From the monthly archives: "April 2012"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Stinging Beetle or Wasp?
Location: Central Oklahoma
March 30, 2012 10:52 pm
A friend of mine was just bitten on the hand by the bug in the picture. It was in her house, and as she was trying to shoo it out, it got her. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the attack. Any idea what it is? Her hand is swelling somewhat rapidly… :/
Signature: Mike

Masked Hunter doesn't survive defending itself

Hi Mike,
This insect appears to be a Black Corsair, and it is neither a wasp nor a beetle, nor did your friend get stung.  Black Corsairs are Assassin Bugs and they are predators equipped with piercing mouthparts for sucking fluids from their prey.  Many Assassin Bugs will bite if carelessly handled.  The best way to remove an unknown insect from the house is to trap it in a glass.  Stemware like a martini glass works very well.  Then slip a postcard under the rim and transport the insect outside.  Many folks who are bitten by Assassin Bugs, spiders and other creatures succumb to the impulse to swat at a creature that they find crawling on them.  That will often result in the person getting bitten.  It is better to try to blow the creature off or to shake it off without applying any pressure.  Unless you friend is undergoing a severe allergic reaction, the bite effects should not last more than a few hours.  While we understand the impulse to kill a creature that has just bitten someone, we feel compelled to tag this letter as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope our tips will help you, your friend and our general readership to deal with accidental visitors that are sometimes capable of stinging or biting.  The Black Corsair, like most Assassin Bugs, is considered beneficial predators.  An exception would be the Kissing Bugs or Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus
Triatoma since they will bite humans to feed on blood if there is no other warm blooded prey available.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

March 31, 2012
My beautiful adolescent Angelfish are laying eggs, but no eggs have hatched yet.  There were 17 Angelfish in the 40 gallon tall aquarium when things started to get ugly.  A gold male and a small but spunky striped female have laid eggs several times and they are getting aggressive.  His protective behavior was documented in a motion control photograph taken a few weeks ago.
It was several days ago that I realized that when they laid eggs again, the gold member of the pair was the male, not the female.  I believe that is him obeying the rule of thirds at my direction in the attached photograph.  I have decided to name him Paris.

Paris and other Adolescent Angelfish

The pair had begun attacking the eyes of a gravid female who was dropping eggs as she hid behind the piece of slate leaning against the glass.  I moved her with three other striped tankmates and moved them into the 10 gallon nursery tank.  That was Wednesday night.  Yesterday I took them to Tropical Imports and I told Henry to keep an eye on them because I predict they will pair off and lay eggs.  I am pretty certain at least two of the four are males.

Adolescent Angelfish


These are the most beautiful of the final brood produced by Lefty and Digitalis in spring 2011.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

March 31, 2012
Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We are currently experiencing technical difficulty with the GMail account we use to read your many wonderful submissions and we are unable to access any email at this time.  We hope you enjoy this photo of a White Lined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata.  It was attracted to the porch light outside of our offices.  Julian Donahue frequently calls us on our especial fondness for a seldom used alternate name, the Striped Morning Sphinx.  Charles Hogue who wrote Insects of the Los Angeles Basin uses the name Striped Morning Sphinx.  This moth is frequently seen in the morning where it rests after being attracted to lights.  We are not certain if Professor Amy Oliver will accept this as a portrait.

Striped Morning Sphinx

Update:  Monday morning, April 2, our email service was restored.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination