From the monthly archives: "June 2010"

Fiery Searcher?
June 28, 2010
I saw this guy while on vacation in Arkansas. I loved his metallic coloring! I started researching to put a name to him, and much to my surprise, I found a similar picture on your site a few pages back! I hope I am correct in assuming this is a fiery searcher.
Cassie Shaw
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Fiery Searcher

Hi Cassie,
Congratulations on your proper identification of this Fiery Searcher, Calosoma scrutator, one of the Caterpillar Hunters.

Beetle in a bee’s clothing
June 28, 2010
Hi – we found this beautiful beetle in our basement, close to the woodpile, but I have never seen anything like it before. We live in central New Brunswick. Any thoughts? Should I be concerned about having this in my house?
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Sugar Maple Borer

Hi panache,
This spectacular beetle is a Sugar Maple Borer, Glycobius speciosus.  According to BugGuide, it is “
Large and robust, slightly convex in profile. Dense yellow pubescence on dorsal surface forms a distinctive pattern. Appears to be a mimic of Yellowjackets, genus Vespula.

Are you able to identify this butterfly or moth?
June 28, 2010
I took this picture just before noon, on a warm June 22. I have never seen anything like him before and can’t find him in any of my butterfly or moth books nor on any sites for local creatures. He just floated into the yard and landed in a weed patch I was just about to turn into a herb garden. Thank you so much.
Linda Hicks
Duncan, British Columbia (southern Vancouver Island)

Cinnabar Moth

Hi Linda,
We suspect the reason you could not identify this Cinnabar Moth, Tyria jacobaeae, is because it is not a native species.  According to BugGuide, it was:  “
Introduced from Europe as a control for introduced weedy Ragwort, the host plant for its caterpillars, which is toxic to livestock.

So many moths…
Hello Daniel,
Every morning this Spring, and Summer so far, the wall under the safety light has been full of many types of bugs.  From large horse flies to millipedes to beetles and grasshoppers, the variety has been unending.  The most diverse specimens have been the moths.  Here are a few of the most elegantly dressed that I have been unable to identify.  They are quite extraordinary, and I’d love to learn more about them.  The photos were taken between 5/16 and 6/25.  I appreciate any help you may be able to send my way.
Thank you so much,
R.G. Marion
Cosby, TN

Four Horned Sphinx

Hi R.G.,
Small brown moths tend to look alike to us, and we may struggle for hours and not identify the many photos you have sent in, but there is one that we plan to attempt to identify.  Meanwhile, your final photo is of a Four Horned Sphinx or Elm Sphinx, Ceratomia amyntor, which we quickly identified on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  It is called the Four Horned Sphinx because of the caterpillar.

this bug killed the wolf spider. what is it??
June 28, 2010
Hi Bug Man. I saw this on the porch Saturday and posted it FB and even my good friend with a BS in Entemology doesn’t know what it is. Help??
Lee Coggins
North Carolina

Spider Wasp and Spider Prey

Dear Lee,
This is some species of Spider Wasp in the family Polpilidae.  Adult females sting spiders to paralyze them and then drag them to a nest where an egg is laid on the spider.  The paralyzed spider provides food for the growing larva.  Adult Spider Wasps take nectar from flowers as food.  Your photo is quite blurry, but we believe this might be a Spider Wasp in the genus Priocnessus which is profiled on BugGuide which indicates that they prey upon Agelenid Spiders.  Spiders in the family Agelenidae (which are also profiled on BugGuide) are known as Funnel Web Spiders, and many species resemble Wolf Spiders, so it is possible the spider in your photo is a Funnel Web Spider, but again, your photo is too blurry to provide anything more conclusive.

Destructive Catepillar – NJ
This Catepillar took down an Arborvite in a matter of days.  Their cocoons have blown all around in the wind and they are spreading fast.
Can you tell me what we are dealing with here, Southern NJ, zip 08086…


Hi Kevin,
This is a Bagworm in the family Psychidae.  The caterpillars of the Bagworms construct a protective covering from plant material, generally the plant material that they feed upon.  In the case of your photograph, that is probably the leaves of the Arborvite.  You can read more about Bagworms on BugGuide where the life cycle is briefly described as:  “
Larvae (bagworms) construct spindle-shaped bags covered with pieces of twigs, leaves, etc., and remain in them — enlarging the bags as they grow — until they pupate (also in the bag). Adult females remain in the bag, emitting pheromones which attract adult males to mate with them.  Eggs are laid inside the bag, and when they hatch the larvae crawl away to begin construction of their own individual cases.