From the monthly archives: "May 2010"

I have never seen a bug like this. What is it?
May 29, 2010
Found outside on the driveway.
Middle Tennessee

Eyed Elater

Dear Curious,
Your beetle is a Click Beetle known as an Eyed Elater.  The “eyes” are actually eyespots to fool a predator into thinking that the tasty beetle is actually a much larger creature and a potential threat.  We have received several identification requests for Eyed Elaters this week, but your photo was by far the most clear.

Black and Yellow Striped Bug
May 29, 2010
I found this in my backyard while clearing some weeds. I thought it might be a leaf beetle.
One half hour North of Lexington VA

Four Lined Plant Bug

Dear Shawn,
We quickly identified your Plant Bug in the family Miridae as a Four Lined Plant Bug by using the browse feature on BugGuide.  The species if found in the Eastern U.S. and Southeastern Canada, and according to BugGuide:  “nymphs and adults feed preferentially on members of the mint family (wild mint, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, hyssop, oregano) but will attack a variety of wild plants (thistle, dandelion, burdock, tansy, loosestrife, sumac) as well as cultivated flowers (carnation, geranium, chrysanthemum, snapdragon, phlox) and crops (alfalfa, ginger, currant, raspberry, cucumber, lettuce, pea, potato, radish, squash).

Bright Green Beetle
May 29, 2010
Just a few minutes ago I felt something crawling on my neck. What ever it was it flew and landed on the wall. It turned out to be a vibrantly green beetle and I took a picture. I live in New Hampshire, it is May 29.
Green Beetle
New Hampshire

Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

Dear Green Beetle,
This is a Tiger Beetle, probably a Six Spotted Tiger Beetle.

May 29, 2010
I started photography as a hobby few months ago and because of that I started to like butterfly. This butterfly photograph was taken today near my home. I don’t know its scientific name, actually I don’t know anything about bugs (butterfly).
I hope you can explain it to me. Thanks.
Firman Hadi
Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Plain Tiger

Hi Firman,
You have two different species of butterflies in your photos.  The one that is labeled ketahuan is a Milkweed Butterfly, and we quickly identified it as Danaus chrysippus on Wikipedia, where it is known as the Common Tiger.  This is a wide ranging species, and according to another website we found,, it is commonly called an African Queen.  TrekNature has a nice photo for comparison.  We identified your second butterfly as a Blue Pansy on the Butterflies Photo Gallery of Paul Riley website, but there is no scientific name.  Web searching the common name led us to another site of Butterflies in Indonesia and the scientific name Junonia orithya.  The TrekNature website also pictures this lovely species.  The blue coloration, from what we have read, is limited to the male.  Both the Plain Tiger and Blue Pansy are in the brush footed butterfly family Nymphalidae.

Blue Pansy

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for the information. Later I will find first from the website that you mention 😀
I think I am starting to love butterfly, more than birds .
Kind regards,
Firman Hadi.

Unknown possible bee?
May 28, 2010
Hi bugman,
I found this bug in my kitchen on a wooded mountain in northern Maryland a few evenings ago. It has transparent folded wings that aren’t visible in the picture. It’s between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long. Its patterns are very beautiful and have great contrast, and it has a small black eye surrounded by white on each side of its head as well as black and white stripes on a sort of yellowish body. I’ve never seen this bug before that I remember. I’m really not sure what it is. I’d appreciate any info. you could offer.
Thanks so much!
Thurmont, MD


Hi Steiv,
This is an Ichneumon Wasp, and we believe we have identified it as Messatoporus discoidalis on BugGuide, though Ichneumons are notoriously difficult to identify.  Ichneumons are parasitoid wasps, and according to BugGuide, depending upon the species, their prey includes:  “a great variety of hosts (mostly immature stages) is used, though most species attack only a few host types; some infest spiders and other non-insect arthropods.
”  If our identification is correct, your Ichneumon is in the tribe Cryptini, and according to BugGuide:  “Cryptini search for hosts primarily among foliage (rather than in the soil or ground litter) and have larger average size.

Mystery Bug!
May 28, 2010
Spotted on May 28, 2010! This little mystery bug was spotted on my cat’s water bowl outside! I love bugs, but i’ve never seen this insect before. His abdomen is upturned in a strange fashion and is bright red. Tried to google its description for identification but failed. Thanks for your help!!!
Becca Hatfield
Beaufort, Missouri

Wheel Bug Nymph

Hi Becca,
This is an immature Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, the largest species of Assassin Bug in North America.  The hatchlings are found in close proximity to the cluster of barrel shaped eggs that are laid in regular rows in a hexagon shaped cluster, but after they molt, they become solitary hunters.  Adult Wheel Bugs have a crest on the back that looks like a wheel cog, hence the common name.  Readers often claim that the Wheel Bug looks prehistoric, and it has been compared to a stegosaurus.