From the monthly archives: "September 2011"

green/yellow thingy
Location: Andalucia
September 30, 2011 7:38 am
Hi, I found this on the floor near to a stream in La Hoz, Rute, Spain. Any ideas please
Signature: Tiddy

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Tiddy,
This is the caterpillar of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, the European member of a genus that contains two other Asian moths with the same common name.  The common name refers to the skull pattern on the thorax of the adult moth.  The Animal Pictures Archive website contains some interesting information, including:  “These moths have several unusual features. All three species have the ability to emit a loud squeak if irritated. The sound is produced by expelling air from the pharynx, often accompanied by flashing of the brightly-colored abdomen in a further attempt to deter predators. All three species are commonly observed raiding beehives of different species of honey bee for honey; A. atropos only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. They are able to move about in hives unmolested because they mimic the scent of the bees.”

big orange wasp?
Location: St. Charles, Missouri
September 29, 2011 4:34 pm
I saw this on the sidewalk today. It was about an inch and a half long. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the picture until after my mom stepped on it! Please help!?
Signature: Steve

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Steve,
We hope the reason your mom stepped on this harmless Pigeon Horntail is because she didn’t see it while she was walking, but we suspect otherwise, so we are tagging this as Unnecessary Carnage.  Pigeon Horntails are Wood Wasps and they do not sting.  The Pigeon Horntail was selected as our Bug of the Month for September 2011.

2 interesting bugs
Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada
September 29, 2011 2:55 pm
Hi, Bugman
I have 2 bugs that I am curious about..
The first was found deceased on my windowsill, even so very pretty insect.
The 2nd Yellow bug I found today has the shape of an assassin bug almost from the top but I noticed mantis like hooked forelegs when viewed from the side.
Signature: Martzart

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Martzart,
The beautiful metallic blue insect you found dead in your car is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae.  Your yellow insect is an Ambush Bugin the subfamily Phymatinae.  In the not too distant past, Ambush Bugs were classified in their own family, but recent taxonomy has reclassified them as a subfamily of the Assassin Bugs.

Ambush Bug


Strange lime green insect
Location: Portland, OR
September 29, 2011 3:21 pm
Hi there I live in Portland, OR and discovered this bug the other day in a friends back yard. I don’t know if you can tell but it is rather small, that is a mason jar behind it. There is also a proboscis(sp)thing that you cant really see form this picture. It is really pretty and I am curious what it is I have never seen anything like it.
Thanks -Eric
Signature: Eric

Green Assassin Bug Nymph

Hi Eric,
You should handle this Assassin Bug nymph with caution as many members in the family will bite if provoked or carelessly handled.  We don’t recognize the species and we have the energy to research the species tonight.

Ed. Note October 4, 2011:  This posting was originally entitled:  What’s That Bug? does not correct our contributors’ grammar.
Continued correspondence with “need2relax” has caused us to speculate that there is a greater problem here that we are not qualified to address.

Psychologically messed up..Please help.
Location: couches
September 29, 2011 3:43 pm
I am quite paranoid. In jun we had kept discovering bites and servile of them and our baby was getting bite everyday i automatically though bed bugs called 4 exterminators with in two weeks and non of the 4 seen anything or evidence?..Time went by figured it was mosquitos or spiders bites lowered..
Then in the last week of august starting getting bit BAD and it was scary. Inspected my beds inspected couches and had professionals seek and found nothing..Every time though we site on the couch we get bit my husband was wide awake watching a movie while talking to friends and he seen a little brownish black bug and had bites..i inspected the couch seena spiderish looking teeny tiny bug WEIRD nothing else though..
Was in a nother living room and seen a yellowish looking tan color bug when i smashed it black goo came out it was fast not scared at all i was wide awake and it was maybe the size of a rice grain..Dont have fleas maybe mites? or just the rainy weather living next to the beach and have a lot of lanscaping around just bugs? idk what to do i cant sleep i panic al night making sure no bed bugs but thank god no bites ever while sleeping and no bugs in bed ever..please help
Signature: need2relax

What's That Bug?

Dear need2relax,
We don’t know what you have.

Did you get the pictures?

Ed. Note:  We referred Aussietrev’s comment and then received this reply.

Thank you. That is probably it.
And also I was thinking biting midges or noseeums. See lots of those.

Update:  October 3, 2011
This is the last email.
I also want to include I had 4 exterminations and none of witch did not see any evidence Nether have I just bites. Then I seen a large bug on the back of my head board. Like a size of a quarter or a half dollar. Could that be bb? Maybe it wasn’t a bug??? Ease help. No ink stains or blood anywhere. And no smell no other bugs tore up the whole house. Please please help.

Update:  October 3, 2011
Hey. I’m sorry to bug you. LOL. Do you think this is bed bugs!!

What's That Bug?????

Dear need2relax,
We cannot discern any details in your photos.  If four exterminators did not find anything, you might want to seed professional attention for a syndrome known as Delusory Parasitosis.  We have no professional credentials.  We are not entomologists and we are not able to help you.

UPDATE:  October 6, 2011
My last email. I promise. Just answer please.
Cherry red blood came out. And it was teeny tiny. Roundish brownish black. Please help

What's That Spot???

Dear need2relax,
You are obviously quite troubled, but we are unable to discern any details in the blurry photos you have sent to us.  Perhaps you might want to hire a professional photographer to document the things you are finding in your home.

Yes I am. It’s just I keep seeing weird little things and no one understands. And I know your not a bug specialist and I’m sorry to drive you nuts. I just seen this little tiny almost invisible black bug and when I smashed it cherry red blood came out. I dont think it had antennas? It had remarkably small legs.. What could this be? Is it just a harmless little outdoor bug that wondered in? Or is it a mite or a be bug a very small blackish brown sitting in the seam of my blanket very slow motion moving bug. Any ideahs. ( yes I will seek psychological help ) thank you.

What you describe does not sound like a Bed Bug.  Mites could be a possibility.  Some Mites infest the nests of birds and rats, and if such nests are in your attic, the Mites might find their way into the home when the young birds or rats leave the nest.  See this posting and others in our Mite category.

UPDATE:  October 12, 2011
Bed bug right?
Or could this be a mite. Like a clover mite. It busted red like blood.

Bed Bug

Dear need2relax,
This does indeed look like a Bed Bug.  We apologize for suggesting that you might have Delusory Parasitosis.  Your earlier photos were unrecognizeable as insects.  Often times, many small insects find their way into beds.  Carpet Beetles and Pantry Beetles do not bite, but they are often found between the sheets.  This latest photo has enough detail to be identified as a member of the order Hemiptera which includes Bed Bugs.  There is not enough detail for a conclusive identification, but we can at least speculate that since it was found in the bed, and since it contained blood, and since you are being bitten, that a Bed Bug is an excellent candidate.  You might want to take the actual specimen to your local disease vector headquarters or to a local exterminator to give you a more certain identification.  If you have Bed Bugs, you will have to begin an extensive eradication program.  Start by searching under the mattress, along the baseboards, under pictures hanging near the bed, and other likely hiding places.  Good luck with your eradication efforts and again, please accept our apology for our initial reluctance to confirm you had Bed Bugs.


Is this a giant stink bug?
Location: Clarksville, MD
September 29, 2011 12:51 pm
Hello Bugman,
We have quite a few stink bugs around our house this time of year (Clarksville, MD) and I found this one that resembles stink bugs though perhaps isn’t related? It is actually a large bug with a diamond-esque back with two smaller (though still large!) ones attached to its back. Pretty amazing, actually. Please let me know what this bug is!
Signature: Andy

Two Wheel Bugs courting a female

Hi Andy,
These are Wheel Bugs.  They are members of the Assassin Bug Family Reduviidae in the suborder Heteroptera.  Stink Bugs are also Heteropterans, however, they are in the family Pentatomidae.  This is the second image of three Wheel Bugs attracted to one another that we have received in the past week.