From the monthly archives: "July 2011"

Huge green fly
Location: Charlotte, NC
July 31, 2011 8:08 am
This fly/bug was dive bombing our outside light last night. It was hitting the house so hard and loud that I had to go investigate. When I opened the door he barged right in smacking of every object in the kitchen. I am not a big fan of bugs in the house so I started swatting and finally got him. He is large and has a strong body/head to keep running into things. Never seen a fly this big ever. Please help identify. I am very curious to know more about this thing. I live in metro Charlotte, NC. The bug invaded my house around 10pm est. A couple photos show the fly on a standard business card with a ”AAA” battery next to it for size comparison.
Signature: Josh in Charlotte

Annual Cicada

Hi Josh,
Whenever we get an identification request from the Eastern portion of North America, during mid to late summer, and the description includes words like “huge” and “fly”, we can be nearly certain that the request is for the identification of a Cicada.  This is one of the Annual Cicadas in the genus
Tibicen.  We formerly informed our readers that Cicadas were perfectly harmless, but since that time, we have received a single report from an individual who very graphically described being bitten on the thumb by a Cicada while it was being handled.  Cicadas have mouths designed to pierce and suck.  They do not normally bite people, but the mouth is capable of piercing human skin.  The bite was reported to be quite painful.  With that said, we still consider Cicadas to be harmless, though the loud buzzing mating call they produce can be so loud as to annoy individual with sensitive ears.  The loudest insect in the world is reported to be an Australian Cicada called the Double Drummer, according to the Australian Fauna website.

Unidentified Grasshopper from the Arabian Desert
Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
July 31, 2011 3:20 am
Hi WTB team:
I found this large ?grasshopper in a remote desert area of Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE last Friday. Could this be ?Acrida bicolor?. I would appreciate your help in id’ing this well-camouflaged creature (it was almost invincible on the dune sand). Many thanks, Ajmal
Signature: Ajmal

Acrida bicolor

Hello Ajmal,
In our opinion, despite some differences which we will note, we believe you have found an immature
Acrica bicolor, which according to the TrekNature website, is also called a Long Headed Grasshopper.  The first difference we would like to note is the lack of fully developed wings, which probably indicates this is an immature specimen, especially if the size is compared to the photo of the green individual published on this Live Journal website.  Our second observed difference is the shape of the antennae, but since they are jointed, it stands to reason that they are mobile and can change their orientation.  We don’t feel either of those differences disqualifies your Grasshopper from being identified as Acrida bicolor.  Allow us to make one minor correction to the information you provided.  Though we are quite certain that surviving in the desert would qualify a creature as being invincible, we believe that in context with your statement about the Grasshopper being “well-camouflaged” the adjective you meant to use is most likely invisible.

Acrida bicolor

Dear Daniel,
Thanks much for your feedback, much appreciated.
Ajmal Hasan

Any idea what this is?
Location: Sioux City, IA
July 29, 2011 9:51 am
Wondering if you have any idea what this caterpillar/worm is?
Signature: Maureen

Four Horned Sphinx

Hi Maureen,
This is a Four Horned Sphinx or Elm Sphinx.  We just posted a photo of a Four Horned Sphinx from Michigan that came a day later than your submission, and out of guilt for having so many backlogged identification requests, we are posting your image as well.

Thank you for quick response. I was amazed to find your website as I was trying to find out what that interesting caterpillar was. I have never seen anything like it before. Thanks again!

Big Bee?
Location: Orange County, California
July 28, 2011 2:12 pm
This large bee like bug hangs out around our home. He seems to be a predatory like bug. He flys right at us. Today we found it in the yard not looking all that wel. So we got close enought to take a photo. We usually leave bugs to do their thing in our yard, but I am curious if they sting or bite etc since I have two four year olds.
Any ideas?
Signature: Irish twins mommy

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Irish twins mommy,
Your insect is a Scarab Hunter Wasp,
Campsomeris tolteca, which we identified on BugGuide which contains this fascinating information:  “According to Nick Fensler: The females Campsomeris as well as other members of the subfamily Campsomerinae are predators on white grubs (Scarabaeidae), using these larvae as food for their young. Unlike sphecids, eumenines, and pompilids these wasps do not appear to have any type of prey transportation and dig to the ground-dwelling beetle larvae, sting it to paralyze it, and then lay an egg. They may dig around the grub to form a small cell. Since they use this nesting strategy they are often seen flying low to the ground (searching) in a figure eight pattern (but the flight pattern gets more erratic when they “smell” something). The adults use nectar as a food source and are common on flowers.”  Solitary Wasps rarely sting people, however, if they are carelessly handled, a sting will most likely occur.

Big Bug in Kruger
Location: Letaba Rest Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa
July 28, 2011 4:09 pm
Hi there Bugman,
What’s this bug? One of the most fascinating creatures I’ve ever captured on film. We met on mondaymorning May 29 back in 2006 in Kruger National Park. Would like to know his name.
Thanks in advance!
Tom from The Netherlands


Hi Tom,
This is a Longhorned Orthopteran, Eugaster longipes, and it is called a Koringkriek.  We posted a photo back in 2009 when we did all the original research.  The Wilkinson’s World Blog calls it an Armored Ground Cricket.  The Encyclopedia of Life website classifies it as a Katydid in the family Tettigoni1dae, and we would surmise that it is also a Shield Backed Katydid in the subfamily Tettigoniinae.


Curious Beetle
Location: Cook County, Illinois
July 30, 2011 12:02 pm
The other day, I came across this beetle at work (donut shop, but it was in the lobby, between the entrance and the lavatory). Someone had already tried to step on it, but I scooped it up in a cup anyways, and set it in the bushes on the other side of the parking lot from the store. I took some pictures, and was just curious what this cute little critter might be.
From browsing your site, and the one you link to, I’m guessing it’s a bark gnawer of some kind. But I would like to know for certain.
Signature: Doctor McCrimmon

Female Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Dear Doctor McCrimmon,
This is a female Reddish Brown Stag Beetle,
Lucanus capreolus.  The larva feed on rotting wood.  Hopefully, your good deed spared her from other stompers.