From the monthly archives: "June 2012"

Subject: What is this wasplike insect?
Location: Riverbank in Salisbury, south UK
June 25, 2012 9:28 am
About 3/4 inch (20mm) long. Seen flying lazily, with legs dangling, along a riverbank in southern UK. Settled on nettle leaf and commenced cleaning its wings and antennae. Allowed me to get within inches to photograph
Signature: Rich


Hi Rich,
We don’t know.  Normally, we would not have many reservations identifying this as a Wasp, but it might actually be a Bee.  There are several Cuckoo Bees in the UK that look more like wasps than bees.  The best we can do at the moment is to say it is in the order Hymenoptera which included Bees and Wasps as well as Ants and Sawflies.  Searching several UK websites including Garden Life,
Bugs and Weeds and Eakringbirds did not produce anything conclusive.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some insight.

OK, thanks for the prompt reply. I had a good hunt round before I came to you, I’ll hunt some more and we’ll see how it goes
Best to you

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Well, this is a very nice image of a sawfly in the family Tenthredinidae (common sawflies), and probably the genus Tenthredo.

Wow! These experts hardly give one a chance to start looking. Well done Eric and again many thanks
Kind regards

Subject: Little Red Bugs
Location: Tennessee
June 25, 2012 9:00 am
Can you please tell me what I’ve got. I found 3 shiny copper colored eggs on my tomato leaf. and this is what hatched out. (I guess I starved them in the jar since they all died)
Signature: H G Aiken

Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings

Dear H G Aiken,
Immature Hemipterans or True Bugs can be very difficult to properly identify, but we are relatively certain that these are Leaf Footed Bug hatchlings in the family Coreidae, most likely in the genus
Acanthocephala.  Here is a photo from BugGuide that supports our identification.  According to Dave’s Garden:  “Local gardening guru & former extension agent, Walter Reeves, says they are destructive to tomato crops, so this is a negative rating.”

Thank you for your quick response!  I’ll keep a close I out for them pretty as the babies are I recognize the older ones.

Subject: Buckeyes in Central Minnesota
Location: St. Augusta, MN
May 24, 2012 2:14 pm
Hello Bug-nuts!
This Spring continues to be without equal in my fifty-plus years of insect watching. On the afternoon of the 22nd, I was out in the butterfly garden when a half dozen buckeyes blew in.
For those who are lucky enough to get these spectacular butterflies, that may not seem all that remarkable, but I haven’t seen one in 25 years. It was thrilling!
Luckily, I was out there with my camera, and the butterflies were hungry. They loved our chives, and I got good photos.
Chives are a lot more than just a topping for baked potatoes.
Thanks for your excellent site. As you know, I am a big fan.
Signature: Don J. Dinndorf


Hi Don,
How lucky are you to have seen such a large number of Buckeyes, especially after so many years without seeing any.  Your photos are wonderful.  We often let many plants in our vegetable garden to go seed because of the insects that are attracted to the blooms.  Carrot blossoms and onion blooms are both very attractive to a large number of pollinating insects.

Subject: Questionmark caterpillar photos for you
Location: Central MN
June 25, 2012 7:50 am
I see you have only one questionmark caterpillar photo. Here are a couple more.
Unfortunately, a tachinid fly parasitized this caterpillar, so no chrysalyis shots.
Darn it.
Signature: Don J

Questionmark Caterpillar

Hi Don,
Thank you for sending us some additional photos of a Questionmark Caterpillar.  They are greatly appreciated and a fine addition to our archives.  It appears there is netting in one of your photos.  Do you raise caterpillars in captivity?  Do you have a photo of the Tachinid that emerged?

Questionmark Caterpillar

Hi Daniel.
I’m glad you liked the photos.  This caterpillar was on a hackberry tree in our yard, but yes, I did photograph her(?) on netting.  The tachinid that emerged was still in larval form (as was another that came out of a monarch chrysalis at the same time.  The little maggots mad me angry, so I threw them in the woods!  They’re lucky I didn’t just smash them, or use them for fish bait (that thought occured to me too late).
Anyhow, yes, I do raise caterpillars – mostly monarchs, but others when I come across them.  I especially like cecropia and polyphemous moths, but don’t have any yet this season.


Subject: Female Eastern Rhinoceros Beetle?
Location: Northern Illinois
June 25, 2012 8:31 am
Hello! Can you help me identify the attached beauty?
It was frolicking in my grape vines yesterday, 6-24-2012.
Signature: Rachel White

Grapevine Beetle

Hi Rachel,
Like the Rhinoceros Beetle, this Grapevine Beetle is a Scarab Beetle, but in a totally different subfamily.  Adults feed on the leaves and fruit of grapes.

Subject: it looks like a damselfly
Location: Ottawa Ontario
June 24, 2012 10:54 pm
Ive never seen a damselfly like this before especially with the three prongs from the end. The wings and head really resemble the typical damselfly here in Canada. However from looking through images on this site I dont see it. Can you help me figure out what it is
Signature: Curious


Dear Curious,
The quality of your photo is poor and the dead creature is missing a head, but we believe this is an Ichneumon, a species of parasitic wasp.  It most resembles the genus
Megarhyssa, however, the coloration is not typical of the species we are familiar with in that genus.  See this photo from BugGuide for a nice view of the three pronged ovipositor of Megarhyssa nortoni.  We hope to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.  Can you provide any size information?

Eric Eaton provides an identification!!!
Assuming this is from the U.S. or Canada, I would bet on Dolichomitus irritator:
They get pretty large in their own right.

Thanks Eric,
That species name “
irritator” is very suggestive.