From the monthly archives: "March 2011"

What is this thing?
Location: Sarasota Florida
March 30, 2011 3:01 pm
I found my Calliandra haematocephala a.k.a. Dwarf Red Powder Puff covered with a ton of these unknown insects this afternoon. Help!!!!
Signature: Peter Sowka

Thorn Treehopper

Hi Peter,
We matched your photo to that of an immature Thorn Treehopper,
Umbonia crassicornis, on BugGuide.  Adults will have fully developed wings.  BugGuide also provides some interesting information, including: “Both young and adults feed on the same trees. Many times both are found together in clusters on branches” and “The female actively tends her brood or colony, which can number from 15 to 50 individuals.”

A very big & gracious……….THANK U SO VERY MUCH
March 30, 2011 11:10 am
I’m an absolute virgin to the internet, but am very grateful to your site.      I have identified that I have an infestation of the varied carpet beetle (NOT bed bugs as was my 1st thought).                                   My QUESTION is:     How do I deter and remove them from my home without KILLING or HARMING them in anyway? ….. Also ….. what outside habitat do the prefer, IF – I’m able to find them.?                           I do know & understand u r a small group of volunteers, that you have a lot of work to do for your site and u cant possibly read or reply to all the questions & queries sent to u.  If u do happen to read this it would be most appreciated if u dont have the answers if  can give me another web address where I can find my answers.               Yours   Truly & Utterly Grateful,                from  Shelley,frae SCOTLAND.   U.K.
Signature: Shelley

Carpet Beetles

Hi Shelley,
Your complimentary email touched us and we want you to know that we do not frown upon “internet virgins” visiting our website.  We are happy to hear you had a good experience.  We have chosen a photo from our archives of Varied Carpet Beetles,
Anthrenus verbasci, taken by Tina, to accompany your letter.  This particular photo shows the adults in their preferred habitat, the garden.  Adult Varied Carpet Beetles feed upon pollen, and were it not for the potentially destructive tendencies of the larvae, which feed upon organic fibers, they might be considered a beneficial species.  Varied Carpet Beetles have adapted to living with humans, and they are one of the most commonly encountered species to be found in the home.  Because the larvae may damage woolen rugs and other articles made of fur and feathers they are considered a household pest, but they also feed upon accumulated pet hair in the home.  Adults are most commonly noticed on window sills.  They need to get outside to feed upon pollen, and the adults will not damage the home.  We would suggest a small whisk broom and dust pan for capturing the adults so that they may be released outdoors.  Frequent vacuuming under beds and under couch cushions and similar locations will minimize the presence of the larvae and then reduce the numbers of adults you find indoors.  Identification requests of both adult and larval Carpet Beetles have been among our most common queries this year.  We seriously contemplated making the Carpet Beetle the Bug of the Month again this past winter.  Instead, we have been regularly highlighting it in our relatively new featured section at the top of our home page.

unusual fly/bee?
Location: Broadstone, Dorset.
March 29, 2011 1:38 pm
please could you identify the bug in the attached photos. I have never seen one like this before. It was found dying in my conservatory on 29th March 2011 at 4.30pm.
Signature: Mike Brooke

Greater Bee Fly

Hi Mike,
Your confusion is understandable.  This is a true fly known as the Greater Bee Fly,
Bombylius major, and it ranges throughout much of North America as well as Eurasia.  It is typically seen in the spring.  The wing pattern is quite distinctive.

Very red wasp
Location: SW Florida
March 29, 2011 9:40 pm
I found this lovely looking wasp buzzing around my room.
I live in SW Florida, he was spotted as I ducked. Discovered March 27, 2011.
Thank you, very much, bug man. I did help him to escape without harm. Hopefully he is a bug that devours garden eating buggies.
Signature: Kate

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Hi Katy,
This is not a wasp, but rather a moth that mimics a wasp.  It is a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth,
Cosmosoma myrodora, and it is found if Florida primarily, but also west to Texas and north to North Carolina according to BugGuideBugGuide also notes this interesting information:  “These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as ‘pyrrolizidine alkaloids’ from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.”

Thank you, bug man.  How interesting.  I would never have thought that was a moth.  He was beautiful, glad I got his picture.  Thank you for your research.

What is this alien creature?
Location: North Texas
March 29, 2011 10:54 pm
We, recently, bought a house with a pool and when we drained the pool, to clean it out, I noticed these creatures moving around in the shallow water (about 3 inches deep). There were about 5 of these creatures and I caught two of them to take pictures and ask around to see if anyone knew what they are, but nobody, that I asked, knew what they were.
I observed these creatures for awhile and noticed that they have 6 legs and they squirt water out their back ends to propell themselves through the water.
I took these pictures. If you know what they are, can you tell me what they are?
Signature: Scotti B.

Dragonfly Naiad

Hi Scotti,
This is the larva of a Dragonfly, and like many other aquatic nymphs, it is called a Naiad.  We hope they survived the pool cleaning.  You can transfer them to another container of water until they mature, or even better, release them in a local pond.

Thank you for finding out what kind of alien looking creature I found in my pool was. It turned out to be a Dragonfly Larva (Naiad). I had never seen one before and it had me stumped. And, by the way, they did survive the pool cleaning. I saved them all and I released them into a nearby pond and I hope to see them flying around this summer.
Thanks, again!
Scotti B.

Big Fat Juicy Fella! They’re counting on me!
Location: Phoenix, AZ
March 29, 2011 10:39 am
My aunt and some co-workers found this big guy hanging out on a Bougainvillea bush in Phoenix, AZ yesterday 3/28/2011 in the afternoon after trimming abush. She called me and asked ” Whats this bug?” I’ll send you a pic. 🙂 So, here I am, trying to fulfill my neice-ly duties. I love this website so much, and visit it every day… Almost. It REALLY TRULY, helped me completely and utterly squash my fear of bugs! I am completely enthused, and interested in them all, especially spoders, go figure. Anyways, thanks for this great site, and for helping scared peeps like me grow a passion for the little creatures of our world!
Signature: Sherri

Roundheaded Borer

Hi Sherri,
This is a Roundheaded Borer, the larva of a beetle in the family Cerambycidae or Bycids for slang.  The adults are known as Longicorns, Capricorns, and Longhorned Beetles.  See BugGuide for some comparable photos.  We wonder if there is a Bycid Larva that feeds on bougainvillea.