From the yearly archives: "2012"

Subject: Identification Needed
Location: Chassell, MI located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by Lake Superior
September 10, 2012 9:51 pm
I found this very interesting insect
September 3, 2012. I can’t find it in
any of my numerous insect field guides.
I am attaching an image of it.
Signature: Lynn Murphy

Assassin Bug Nymph

Hi Lynn,
Most guide books only depict adult insects.  This is an immature Assassin Bug in the genus
Zelus.  You can compare your photo to this image on BugGuide.  Assassin Bugs are predators and the members of the genus Zelus prowl blossoms and plants for prey.  Handle with caution.  Assassin Bugs can deliver a painful, though not dangerous bite.

Subject: ID help
Location: Los Angeles, CA
September 11, 2012 12:51 pm
Hello! I found this creature crawling out of a hole in a piece of wood in my backyard in Los Angeles, CA. I am located about 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. I thought it might be a Rove Beetle of some kind, but someone pointed out that it appears to have 13 segments in its antennae, and that is too many for a Rove Beetle. I wish I had more shots from other angles, but unfortunately I do not. Any help would be appreciated 🙂
Signature: gatorlink


Dear gatorlink,
This looks very similar to a Termite image, also from Los Angeles, that we just posted and it also resembles this Termite image from BugGuide.  We are having problems identifying the exact species, but it makes sense that the conditions for this species to swarm in Los Angeles right now might be ideal.

Thanks so much for the help. I think this may be a Western Drywood Termite. I hope that’s the only individual I find, or else I might have a big problem!

Subject: Household pest no one recognizes
Location: Los Angeles
September 11, 2012 6:18 pm
I’m wondering if any experts recognize this bug, which seems to hang out in the kitchen. Some of them have wings, which appear to be useless when it comes to flying. They don’t appear to be very bright or survivalists…they flail if they are knocked on their backs and seem to wander in circles and drown themselves if they walk into a sink drip. They show up in unexpected swarms during the day (in summer) and then disappear within hours. Thanks for any detective work!
Signature: KM, Los Angeles


Dear KM,
You have Termites.  See this matching image on BugGuide.

Oh man — I didn’t know they get so big that you can see them, or that they have wings. Thanks!

Subject: help me identify this fly
Location: Baie-Comeau,Quebec,Canada
September 10, 2012 2:48 pm
I found this fly in front of my house.I live in Quebec,Canada.In a small town called Baie-Comeau.I’ve never seen such fly arround here and no one I know either…It was half inches long and about same wide with the wings.
wSignature: Pierre Murray

Tachinid Fly

Hi Pierre,
This distinctive fly is a Tachinid Fly, and we believe the species is
Hystricia abrupta based on images posted to BugGuide.  The range is also consistent with your sighting.  Tachinid Flies are important parasites that prey upon a variety of insects and arthropods.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”

Subject: What is this?!
Location: Beaverton, OR, USA
September 10, 2012 11:44 pm
This thing was inching along my computer screen, moving along like a caterpillar or inch worm. When I put something in front of it, it inched backwards. I tried scooping it onto a piece of paper to put outside and it almost spring loaded away, like it jumped. I’ve attached a photo
Signature: The bug man?

Snakefly Larva

This sure looks like the larva of a Snakefly, and this image from BugGuide looks even closer than the individual from our archive.  According to BugGuide:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans).”

Subject: Phyllodromica trivittata
Location: Vallejo, Solano County, CA.
September 10, 2012 9:55 pm
Hi Mr. Marlos,
I’m an entomologist living in the San Francisco Bay Area and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I have found Phyllodromica trivittata in Vallejo in Solano County and that it probably came in on wood a friend brought me from Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County. It appears our friend is spreading quite quickly.
Signature: Greg Johnson – Entomologist and Crop and Soil Scientist.

Introduced Cockroach

Hi Greg,
Thanks for informing us about the range expansion of this introduced species of Cockroach.  According to BugGuide, it is already reported from California and Nevada.

Invasive Cockroach