From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

Subject: Modernist Bug
Location: Vail, AZ
July 4, 2013 11:28 am
This is the first of this kind I have noticed. Was photographed on the Arizona Trail near Three Bridges. Landed in front of me like a grasshopper.
Signature: Carl

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Hi Carl,
This is a Robber Fly and your individual is one impressive looking predator.  We are not certain of the species, but it does resemble members on the genus
Polacantha pictured on BugGuide where the information provided states that Polacantha arctuata is found in Arizona.  All of the photos on BugGuide of the species are males and we cannot locate any photos of females.  We believe your Robber Fly is a female.  We cannot locate any other images of Polacantha arctuata on the internet.  Your individual appears to lack the striped abdomen found on Promachus sackeni which is pictured on BugGuide.  While we cannot be certain of the species, we can tell you that Robber Flies are very adept predators and they often take large winged prey in flight.  Many species feed on large bees and wasps.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a species identification.

Wow! Thank you!

Eric Eaton Responds to our request
Daniel:
Eric Fisher is the go-to person for robber flies.  I’m sorry, I don’t have his e-mail address in my contact file….
This one appears to be a male in the genus Proctacanthus, if I know anything at all (which is sometimes suspect with asilids!).
Eric 

Subject: Unidentified Flying Object?
Location: Cumberland, MD (Western Maryland Mountains)
July 4, 2013 9:03 am
Hi! I found this quite interesting looking ”fellow” on my back porch resting on a blind, near a bug light. I was intrigued by the four black ”dots” on its hard shell. He only popped out his head for a few brief seconds, so I am not able to describe it very well. He was approximately 3/4” long. The coloring of his ”shell” appears slightly darker in the picture. I live in the mountains of Western Maryland and have seen my fair share of insects and critters, but no one seems so have seen one of these types of beetles before. I did not want to injure him, so I did not capture him and have not seen him again; but I am curious if you would be able to identify him for me.
Thanks so much and I love your website!!!
Signature: LoverofAllCreaturesGreatandSmall

Grapevine Beetle

Grapevine Beetle

Dear Lover of All Creatures Great and Small,
Your beetle is a Grapevine Beetle,
Pelidnota punctata, and individuals often vary greatly in coloration, from pale cream to dark orange.  More northern reports tend to be darker in coloration, in our opinion.  If you count the spots more carefully, you should see six on the elytra and two more on the thorax.

Subject: fancy firefly?
Location: Sandwich, MA
July 3, 2013 5:14 pm
I haven’t seen this type of firefly before. After searching the internet I found a similar photo for a Say’s firefly. Is this a common firefly in New England? All these years of watching fireflies and this is the first time I’ve seen like this one.
I know you’re busy, but if you have time, your input would be helpful.
thank you and Om shanti (peace)
Signature: Roberta

Firefly

Firefly

Hi Roberta,
This Firefly does not look that unusual to us, and we apologize as we are not able to confirm its exact species identity.  BugGuide is a good resource for trying to identify insects.

Subject: What Is This?
Location: Malaysia
July 4, 2013 3:58 am
Good day, I am just curious about this bug founded in my city, more precisely on the staircase of my school compound. wondering what was it thanks.
Signature: Msian

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Hi Msian,
This moth is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth in the genus
Acherontia.  There are three known species that all look quite similar, but that have different ranges.  We believe your moth is Acherontia styx, and you may read more about it on the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic website.

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Subject: Fishing or Wolf Spider with Egg Sac
Location: Sullivan County, NY
July 3, 2013 5:19 pm
I almost grabbed this girl while I was sorting laundry. Thankfully her big white egg sac stood out against the black running shorts and I stopped short. I scooped her up in a mason jar and took her outside.
Friends have alternately identified her as a fishing spider and a wolf spider. Which is she?
Also, I noticed two of these spiders on the side of my cabin (outside, thankfully!) about two weeks prior to this. Then they were no longer on the house, but I found one in my tub and now her. Do you think they are the same two?
Thanks for any help you can provide!
Signature: Kambri Crews

Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Dear Kambri,
Both Fishing Spiders and Wolf Spider exhibit excellent maternal care beginning with the Egg Sac which is transported around with the mother.  Both families also care for the young for a short while.  Wolf Spiders transport the Egg Sac by dragging it behind them.  The Egg Sac is attached to the spinnerets.  Female Fishing Spiders carry the Egg Sac in the chelicerae or mouthparts.  Your spider is a Fishing Spider.  We do not know how dense the population of Fishing Spider is in your area so we cannot guess if you saw the same two spiders or different individuals.  While the filters utilized to create artistic instagrams often distort details that would be helpful for identification purposes, we must admit that this effective instagram shows the characteristic stance of a female Fishing Spider carrying about her egg sac.

Instagram of Fishing Spider

Instagram of Fishing Spider

Thanks so much! Love the site!
Kambri

Subject: What is this beautiful guy?
Location: Columbus, OH
July 3, 2013 8:44 pm
Saw him on our burning bush out front. Didn’t want to get too close. Guessing a solitary wasp/fly of some kind? Thanks for any help!
Signature: Thanks, Nick

Mydas Fly

Mydas Fly

Dear Nick,
The Mydas Fly,
Mydas clavatus, that you submitted is a very effective wasp mimic, but we are not entirely certain of the connectivity of this species to other orders in the Complex Web of Life.