From the monthly archives: "August 2011"

Spider eating bee
Location: Vancouver Island BC Canada
August 1, 2011 3:34 pm
My friend in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, BC Canada took this picture this morning on his daisies. A voracious little white spider that is enormously successful capturing and killing other insects. What is this spider’s name?
Signature: Sharon J

Crab Spider Eats Bee

Hi Sharon,
The scientific name for your spider is
Misumena vatia, and it has several common names, including Crab Spider because of its general shape, and Flower Spider because of its habit of waiting on flowers for pollinating insects.  Crab Spiders are able to change color to match their surroundings, and your white Crab Spider blends perfectly with the white petals of the blossom.

love your site
August 1, 2011 5:56 pm
I just happened on your site while researching Cicada Killers. That was two hours ago. This is the best site I have found in ages. So thorough. Thank you.
Signature: Jerri

Hi Jerri,
Thanks for the compliment, and we also hope you left our site with a favorable impression of the much maligned Cicada Killer.

Indeed I did. I researched the Cicada Kille because my sister (who is allergic to bees) saw them at the Dunes National Park in Indiana and was terrified of the stinging appearance. Thank you for helping me to put her mind at ease. By the way she lives in Northwest Indiana and this is the first time she has seen them. Again Thanks.
Jerri Simon

Red and black cricket-like insect
Location: Central Ohio
August 1, 2011 4:15 pm
I have been seeing these little guys hanging around on my lilac bush. They look like crickets, but I haven’t been able to identify them. Perhaps it’s a katydid nymph of some kind?
Signature: Morgan in Hilliard, Ohio

Red Headed Bush Cricket

Hi Morgan,
The Red Headed Bush Cricket, 
Phyllopalpus pulchellus, reminds you of a Cricket because it is a true Cricket in the family Gryllidae.  According to BugGuide, it is also called a Handsome Trig.

Sweet Lord what is this Winged Terror Thou Hast Spawned?!
Location: Juneau Alaska
August 1, 2011 8:03 pm
Hello Bugman. Attached you will find the best picture I was able to get of this beast. It was huge. A little bigger than my thumb (I am tall adult male, to give you scale). I was walkinga along the beach and this thing landed on my waist. After jumping around I was able to get it off by flicking it with a stick. It hung out on the ground for a bit then took off into the sunset. I have never seen anything like that before up here. WTF is it?
Signature: Scared Alaskan

Elm Sawfly

Dear Scared Alaskan,
You really know how to grab our attention with a catchy subject line.  This is an Elm Sawfly, the largest Sawfly in North America.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Bees and Wasps, and because of the family resemblance, it is understandable that you were startled, but the Elm Sawfly is perfectly harmless.  The larvae resemble caterpillars.  More photos and information can be accessed on BugGuide.

Variegated June Beetle?
Location: Blue Ridge, GA
July 31, 2011 8:56 pm
There were many of these around the cabin where we were vacationing in Blue Ridge, GA. They made a hissing noise like an air compressor!
Signature: Dawn Jones

Variegated June Beetle

Hi Dawn,
You are correct. This is a Variegated June Beetle, one of the Lined June Beetles.  The hissing sound is produced by rubbing together external body parts and it is called stridulation.

Paper Wasp skins, preps Caterpillar for larvae
Location: Clarksburg, MA
August 1, 2011 10:51 am
Hello! I noticed the Golden Paper Wasp post, and that you mentioned how the wasps feed caterpillars to their young. I just happened to be photographing bugs yesterday and I caught what I believe is a Common or Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) already in the process of skinning a caterpillar. In the first picture, you can see it’s chewing/cutting off the head and thorax regions, which eventually were totally severed and fell to the ground. It then started chewing and balling up what was left. I was a little confused, because I thought it was actually eating the caterpillar, but your other post clarified that they chew ’em up for the kiddies. Thought you might like a couple pics. Enjoy!
Signature: Michael Marlow

Paper Wasp Skins Caterpillar

Hi Michael,
What wonderful photographs you have supplied to us of a Northern Paper Wasp skinning a Caterpillar in support of the information we just posted on the Golden Paper Wasp.

Paper Wasp Skins Caterpillar