From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

Subject: Large black beetle in CT
Location: CT
July 4, 2013 4:46 pm
Whatt is this bug???
We just found this large back beetle in our backyard in CT.
It has large pinchers & a tail/stinger/? that is usually recessed, but quickly comes out when aproached. It also sticks it’s rear end up, as if a defense as well.
Lastly, we found it over a 1/2” diameter hole, which it appeared to be protecting.
Signature: Heather

Broad-Necked Root Borer

Broad-Necked Root Borer

Hi Heather,
This is a female Broad-Necked Root Borer,
Prionus laticollis, and what you describe as a stinger is actually her harmless ovipositor that she uses to lay eggs.

Subject: Large Yellow & Copper Bee
Location: Northern Nevada Mountain Desert
July 4, 2013 5:48 pm
I found this guy buzzing around our yard in Silver City, NV. (It’s just outside of Carson City. ) I have never see anything like this before! I generally don’t have too much trouble figuring out what we have out here (like the Tarantula Hawks – so cool!) but this one has me stumped. He’s copper, yellow & tan, about 1 1/2 ” from end to end & fairly sturdy looking. He’s a very quick flyer! It’s July 4th, 2013 & about 95 degrees outside. What do you think!? THANK YOU!
Signature: Michelle Pedersen

Western Cicada Killer

Western Cicada Killer

Hi Michelle,
We are quite excited to post your photo of a Western Cicada Killer,
Specius grandis, a relatively underrepresented species on our site.  During summer months, we get numerous identification requests for Eastern Cicada Killers, but nice photos of the western species are relatively rare for us.  Female Cicada Killer Wasps sting and paralyze Cicadas to provide food for their young.  More information and photos can be found on BugGuide.  Though we imagine Cicada Killers might deliver a painful sting to humans, they are not aggressive and we have never received a substantiated report of a person being stung.

Thanks so much for such a quick reply! It makes sense that we would have a cicada killer right now because we have a very large migration of cicadas coming through, too. (First time I can remember this in 10 years, as well.) Very cool – thanks for solving the mystery!!

Subject: Wasp like insect
Location: North-east England
July 5, 2013 4:59 am
Came across this bizzare white wasp type insect earlier, I’ve never seen one before and was wondering what it was, I got a pretty good picture of it 🙂
Signature: Beth

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Hi Beth,
This is a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and members of the family are also commonly called Flower Flies.  We have identified your individual as Volucella pellucens thanks to the Woodland and Hedgerow Hoverflies page and the Hoverflies of Adur page.  We also have an awkward view in our own archives.

Subject: It’s pretty looking, but that stinger isn’t!
Location: Southern Saskatchewan (Regina)
July 5, 2013 5:28 am
I found this wee friend hanging out in my room this morning. It’s just kicking into summer here, and the insects are becoming plentiful. He’s about an inch long, attracted to light, and didn’t seem very active. I’m just glad I noticed the stinger and didn’t use my bare hands to remove him. 🙂
Signature: CheeseStix

Short-Tailed Ichneumon

Short-Tailed Ichneumon

Dear CheeseStix,
This is an Ichneumon Wasp, a member of a group of Parasitoid Wasps that parasitize other insects and arthropods.  We believe this is a Short-Tailed Icheumon in the genus
Ophion which you can find pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself” and “They are often attracted to artificial lights.”  Most Ichneumons, including Giant Ichneumons in the genus Megarhyssa, which can have five inch long stingerlike ovipositors, are harmless and do not sting, however we have read that Ophion species might be capable of stinging.

Subject: Looks like 2 insects connected
Location: Edmonton Canada
July 4, 2013 9:14 pm
Found this in my vegetable garden. At first i thought it was 2 insects really close to each other until it jumped away. Googled and googled and can not find. I am in edmonton , alberta. Canada Thanks
Signature: Huh!

Mating Crane Flies

Mating Crane Flies

Dear Huh!,
These are mating Crane Flies.  Crane Flies do not bite nor sting.

Subject: Enormous bug
Location: Skopje, Macedonia
July 4, 2013 6:33 pm
A few nights ago I was sitting in my yard, when suddenly, out of nowhere this enormous bug landed right behind me. Usually I love bugs – when they are small and cute 🙂 But this one really scared me. So, if you have time, I would really appreciate if you can tell me what kind of bug this is. Thanks.
Signature: Monika

Stag Beetle

Stag Beetle

Hi Monika,
This impressive guy is a male Stag Beetle.  Though they are not dangerous, a Stag Beetle might use his impressive mandibles to pinch someone who carelessly handles him.  Stag Beetles are becoming endangered in many parts of their natural range.  We believe your European Stag Beetle is Lucanus cervus and you can read more about this magnificent creature on the British Natural History Museum website.