a Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata, a benign creature that often forms large aggregations and enters homes to hibernate as cooler weather approaches.  It can become a nuisance if it gets too plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

??? fly, wasp, aphid, red firefly; It has a red thorax. Redish orang legs. 2 black lacelike wings, and a black body with irradescent blue markings.
December 24, 2009
I would like to know what this beautiful bug I saw hovering around my Buddleia is. We live in an area with a wide assortment of bugs, many of which I can easily identify, but this one had me stumped. I took this picture the first week of November. Sometimes hurricanes blow in strange things, so I wasn’t sure if this one just drifted in from a storm. I first noticed it hovering around my window, going up and down like a wasp or carpenter bee might. When I went outside I saw it had discovered my butterfly bush and it crawled and poked at every single blossom. I wasn’t sure if it was after other bugs or just enjoying the nectar. It’s bright and vivid colors were quite astounding.
Leslie
Saint Francisville, Louisiana

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Hi Leslie,
Your confusion is understandable.  This is a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth which derives protection from predators by mimicking a stinging wasp, though the moth is perfectly harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Slow moving, tick-like bug
December 23, 2009
Hi bug people!
I have continuously seen these bugs in my bathroom, usually on the floor. I have never seen them anywhere else in my apartment. At first I thought they were ticks, but they crush very easily, and are round but don’t appear to be filled with blood. They move very slowly and the one I took a picture of was also moving very cautiously, exploring everything with its antennae. Not sure if this is normal, but when I used a flash, the bug appeared reddish (3rd photo). Otherwise, it appears black. It is also very very small, maybe about 1/2 cm. I’d really like to ID this bug to make sure it’s not posing any kind of risk to me by being there! Thanks in advance!
EG
Queens, NY

Spider Beetle

Spider Beetle

Dear EG,
This is a Spider Beetle, Gibbium aequinoctiale, a common pest of stored foods.  The origin of the beetle is unknown as it now has a cosmopolitan distribution.  Though you are finding them in the bathroom, unless you also store food there, you should look for the infestation in the kitchen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

sesame moths?
December 24, 2009
hi bugman.
what are these guys?
i just moved into a sublet and found this little package in the spice closet.  my guess is that it’s been there a while.  it’s still sealed.  they are thriving.
i’m CCing the company that packaged it here in quebec.
perhaps they can say how old it is based on the number on the label –> 08U15V
thanks
michael bailey
montreal

Indian Meal Moth Larvae

Indian Meal Moth Larvae

Hi Michael,
These are the larvae of Indian Meal Moths, Plodia interpunctella.  It was originally native to South America, but now has a cosmopolitan distribution.  It is one of the Pantry Moths that will infest many stored foods, including grain products and spices.  Corn meal, oatmeal, flour, nuts and seeds are all likely sources of infestation, and bird seed seems particularly attractive as a commissary.  The tiny moths fluttering around in the home are a good indication that caterpillars are feeding on some stored food products somewhere in the home.  Often infestations appear in packaged foods, and it is entirely possible that the infestation began at the manufacturer’s packaging plants.  We would guess that the expiration date on those sesame seeds is long expired.  You can find photos of the adult moths on our site and on BugGuide.

Indian Meal Moth Larvae

Indian Meal Moth Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black and white stripped caterpillar
December 24, 2009
I found these acrobatic caterpillars on my George Tabor Azaleas I believe it was in September. Their black and white stripes were quite different. It was their red head and legs and tail that caught my attention. No major harm was done to my azaleas. Could these be the caterpillars for a zebra swallowtail?
Leslie
Saint Fancisville, La

Azalea Caterpillars

Azalea Caterpillars

Hi again Leslie,
These are Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana.  It is probably the Azalea Caterpillar, Datana major, which feeds on Azalea and a few other plants including red oak, apple and blueberry.  The species is well represented on BugGuide which indicates:  “female lays masses of 80-100 eggs on underside of leaf in late spring or early summer; first instar larvae feed gregariously, skeletonizing leaves of hostplant; older larvae eat entire leaves; usually one generation per year, with partial second generation in the south; overwinters as a pupa in a cell in the soil.
”  This posture is typical of caterpillars in the genus Datana.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination