From the monthly archives: "June 2012"

Subject: Libellula & Polites Mystic
Location: Niagara, ON
May 30, 2012 2:44 pm
I’ve been able to identify this as a libellula, but haven’t been able to get it down any narrower. He seems to be lacking the brown wingtips of the Widow skimmer you show on your site. I read in a past post that dragonflies aren’t that easy to identify to the species level, but thought I would share this photo as I’m rather pleased with how it turned out. He was a very patient model!
I’m also attaching a photo of what I believe to be either polites peckius (Peck’s Skipper) or polites mystic (Long Dash). This tiny little butterfly and the dragonfly were hanging out together on a sunny afternoon in a patch of wild phlox.
You’re welcome to use one or both photos for your site if you wish.
Signature: Alison

Long Dash Skipper or Peck’s Skipper

Hi Alison,
We are posting your letter with the Long Dash Skipper photo, but we cannot verify for certain if your identification is correct.  We trust that it is.  We will post the Dragonfly at a later date.  Also, we are postdating this to go live on our site during our brief holiday.

Ed. Note:  We have just received a comment from Mona that this is a Peck’s Skipper.  We cannot verify for certain, but in the interest of providing possible identifications, we are linking to the Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

Subject: What’s This?
Location: Winter, Wisconsn
May 29, 2012 8:38 pm
This is a weird bug that my kids and I found in Northern Wisconsin at a cabin by the Radisson Flowage. During our 3 night stay over Memorial Day weekend 2012 we found 4 of these critters running around. Please help us know what it is. Thanks
Signature: Clint Parker


Hi Clint,
This is a Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly, and they are generally found close to water.  Hellgrammites are a favored bait for freshwater anglers.  We will be scheduling your letter to post live to our site later in the week as we will be on holiday.

Subject: Not a ladybug!
Location: Moore, OK
June 3, 2012 1:07 pm
My 4 year old son is totally into bugs! He caught this lovely guy yesterday – not the usual ladybug that he typically brings in 🙂 We want to know what it is?
He found it on the slide of his swingset in our backyard. June 2 in Moore, Oklahoma.
Signature: Trevor’s mom

Sumac Flea Beetle

Dear Trevor’s mom,
Though we immediately recognized this as a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae and we recalled identifying it previously, we still needed to turn to BugGuide to research and we quickly identified this pretty little beetle as a Sumac Flea Beetle,
Blepharida rhois.  According to BugGuideit is found:  “Throughout eastern US to AZ and southern CA / adj. Can.”  In a few days we will be going on a short holiday so we are postdating your identification to go live during our absence.

Sumac Flea Beetle

Thank you!  We had gotten so far as figuring out it was some kind of leaf beetle, but I’m a little rusty!  Thanks for the the quick reply 🙂  Not sure how he ended up in our yard…I don’t think there are any sumacs nearby!  Have a nice holiday 🙂


Subject: Large Grub-like Creature
Location: Germantown, Maryland
June 2, 2012 11:13 pm
I found this bug back in September 2010 in Maryland. He was very interesting looking. It did not like me very much, especially when I picked it up. He was large, almost 2 inches long. Not squishy like a maggot. Thanks so much.
Signature: Curious and Curiouser

Scarab Beetle Grub

Dear Curious and Curiouser,
This insect larva is more than just “grub-like”.  It really is a Grub, the acceptable name for the larva of a Scarab Beetle, though other beetle larvae and insect larvae are also called Grubs.  You did not indicate exactly where it was found.  Many large Scarab Beetle Grubs are found in rotting wood since that is their food source.  Other Scarab Grubs, notably those of June Beetles, are frequently found while digging because they feed on roots.  Other Scarab Grubs are commonly found in compost piles.  We will be postdating your identification request to go live later in the week since we will be away from the office for a short time and we like having new posts on our site on a daily basis.

Subject: Wolf Spider
Location: Germantown, Maryland
June 2, 2012 11:40 pm
I cam across this spider while getting the mail, and she just fascinated me! I believe after some research she may have been a female wolf spider. She just seems much smaller than other pictures of female wolf spiders. She was very patient with me, which I appreciated. Are those eggs on her back or are those babies?
Signature: Spider Watcher

Wolf Spider with Spiderlings

Dear Spider Watcher,
You are correct that this is a Wolf Spider.  She is a female and she is carrying around her newly hatched spiderlings on her back.  They will disperse in a few days.  Female Wolf Spiders drag around the egg case until the eggs hatch.  The egg case is attached by silk to the females spinning organs known as spinnerets.  Your inquiry will go live to our website later in the week because we are postdating submissions in preparation for a short holiday we will be taking away from the office.

Subject: Insect in Mexico
Location: Tulum, Mexico
June 3, 2012 11:15 am
We saw this bug at night in Tulum, Mexico. It appeared on the wall outside our cabana. It doesn’t appear to have wings but is quite horrific in my opinion. This is the best picture I could get at night without getting too close. Do you know what kind of bug this is?
Signature: Danielle Panchuk

Tailless Whipscorpion

Hi Danielle,
Though it is fierce looking, this Tailless Whipscorpion is actually harmless to humans as it lack venom, unlike the true scorpions and spider to which it is related.  It is possible to sustain a bite from a Tailless Whipscorpion, but only if one tries to carelessly handle it.  Tailless Whipscorpions are nocturnal hunters that feed on Cockroaches and other undesirable creatures that are found indoors in warmer climates where the Tailless Whipscorpions are found.  In Mexico, the Tailless Whipscorpion is commonly called a Cancle.  We will be postdating your letter to go live during our absence from the office later this month.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your response. It’s good to know the bug we saw was not dangerous in any way and actually doing some good. I’ve looked at some other pictures posted on your site of Tailless Whipscorpiond and the one we saw seems quite a bit larger than those. It’s body was about 7-8 inches long.
Thanks again!