From the monthly archives: "September 2012"

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Branson West, MO
September 24, 2012 11:47 pm
This bug was very big and looked like it had a very hard shell… I’ve never see one but it is very colorful….
Signature: GrandPaula

Giant Red Headed Centipede

Dear GrandPaula,
This is a Giant Red Headed Centipede,
Scolopendra heros, and we were surprised to get your report from Missouri, which we thought was north of the typical range.  Most of our reports are from Oklahoma and Texas.  Bugguide does have previous reports from Missouri.  The Giant Red Headed Centipede is a venomous creature, and though it is not generally considered dangerous, the bite is reported to be quite painful.  BugGuide does have this interesting information on the bite of Centipedes in the genus Scolopendra.

Subject: African Painted Bug
Location: San Marcos, CA
September 24, 2012 9:58 pm
I found hundreds of these bugs of various sizes (the one pictured was one of the larger ones) in and around my Alyssum plants in my front yard. I pulled out the plants since they looked like they weren’t doing so good. Now, I just have to figure out how to get rid of these bugs and keep them from coming back.
Signature: redfive

African Painted Bug

Dear redfive,
Alyssum is a member of the cabbage family Brassicaceae, so it makes sense that the African Painted Bugs were feeding on them.  Thanks for letting our readers know that this relatively new Invasive Exotic species feeds on ornamental plants in the family as well as food crops.

Subject: Very smelly beetle!
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
September 24, 2012 12:28 pm
Hello. I came home from a long day and found this little bug hanging out on my blinds. I’m sure there was nothing of use to him in my house so I picked him up to put him outside and he let out quite the stink! I couldn’t tell where it came from because there was no liquid or anything, but it was quite strong; like the smell when you pick up a lady-bug. He had a very nice pink around his head. Dark brownblack body, maybe the whole body was 1” long. Had a habit of ending up on his back (you can see it in the last picture). I flipped him over and set him outside after these pictures. Any help in identifying him would be appreciated! Thanks!
Signature: A girl that still smells of beetle

Diurnal Firefly

Dear girl that still smells of beetle,
This appears to be a Diurnal Firefly in the genus
Ellychnia, based on photos posted to BugGuide.  There is even a ventral view that looks exactly like your image which shows this genus lacks the light producing organ at the tip of the abdomen.

Diurnal Firefly

Thank you for the quick. I’ve never seen a firefly before so I am delighted and also surprised that I finally know what one looks like; the image I had in my mind of what one looked like was quite different. Thanks again!

Subject: Beetle Identification
Location: Port Angeles, WA
September 24, 2012 4:10 pm
I found this beetle crawling around on a Himalayan Blackberry bush and I have never seen one like it before. The size of the beetle is close to 0.5 cm long. This photo was taken on September 24, 2012 in northwestern Washington. Any help identifying it would be great! Thanks.
Signature: EZO Photography

Conchuela Bug Nymph

Dear EZO Photography,
This is not a beetle.  It is a Stink Bug nymph.  We did not recognize the species, so we did a bit of searching on BugGuide and identified it as an immature Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  BugGuide has some great information, including:  “As with most stink bugs, conchuela is primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants over other hosts. Once mesquite beans dry conchuela move to other more succulent plants including corn, sorghum, and cotton.”

Subject: Looks like a pentagon Lady bug
Location: North Carolina
September 24, 2012 9:44 am
Hi. We live in North Carolina, and about a week ago, our house became covered in thousands of small flying insects about the size of a ladybug, but angular, like a pentagon, and brown. We cannot even open our back door, for fear all the bugs hanging out there will swarm into our house! They do not seem to bite, but I don’t want them inside, and I can’t get them to leave my doors and windows alone.
Signature: Hiding inside during beautiful weather

Lablab Bug

Dear Hiding inside during beautiful weather,
You have been inundated by Lablab Bugs or Bean Pataspids, an invasive species recently introduced to the U.S. from Asia.  They have the potential to become serious agricultural pests since they feed on soybeans and other legumes, however, their preferred food is the invasive kudzu.  According to BugGuide:  “may invade homes in large numbers; may become a household pest.”

Subject: wasp in redwood
Location: Sonoma County, CA
September 23, 2012 10:25 pm
Howdy Bugman,
I run a small bandsaw mill unprofessionally and am current building a small house with it. I’m working on siding now out of a redwood that I dropped a year and a half ago and I kept running into these half pupated whatsits with creepy long legs. I thought they were Old House Borers but their legs looked too long for a beetles and also adding to the trouble was I kept beheading them with the saw which I’m sure you understand makes identification difficult. Finally uncovered this rather large metallic looking wasp that I miraculously missed with the saw. I dug it out and it sluggishly wandered around and I took a not so clear picture. I thought about killing it but if I spend a few minutes with an insect or arachnid even if they give me the heeby jeebies I feel bad and put them somewhere out of harms way. In this case I stuck it over on the scary old circular mill with removeable teeth. A little while later I saw it flying around and busily landing on things. Sin ce fall is fast approaching is this guy (gal?) going to make it or was it planning on overwintering in my siding?
Signature: best to all, Erik

Wood Wasp

Hi Erik,
This is some species of Wood Wasp or Horntail in the family Siricidae, and since you found it in redwood and redwood is a conifer, it is most likely in the subfamily Siricinae.  There are only two genera listed on BugGuide, and we are having a problem identifying this to the species level.  We will try sending the image to Eric Eaton to see if he can provide anything more specific.  Your letter was filled with helpful information on the habits of Wood Wasps and Horntails.
  We also located this very informative posting from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis.

Eric Eaton Responds with some surprising news
This really is a great story.  Ok, from what I can gather, the only species of horntail known to infest redwoods in California is Sirex areolatus, and I reach that conclusion with the help of a very recent online reference:
Still, the ovipositor in this female specimen is very long.  I’d like to forward this e-mail to two of the authors of the above paper, whom I know from prior correspondence.  There is always the possibility I’m wrong, or that this is a new species, or an introduced species from elsewhere….
Lastly, with Erik’s permission, I’d like to use his image and story in a blog post about this species.  I’d need his last name to assign proper credit, of course.

Thank you so much for the identification I am fascinated by just about everything and enjoy learning more about my neck of the woods. Not actually my neck of the woods but I work there and that’s close enough. Just to be clear, I only thought about killing it because I was afraid it would generate future generations of wasps in my lumber. However upon reading that UC Davis article I understand they don’t infest or re-infest finished structures. This will learn me to get my butt in gear when I cut trees! Quite a spectacular wasp I’m glad I can say I didn’t kill it.
Thanks again,
Right, as for Eric’s request yes by all means. If it’s any more help, the larvae were found only in the sapwood of the redwood while the pupating ones and the adult were just in the surface of heartwood.
Best to all,
Erik Dolgushkin