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

Large wasp/hornet
Location:  Myrtle Beach SC
August 29, 2010 10:06 pm
My cat spoted this very large hornet thing in our tree. I am farm girl and have never seen anything like this. It was about 3 inches long and the width of my thumb.. Very scary looking. The picture does no justice for its actual size. Please help me!

Cicada Killer

Hi Nikole,
This is a Cicada Killer, a solitary wasp that preys upon Cicadas to feed its brood.  Despite its large size, the Cicada Killer is not an aggressive species and we have not received a verified report of anyone being stung by a Cicada Killer, though it is entirely possible that a female Cicada Killer could sting a person.  In previous years, the months of July and August have included numerous requests for Cicada Killer identification, but there were very few submissions this year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A black beetle with red dots at rear
Location:  44⁰ 18’30”N 68⁰54’12’W = Islesboro
August 30, 2010 1:07 am
The cat was harassing this beetle? in my bedroom at +/- 2AM. That’s all. Before I free it, I’d like to know it’s name, rank, and serial number.
Sukey Love

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

Hi Sukey,
This is a Carrion Beetle known as the Pustulated Carrion Beetle,
Nicrophorus pustulatus.  Carrion Beetles in the genus Nicrophorus are also known as Sexton Beetles.  Adults, often working in pairs, will bury small dead vertebrates like rodents or birds and lay eggs, guarding the brood until the young mature.  BugGuide provides this fascinating information:  “Reported to be a brood parasite of other Nicrophorus (1). Also reported to parasitize the eggs of Black Rat Snakes, Elaphe obsoleta (Blouin-Demers and Weatherhead, 2000; Trumbo, 2009). The beetle larvae destroy the snake eggs, thus, the beetle would qualify as a parasitoid of the snake, a relationship usually seen only among invertebrates. In the wild, Nicrophorus pustulatus is not known to exhibit the usual carcass-burying behavior of other members of its genus, though it will display some of this behavior in captivity. There is suspicion, too, that it may parasitize eggs of other reptiles, and, perhaps, birds (Trumbo, 2009).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hornet fly?
Location:  Athens, GA
August 29, 2010 5:16 pm
This poor fellow flew into our rain barrel and I searched online to find anything like it, but had no luck. I feel like it’s some sort of fly, but neither the deer flies, horse flies, snipe flies or syrphid flies here looked like it. What the heck is this thing?
It’s about 1.5-2inches long.

Drowned Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Heather,
Now that we have looked at the full sized file of your Robber Fly, we have realized it is our featured Bug of the Month, the Red Footed Cannibalfly.

Immediately after hitting ‘send’ on my email, I noticed that too! I rushed outside to scoop the poor thing out of the water (since anything that eats wasps is a good bug in my book), but it didn’t move. I then remembered something I read online earlier this week about how pouring salt on a seemingly drowned fly will sometimes suck the water out of it and revive it. I quickly grabbed the salt shaker and covered it in salt, then shook it around in a dish. After about 15 minutes, it crawled right out of the pile of salt and staggered away!
Thanks for featuring it on your highly informative site, otherwise I would have never known it was savable.
Heather Lickliter

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  Cincinnati, OH
August 29, 2010 5:55 pm
My daughter Gwen and I have been trying to identify this beautiful butterfly we found in a friend’s yard. We thought it might be a Spicebush Swallowtail, but they look a little different on your site. This one had the washed-out blue on the bottom and a coppery colored wash on the top. I snapped the pic with my iphone, and wish i could have gotten a better one before it flew off. What do you guys think?
Thanks for your help 🙂
the Franke family again

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Franke family,
We are impressed that you noticed the similarities between your Red Spotted Purple and the Pipevine Swallowtail because it is believed the Red Spotted Purple mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail because the swallowtail does not taste good to predators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

sexy bug spends the night
Location:  Granite, MD
August 29, 2010 1:38 pm
Hi Bugman!
You’ll be pleased to know nothing was squashed in the making of this inquiry. We were painting the upstairs bedroom yesterday and opened the window to get some ventilation. We closed the door behind us and left the light on all night… but our window had no screen. (Oops!) We hosted quite the unintentional bug party last night, and this handsome fellow stuck around to check out what we were having for breakfast. So what is it?? Thanks!
hostess with the mostest

Ailanthus Webworm

Nevermind! Found it on the site. We cleared our property of lots of invasives (plants) last year and replaced them with natives so it’s good to meet a bug who is a kindred spirit! Thanks for your time :0)

Dear Hostess with the Mostest,
We are happy to hear that you identified this Ailanthus Webworm, and also that you are replacing invasive plants with native species.  You will need to be very diligent to ensure that the Ailanthus does not return if that was one of the plants you removed.  Ailanthus or Tree of Heaven might be the greatest threat to native habitat in North America right now.  This large weed tree from China spreads by both roots and seeds, and a tree that is cut will just sprout back as a grove.  It can survive in cold, hot, wet or dry climates.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of bug is this?

Giant Ichnuemon

What kind of bug is this?
Location:  Warwick, Rhode Island
August 29, 2010 4:17 pm
These bugs just showed up and crawl all over the dead tree on the side of my house the long antenna looking thing seems to maybe suck something out of the tree! I have never seen these before and they look like they could be 2inches long some shorter some longer! Its the end of August so we are slowly going into fall.
Thanks, Dawn Bergeron

Giant Ichnuemon ovipositing

Hi Dawn,
This insect is actually depositing eggs into the tree, not sucking something out as you thought.  Several days ago we decided to make the Giant Ichneumon our Bug of the Month for September 2010 so we included information on how the female oviposits her eggs in the wood of dead and dying trees that contain the burrowing larvae of the Pigeon Horntail.  The Giant Ichneumon is a parasitoid whose larvae feed solely on the larvae of the Pigeon Horntail.  Coincidentally, yesterday we posted an image of a female Pigeon Horntail, another impressive non-stinging member of the order that includes wasps, in the act of oviposition.  Though we wrote a lengthy response, we were not able to include images of the actual egg laying or oviposition process.  Your photos clearly illustrate the process of a female Giant Ichneumon laying eggs, though your species is different from the species in the Bug of the Month posting, which is
Megarhyssa atrata.  We suspect your Giant Ichneumon is Megarhyssa macrurus. We are going to combine your letter and images with the previously selected letter to be a joint Bug of the Month posting for September 2010.

Giant Ichneumon Ovipositing

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination