From the monthly archives: "April 2010"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bright Orange Beetle found on Tiger Lily
April 27, 2010
Hi,
I found a few bright orange beetles, about the size of a shelled sunflower seed outside on the Tiger Lily last July. I’ve looked through some insect books, and haven’t been able to figure out which it is. Any sort of tentative identification would be helpful. Thanks!
Paul Manning
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lily Leaf Beetle

Hi Paul,
Your beetle is a Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilii, a species accidentally introduced from Europe that has become established in Canada and the eastern portion of the United States.

Lily Leaf Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What insects are on this caterpillar?
April 27, 2010
I saw this caterpillar holding onto a cedar beam of the arbor above my deck. I’m curious if the insects piled up on this caterpillar are parasites or progeny. Could they be a symbiotic species??
Don
Austin, Texas, USA

Underwing Caterpillar with Parasitic Fly Larvae

Dear Don,
This double mystery is one of the most unusual submissions we have ever received, but we have a couple of guesses and a theory.  The caterpillar looks like an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus Catocala, and they are well represented on BugGuide.  If not an Underwing Caterpillar, perhaps a related species like a Black Witch Caterpillar, also pictured on Bugguide. The hitch-hikers are definitely not progeny, and they are not acting like parasites, though parasites might be a possibility.  The passengers look like fly larvae to us, possibly Syrphid Fly Larvae, though the behavior is most unusual.  Might we fathom a crazy guess and suppose that the fly larvae are taking advantage of the mobility of the caterpillar to transport the larvae to a food source?  This behavior is known as phoresy, and it is common in the world of arthropods.  We would really love a professional opinion on this phenomenon.  We will contact Eric Eaton and our friends at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for assistance. Read Full Article →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider like ants with orange abdomens
April 27, 2010
Hi, Im sorry if this email was sent twice, I’m not sure if the first sent, my pc is acting up. Anyway, I took these pics in April of 2010, these ants were found on a small willow tree in my yard. They have been more or less in the same spot, around a honey comb looking structure on the tree for several days. At first I thought they were spiders, untill I noticed only 6 legs instead of 8.
Chris M
North East Texas, west of Fort Worth

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Hi Chris,
Each spring we get numerous images of Wheel Bug hatchlings, but your photos might be the best ever.  The Wheel Bug is North America’s largest Assassin Bug.

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Read Full Article →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Butterfly
April 26, 2010
Found this butterfly on a Magnolia leaf on 24 April 2010 . Can’t seem to find a photo of anything that looks like it apart from a green veined Butterfly?
Bugsie
Eastcoast (Wicklow) Ireland.

Orangetip

Hi Bugsie,
We haven’t the time to research the exact species at this moment, but this is an Orangetip, possibly genus Anthocharis, from the family Pieridae, the Whites and Sulphurs.

Update
Immediately upon returning from work today, we did the necessary research, and quickly identified the Orangetip as Anthocharis cardamines on the UK Butterflies website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Prettiest beetle I’ve ever seen?
April 27, 2010
I’m in Phoenix, AZ and found this beautiful creature while on a walk around my work in a business park. I followed this insect around for a couple of minutes trying to get pictures, but he was pretty fast. Something tells me this is not a beetle, but I just don’t know. Usually I am completely freaked out by bugs of any sort, but this one had me interested. I’ve showed several friends and they are also “eh” on this one. Any ideas?
whatevah is clevah
Phoenix, AZ

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

to whatevah,
This is an Iron Cross Blister Beetle.  We provided a very lengthy answer for the letter and photo also from Phoenix that we posted just yesterday and you may read it here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Massive Menacing Bee
April 26, 2010
I had heard a buzzing at my window but didn’t think anything of it, but a few minutes later, I was called to the window to view an amazing bee!
It had a yellow- and black-striped abdomen along with a largely red head, and was well over 2 inches long (maybe 3). It was quite the bee. What on earth is it?
Walker Argendeli
Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Queen European Hornet

Dear Walker,
Because of its size and the time of year, we are guessing that this European Hornet, Vespa crabro, is a Queen.  The species was introduced from Germany and is not established in the Eastern parts of North America.  BugGuide has a photo, also from Georgia, that looks quite close.  BugGuide explains the life cycle:  “Paper nest is built in hollow trees, or in human structures such as attics. Adults come to lights at night, perhaps seeking prey?  Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new nest. They build the nest with chewed wood pulp, and a few eggs are laid in individual paper cells; these eggs develop into non-reproductive workers. When 5-10 workers have emerged, they take over the care of the nest, and the rest of queen’s life is devoted solely to egg laying. The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.  The nest reaches its peak size towards mid September. At this time the queen lays eggs that develop into males (drones) and new queens, she then dies shortly after. The new queens and males mate during a ‘nuptial flight’, after which the males die, and the newly mated queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate; the old nest is never re-used.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination