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

Large dragonflies
Location: Northern Saskatchewan, Canada
November 26, 2011 11:15 am
Hey, bugman! I’ve noticed a distinct deficit in dragon-fly related request so I thought I’d send in this big fellow. I live in northern Saskatchewan, Canada and these huge guys are incredibly common in the swampy north. I am currently further up south and I haven’t been seeing too much of them. They are almost always blue in coloration, although I have noticed a very occasional greenish variation on the same species (they are identical lest the color). They boom in the summer months (beginning in June and fading out by August), and almost blacken the sky during years with high mosquito populations. I’ve noticed that you do not get many requests from Canada and I am certain that we get some very strange insects in the north of Saskatchewan which may have never been called to your attention before. Anyhow, an ID on this fellow would be lovely, thanks!
Signature: Grace P

Canada Darner, perhaps

Hi Grace,
Thanks for your submission.  We believe the pictured individual is a male Variegated Meadowhawk,
Sympetrum corruptum, and since the species is sexually dimorphic, the color variations you describe might be explained by the sex of the individual.  Also, it is possible that when mosquitoes are abundant, more than one species of Dragonfly may be enjoying the bounty.  You can see some of the species variations on BugGuide.

Thanks guys, this is very interesting. I have one final question, however! The variegated meadowhawks pictured on bugguide are most certainly present in the same ecosystem as the blue fellow that I sent in, but I have noted that they are considerably smaller. They are very similar to the larger blue meadowhawks in terms of the way that their anatomy is set up but they are perhaps two inches in length, whereas the blue/green variation meadowhawk seems to peak at three and a half or four inches in length. Is it possible that these different coloration/sizes could denote different stages in the development of the same species, or would this mean that they are different all together? If it were summer I would have no problem taking pictures to better illustrate this, but alas it is November and twenty-six below. What is your opinion on this matter? Thanks!

Possible Correction
Hi again Grace,
We have to confess that we often do not feel confident with Dragonfly identifications.  We would suggest posting a comment to this posting to see if a correction comes in sometime in the future.  Dragonflies do undergo a teneral or immature winged stage, but they change color as they mature.  They do not change size.  There is often individual variation in the size of adults within a species as well.  Also, we did not receive an image of a blue Dragonfly in your original email, only the brick red image that we posted.  Perhaps the species you have described are Darners in the family Aeshnidae (see BugGuide), which includes the Canadian Darner,
Aeshna canadensis (see BugGuide).  The individual in your photo seems more reddish, but the markings do look quite similar to the Canada Darner, especially this image on BugGuide.

Hello, and thanks for the quick response again! I realize now that the image does not make the coloration abundantly clear; what appears to be red (due to the lighting) is more of a soft brown in reality and there is a pattern of blue, as well. After looking around a bit, you are indeed correct in identifying this fellow as a Canadian Darner. The coloration is exactly the same and the pattern is spot-on. I had also noted a small black mark at the front of each wing which my dragonfly also has. Also, his eyes were a lovely green which seems to be characteristic of Canadian Darners. Thank you very much, now I know!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

giant red flying bug
Location: Andhra Pradesh, India
November 26, 2011 10:49 am
Hi – I’m in Andhra Pradesh, India in late November and this big red flying insect landed on my wall, the on the edge of my laptop. From the end of its back legs to the tips of its antennae it was about 5cm. It looked very bitey, so I caught it in a cup and released it outside.
Signature: Steve Sargent

Assassin Bug:  Sycanus species

Hi Steve,
This is an Assassin Bug in the family Reduviidae, though we need to try to research the species.  Most Assassin Bugs prey upon insects and other arthropods, though a few do suck blood from warm blooded prey including humans.  We hope our eventual identification will eliminate this brightly colored species as an insect that sucks human blood.  Even species that do not prey upon warm blooded hosts are capable of biting if they are carelessly handled and the bite is reported to be quite painful.

Hi  Daniel,  many thanks for identifying the bug.  It certainly did look potentially harmful, but beautiful, too.  Good luck with your work!

Update:  December 31, 2013
We have now received two comments indicating that this is a
Sycanus species, but we never sought a corroborating link until now.  This German Reduviidae site has a matching photo of Sycanus minor.  We also found this highly stylized drawing of Sycanus falleni on a Vietnamese stamp on ShutterstockSycanus insularis is pictured on Insect Fans, but you must scroll down to see the images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Namibian Mantis
Location: Central Namibia
November 25, 2011 1:53 pm
Hi Daniel, I think this is the last unknown from our 2011 trip to Namibia. It was on the steps of our bungalow at Durstenbruck Guest Farm near Windhoek.
Signature: Roger Pinkney

Wide Armed Mantis

Hi Roger,
We are posting your photo before we attempt any identification.  Many Mantids have developed excellent means of camouflage and this species is no exception.  The wings and forelegs truly resemble dried leaves.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind beetle is this?
Location: s indiana
November 21, 2011 7:17 am
Any ideas? thank you
Signature: brian

Larger Elm Leaf Beetle

Dear Brian,
Using BugGuide, we properly identified your beetle as a Larger Elm Leaf Beetle,
Monocesta coryli.  Images posted to BugGuide indicate this is a variable species that may have black markings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Food chain
Location: southern indiana
November 21, 2011 7:07 am
Robber fly kills & eats wasp
Signature: brian

Giant Robber Fly eats Wasp

Hi Brian,
Your Robber Fly appears to be one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus
Promachus.  BugGuide indicates “Adults predatory, often on Hymenoptera,” and your individual is fulfilling its reputation.  The wasp appears to be a Paper Wasp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you tell me what this is?
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
November 24, 2011 8:50 pm
I get these in my apartment occasionally. I was just wondering what they are.
Thank you.
Signature: any

House Centipede

Dear any,
This is a beneficial, predatory House Centipede, a nocturnal hunter that will help keep your apartment free of cockroaches and other undesirable intruders.  The House Centipede is one of our most frequent identification requests as well as a frequent victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination