From the monthly archives: "August 2011"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth ID
Location: London Ohio
August 31, 2011 8:40 am
Any idea what this guy is called? I’ve done some searching but am not getting anywhere. found it on my pepper plants in central ohio.
Signature: MC

Carolina Sphinx

Hi MC,
This is
Manduca sexta, the Carolina Sphinx or Six Spotted Hawkmoth, and the caterpillar, called the Tobacco Hornworm, is frequently found feeding on tomato plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this
Location: Yosemite, CA
August 30, 2011 2:43 pm
Last week we went camping for a few days in Yosemite and while playing in the river I kept noticing that every once in a while bubbles would come out of the sand. While trying to find the culprit I found this strange bug thing that kind of resembles a hermit crab. At first it looked like it had a shell with a beetle head sticking out of it. But after taking a closer look you see that it’s just a bunch of rocks and stuff stuck to it’s back. It stayed completely submerged under water the entire time we were there. Never seen anything like it. Picked it up. Took a picture of it and then put it back. I’ve searched on-line but never found anything close to it.
Signature: Super Curious in SoCal

Caddisfly Larva

Dear Super Curious,
We were puzzled at first by viewing your photo, but upon reading your email, we are certain that this is the larva of a Caddisfly.  They are frequently called Casemakers or Caseworms because of the shelters that are constructed by the larvae for protection.  Each species of Caddisfly constructs a unique case.  Some use twigs, and others use pebbles or shells for their homes.

Thanks a bunch!  I looked around at Caddisfly information after reading your e-mail and I’m sure that’s it.  It was really weird….it had a head that looked like a beetle and I never knew one could live underneath the water.  Always thought of aquatic bugs as kind of floating around on the surface.  Anyway, your site is great!  Love all the pictures.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

unknown flying insect
Location: Fenton, Michigan
August 30, 2011 12:20 pm
We found this in our yard in Fenton, Michigan and have no idea what it is. It looks like a dragonfly with a stinger. Can you help us identify it.
Signature: Rich Galley


Hi Rich,
Because of the patterns on their wings, Dragonflies in the genus
Tramea are known as Saddlebags.  You can read more about Saddlebags on BugGuide.  For the record, Dragonflies do not have stingers, but their appearance has lead to folklore and superstitions in countless locations worldwide that involve stitchery and bewitching. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Yellow Mystery Fly and Spiny Oak Slug
Location: Kirksville, MO
August 30, 2011 12:49 pm
Hi again,
I’m fortunate enough to have a rather nice restored tallgrass prairie a short drive away from my apartment. There is a plethora of fascinating bugs there, most of which can be identified outright, or with a little researching. I have to admit, though, this fly has me absolutely stumped. I’m not sure if this helps, but it was resting on some ironweed when I snapped the photo.
I was rather happy, however, that thanks to your site I was able to quickly identify the spiny oak slugs that had taken up residence on a white oak at work. It seems like every time I walk by that tree I see more of them (and look, but don’t touch).
PS – The tick bites are still itching. If I had known it was going to be this bad, I would have bought stock in the producers of hydrocortisone!
Signature: EB

Fruit Fly

Dear EB,
Thanks to BugGuide, we were able to identify your Fruit Fly as
Icterica seriata, and the only information BugGuide includes on the information page is:  “Larvae feed in the flowerheads of Bidens species.”  The ironweed your individual was resting on is not the Bidens mentioned as a larval food.  We did find this nice profile of Bidens frondosa on the Missouri Plants website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fly which looks like a wasp
Location: Western NY
August 30, 2011 8:33 pm
Hi bugman! Long time no visit. Thanks for the last ID about a year ago or more. I was out carousing the fields of goldenrod and was checking out all of the bee varieties when I noticed this little guy wasn’t a wasp/bee at all, but pretty close! Curious as I could not find this in the fly section.
There are some other little bees that did not like my camera that I was trying to catch for an ID, but I had no luck. Almost looks like a honeybee caring sacks of pollen but definitely not as they are smaller. Hopefully next time.
Signature: Mark W

Flower Fly

Dear Mark,
It was very astute of you to recognize that this very effective wasp mimic is actually a fly.  It is a member of the family Syrphidae, and the members of the family are often called Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  Your individual is in the genus
Spilomyia, and the angle of your photograph makes it impossible to make out the abdominal markings.  We cannot be certain of the species, but we believe this is most likely Spilomyia sayi.  You can compare your photo to the images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp type bug – drillig holes
Location: North Vancouver, Canada
August 30, 2011 10:15 pm
We recently noticed loads of sawdust on our deck one morning, looked up to find a few little perfect round holes in a wood support beam outside our apartment. Since then we seen quite a few of these wasp like bugs coming and going through the holes. Not sure what they are though??.
Signature: S

Square Headed Wasps

Dear S.,
Many Solitary Bees, both native and introduced, nest in small holes in wood.  Though they are solitary Bees, they often nest in colonies with each female provisioning for her own offspring.  We believe these are Mason or Leaf Cutter Bees in the family Megachilidae, though we are not certain of the species.  We don’t believe the Bees have excavated the holes, but rather, they are utilizing the exit holes of some wood boring insect.  See BugGuide for additional photos and information on these fascinating Bees.  Gardeners who want to encourage native Bees to nest near plants that need to be pollinated might enjoy this informational Make a Bee Hotel web page. 

Square Headed Wasp

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Ah, well, they are not bees, for one thing!  These are square-headed wasps in the family Crabronidae, subfamily Crabroninae, and tribe Crabronini.  Genus?  Not sure, but Ectemnius and Lestica are both possibilities.  Ectemnius hunt flies, while Lestica hunt moths.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination