From the monthly archives: "June 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Black Scarab or Beetle Found – What Is It?!
Location: Raleigh, NC
June 27, 2013 2:27 pm
We found this just outside our garage yesterday. I think it might be dead because it hasn’t moved in the last 24 hours. I’ve never seen anything quite like this in size. I guess we really do grow ’em big here in the South. Anyone know what it might be?
Signature: Melanie

Bess Beetle

Bess Beetle

Dear Melanie,
This is a Bess Beetle or Patent Leather Beetle,
Odontotaenius disjunctus.  Bess Beetles have one of the most fascinating life cycles of any beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “Lifestyle of this family is unique for beetles: live in small colonies where larvae are cared for by adults of both sexes. Long life cycle, apparently more than one year. Larvae eat a rotting wood pre-chewed by adults. (Some references state larvae eat feces of adults as well.) Larvae and adults also cannibalize injured larvae. … Both adults and larvae stridulate, and this is said to serve as communication between them. Adults also stridulate when picked up, and especially, blown on. Adults stridulate by rubbing abdomen against the wings. Larvae stridulate with reduced third pair of legs–these scratch against other legs.”  Stridulation is a fancy word for the act of producing a squeaking sound, so Bess Beetles squeak.  Bess Beetles are not actually Scarabs, but they are classified along with Scarabs and Stag Beetles into the superfamily Scarabaeoidea.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge thing I never wanna see again?!
Location: Phoenix, AZ
June 27, 2013 2:34 pm
I just moved to Phoenix, AZ and I am currently house sitting for a friend. The kids and I had been swimming and after I got everyone in the house and dried off I returned to the pool to grab some floats out of it. Floating on top of that water was something that from a distance looked like a small/baby bird. When I got closer I realized it was in fact some kind of huge bug! It eas close in length to the size of my hand outstretched and at least an inch and a half thick in the trunk. Legs were long and thick, even the antennas. It is currently summer here and was about 110 degrees the day I found it.
Please help, I’m grossed out!
Signature: Is it the begining of the end?! Casey

Palo Verde Root Borer

Palo Verde Root Borer

Hi Casey,
It appears to be the end of the end for this Palo Verde Root Borer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stag beetle
Location: Nashville, TN
June 27, 2013 12:45 pm
I think this is a stag beetle – I found it on my deck this morning. What do they eat and are they destructive? if there is one – can I assume there are more around? I live in Davidson County, Nashville, TN.
Signature: Rose B

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Dear Rose,
This is a male Reddish Brown Stag Beetle,
Lucanus capreolus, and he is a magnificent creature.  According to BugGuide, adults feed on:  “Tree sap. Adults in captivity for study will readily drink diluted maple syrup or sugar water. Larvae feed in rotting logs. They are not harmful to vegetation.”  Stag Beetles can fly and they are attracted to lights, so this individual may have emerged some distance from your home.  Stag Beetles are not destructive.  They need rotting wood like stumps and logs to survive since the larvae take several years to mature.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tortoise Beetle?
Location: Baltimore, MD
June 27, 2013 7:42 pm
I found this cute little guy on the side of my coffee mug. He looked like a drop of gold! I snapped a few photos, and when I scrolled in for a closer look I realized that the edges of his exoskeleton are actually translucent! Very beautiful insect!
Signature: Enchantedmama

Tortoise Beetle

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Dear Enchantedmama,
We have to admit that we were drawn to your submission because of your beguiling signature.  Thank you for submitting a wonderful photo of a Golden Tortoise Beetle,
 Charidotella sexpunctata. We hope you continue to be enchanted by the world of insects.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Long red winged bug with a long stinger
Location: 40°17′56″N 111°41′47″W
June 28, 2013 7:28 am
I found this cool looking bug today at work when I was unwrapping a pallet of wood. I do not believe it is from here in Utah since it was wrapped in the wood, and the wood comes from out of state. It is rather long, and has what I believe to be a long stinger. It was rather aggressive when I was trying to put it in a bag, kept trying to sting me.
Signature: Not sure

Horntail

Horntail

This is a Horntail.  Without knowing the origin of the wood, it is difficult to be certain, but we believe this looks like Xeris indecisus, which is pictured on BugGuide and is reported from California.  According to BugGuide, there are six species in the genus native to North America north of Mexico and “X. melancholicus is northern transcontinental, the rest are western.”  While Horntails are frequently called Wood Wasps and they are classified with wasps and bees, they are not known to sting humans.  The stinger is actually a modified ovipositor which the female uses to lay eggs, by inserting it into wood.  In stinging insects, the ovipositor serves dual purposes and it is considered to be a modified ovipositor.  It is conceivable that the ovipositor of a Horntail might penetrate human skin since it can penetrate wood which is much denser, however, Horntails are not aggressive.  It is possible that this individual was in the pupal stage when the wood was milled and it survived and emerged upon its arrival to Utah.

Thankyou very much. I will try and see if I can find out where our would is shipped from.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this giant bug? A beetle?
Location: Knoxville, TN
June 27, 2013 5:04 pm
Please tell me what this giant beetle is. He has a hairy underside and is a little green. He was found near a furnace in the basement in Knoxville, TN today (6/27).
Signature: SKA

Female Eastern Hercules Beetle

Female Eastern Hercules Beetle

Dear SKA,
We wish you would release this female Eastern Hercules Beetle,
Dynastes tityus, outdoors so that she might have a chance to mate and lay eggs.  While they are not considered rare, they are hardly plentiful.  Male Eastern Hercules Beetles are even larger and they have quite impressive horns.  This is the heaviest beetle in North America.

Female Eastern Hercules Beetle

Female Eastern Hercules Beetle

Wow! That is it…thanks! She was released in the woods last night as a matter of fact! I have never seen one that size before…and to think it had somehow made its way inside is frightening! I just don’t know how she could have come inside undetected!
Thanks again!
– Kirk

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination