From the monthly archives: "May 2014"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: queen ants?
Location: grand rapids, mi
May 30, 2014 10:45 pm
The past few days we’ve been seeing these things all over after sundown. They look like carpenter ants but are more than twice the size of the carpenter ants we see during the day. Some have wings, some don’t. They have a ring of fine hairs around their bottoms, a single node, etc. But if they are queens then why are there so many? And why would we only see them at night?
Signature: dave

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter Ant

Hi Dave,
We agree that this is a Carpenter Ant and you can compare your individual to this Alate in the genus
Camponotus that is pictured on BugGuide.  Winged swarming ants are known as alates, and they are produced in quantity by an old colony.  Once a virgin queen mates, she will loose the wings and begin a new colony.  One reason so many are produced by a single colony is that many fall prey to predators, like the image of what appears to be a Cobweb Spider in the family Theridiidae feeding on a winged alate Carpenter Ant.  According to BugGuide:  “Mating flights of the majority of species occur late April-May,” however, the time of day of the flights is not listed.

Carpenter Ant Alate eaten by Spider

Carpenter Ant Alate eaten by Cobweb Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Temnoscheila
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas
May 30, 2014 2:46 pm
We have identified the green beetles on one of our red oak trees as temnoscheila.
We used a tree drench on it a few days ago to systemically rid the tree of the beetles, which are gnawing holes in the bark and making it fall off. But drench can take up to three months to work. Is there anything else you would recommend to help us? We don’t want to lose the tree.
We live in Wichita Falls, Texas, and are in a bad drought. We have been watering the trees with pond water, since we are not allowed to use city water on the yard.
We don’t see the beetles on any other trees (hope they don’t spread). Thanks.
I hope I sent the right picture of the beetles and not my dogs.
Signature: Ercie Hill

Metallic Green Borer Beetle

Metallic Green Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Ercie,
We are very excited to be able to post your image of this beautiful species that helps to return trees to humus.  We took the liberty of cropping and correcting your image of a Bark Gnawing Beetle.
  The BugGuide page on the genus  is a beautifully designed page.

Temnoscheila species

Temnoscheila species

Daniel, thank you.  Sorry my image was not better.  My camera doesn’t take very good close-up photos.
Any idea why the beetles are on the oak tree and how to talk them into going somewhere else?
Thanks again,
Ercie Hill

We have very good news for you Ercie, sort of.  We just received a complimentary copy of Arthur V. Evans’ new book, Beetles of Eastern North America, and here is what he has to say about Temnoscheila virescens:  “Adults and larvae found in pines infested with bark beetles and are important predators of Dendroctonus.  Adults prey on adult bark beetles, while their larvae consume Dendroctonus eggs and larvae.”  According to BugGuideDendroctonus:  “Breed on boles of conifers; sometimes kill healthy trees.”  So, you have photographed the predator, not the problem.  We would urge you not to take any action against this magnificent Bark Gnawing Beetle, even though its family name is deceptive.  It is feeding on the beetle that is the problem.  The material we are citing lists pines as the trees affected by the Bark Beetle, but that is not to say that the Bark Gnawing Temnoscheila might also prey on Bark Beetles that affect other trees, namely, your oak.

Daniel, thank you.  We’ve seen these beetles around here as long as I can remember, just never saw them on a tree.  I appreciate your responses – thanks so much.
Ercie


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – What’s This Egg Sac?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
May 29, 2014 2:44 pm
Hi Daniel,
I found this egg sac on the bud of a Pincushion Bloom yesterday. I wish I knew what creature emerged from it, but have been unable to identify. I tried Vanessa Annabella, Gulf Fritillary, Gray Hairstreak and Cabbage Butterfly. None of them seem to match what we have. Can you help?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

What's That Empty Shell???

What’s That Empty Shell???

Dear Anna,
Because of the silken anchor lines, we do not believe this is an egg, but possibly a pupal shell.  We are pretty certain it is not a butterfly egg.  How large was it?  It seems too large for an insect egg, but we are not certain of the scale as we are not familiar with the pincushion bloom.  Sadly, only two cosmos plants sprouted in the garden, and since we are dealing with a gopher this year for the first time, we hope they make it to maturity and reseed.

Perhaps a Pupal Casing

Perhaps a Pupal Casing

Dear Daniel,
I’m so sorry to have not responded before now.  This was just a little less than 1/8″ in diameter and the pincushion bloom bud was just a little under 1″ in diameter.  I am also inclined to say that it was a pupal shell as I looked at more photos of it and found some detritus inside.
We are sorry to hear that only two cosmos plants sprouted in your garden.  Ours are just now returning, maybe you will have more as time goes on.  How’s that darn gopher?
Anna

It ate the onions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Long flying critter
Location: Columbus Ohio
May 29, 2014 7:35 pm
We keep finding this guy on our screen in the morning, near our outdoor light that burns all night. At some point in the day, it flies away. The underside just looks like a caterpillar with wings. This is Ohio, and it is late May. The wings are not quite clear, but fairly translucent as you can see in the picture. He’s not bothering us, but I don’t want to harbor a critter that may be eating my plants when I’m not looking!
Signature: Robin

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Robin,
While this female Dobsonfly is an impressive creature, the male Dobsonfly, with his scimitar shaped mandibles is even more memorable.  Dobsonflies do not feed as adults, and the semiaquatic larvae, known as Hellgrammites, are often found near bodies of water.
  Dobsonflies will not harm your plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: NE Ohio Ashtabula county
May 30, 2014 4:06 am
Bugman,
We saw this May 29, 2014 in our back field. It was about 2 inches long, large black wings, one big yellow spot on back. The last segment of each leg was yellow and the antenna were yellow as well. It looks very similar to the digger wasp scolia dubia but it was larger and only one spot on its back. It flew very slowly landed on a leaf and wrapped the two mid legs around the leaf.
Thanks for any help
Signature: Judy

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Judy,
Mistaking this Elm Sawfly for a wasp is understandable, since wasps and Sawflies are in the same insect order, but unlike wasps, Sawflies do not sting.  The abdominal markings can vary, but your individual looks very close to this image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug on my squash plants
Location: Copperas cove, Texas
May 29, 2014 9:23 pm
Saw this guy on my squash plants, we’re having a hard time keeping bugs from demolishing our garden without resorting to pesticides so we try to remove them individually. This little guy was just relaxing on a leaf and didn’t appear to be doing anything destructive and relocated to our corn to again just hangout it appeared. Any thoughts on what it is? Our google-fu is pretty weak bug wise and we got nothing that way.
Signature: Dave and Kara

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Hi Dave and Kara,
If this Squash Vine Borer, a moth that mimics a wasp, lays eggs on your plants, her progeny will bore in the stems, compromising the health of your squash plants.  This article from The Urban Garden might provide you with some helpful tips.

Thanks! We’ve got some neem oil and orange oil to try and I got praying mantids today hopefully they’ll take care of them, I’ll definetly give the article a read!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination