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

Subject: Unidentified wasp?
Location: Fannie, Ark.
August 25, 2014 8:57 am
Found and photographed a couple of days ago in Montgomery County, Arkansas. I think its a wasp but would like to know what kind. Thank you.
Signature: Bill Burton

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Bill,
We believe this is a Parasitic Wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, a large and diverse family.  According to BugGuide:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed(2); arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.”  It looks very similar to this image of
Saranaca elegans posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the larval food is the caterpillar of “Darapsa myron”, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx is found in Arkansas.  We may be way off base with the species, but we are confident that we have at least gotten the family identification correct.

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an ant war? I’ve never seen one before…
Location: Meadowview, VA, USA
August 25, 2014 6:26 am
I took my son to school this a.m. and in the 10 minutes it took me to go and come back, this swarm of wingless ants appeared on the edge of my driveway (it was not there when we left). There are several “puddles” of ants along the edge of the driveway where it meets the lawn, with trails of ants moving between them like little rivers. Up close there appears to be one on one fighting, with the big puddles being the “winners?” swarming around on top of immobile “losers?”… on the edges of the “puddles” there are individual ants wandering around, but other than size (a few are much smaller than the others, but all of them are fairly small ants) they appear really similar to me– I can’t see an obvious two species fighting. Is this maybe that situation caused by wasp secretions, where they fight themselves? Or is it two or more colonies duking it out? I’ve sent several pictures from my phone– I hope at leas t one of them is good enough quality for you to identify world war 3 for me!! Thanks for your awesome site– I love to visit and learn new stuff!
Signature: Jeri Ward
I wasn’t sure which pix would be clearest, so I’m sending the rest in hopes at least one will be good enough to id.

Ant Swarm

Ant Swarm

Hi Jeri,
We are posting the clearest of the eight images you submitted.  Alas, we are not very good at Ant identification and we believe even an ant expert might have problems with an exact identification, but we have some thoughts.  Since these are small ants, two species that come to mind are both nonnative, invasive species, the Argentine Ant (which is reported on BugGuide from nearby North Carolina and Tennessee) and the Red Imported Fire Ants, which according to BugGuide:  “The Red Imported Fire Ant is the most aggressive and widespread of the fire ants found in North America. It was introduced from South America into the United States between 1933 and 1945. If their nest is stepped on, the workers rush out and sting the feet and legs of the intruder. Each sting results in a small, acutely painful wound that develops into a pustule in 24 to 48 hours. As the pustules heal they become itchy and can become infected. ”  Of the Argentine Ant, BugGuide states:  “Thought to have first arrived in the United States in coffee shipments in New Orleans around 1891.  A major pest in United States for several reasons: able to nest in diverse habitats, produces great numbers of individuals due to many reproductive queens in a colony, eats large variety of food (omnivorous diet), coexists amiably with other colonies of same species, exterminates competing native species of ants wherever they occur, and invades homes in large numbers in search of food and water.  When established in an area, the number of individuals is mind boggling, with large files of workers running up and down trees, on fences, on the ground, and everywhere else; considered one of the most persistant and troublesome of house-infesting ants.”  We believe this is either linked to swarming activity and the emergence of winged alates, or perhaps something else caused a colony to come above ground, like perhaps flooding.  Did you water the lawn earlier?  We apologize for not being much help.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying Scorpion? Panorpa nuptialis?
Location: Fort Collins, CO
August 22, 2014 2:30 pm
I found this yesterday in an old pot.
Live in Fort Collins, CO.
I am afraid I killed it, even though it bothered me to do so, but it looked somewhat dangerous!
Have never seen anything like this! A friend in Mexico sent me news of Panorpa nuptialis… “flying scorpion” but I am not sure it is enough similar…
Ideas?
Signature: mes

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear mes,
This is an American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, the only member of its family in the continental United States.  This parasitic wasp uses its long abdomen to deposit eggs underground in the proximity of Scarab Beetle Grubs which the larval wasps eat.  American Pelecinids are not known to sting, but whenever we write that an insect is harmless, or not aggressive, someone writes in to dispute us.  In our opinion, this beneficial insect was killed unnecessarily, and we are tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope that you will be understanding if you encounter another American Pelecinid.  This is most definitely not a Scorpionfly, which is how Panorpa nuptialis is classified.

THANK YOU for this post, and for the education.
I am generally not squeamish around insects (having lived 17 years of my adult life in Mexico) and I sincerely regret falling into the “ew” category with this American Pelecinid. I was feeling mother bear I think…
Thank you so much for the identification which I will post around to try to atone for having lost this one!
Thanks for the good work you do
Mes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: texas grasshopper id
Location: cedar ridge preserve, Dallas, TX
August 24, 2014 10:51 am
Hi I have posted this grasshopper seen at the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas TX. Can you help to id? evidently there are not very many people on iNat thart are Grasshopper experts
Thank you in advance for your felp
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/841512
Signature: Deborah Nelson

Grasshopper

Say’s Grasshopper

Hi Deborah,
We responded to comments first today and we noticed you submitted a comment on a different posting and we requested that you send images using our standard form, and at that time we did not realize you had already done it.  We believe this is Say’s Grasshopper subspecies,
Spharagemon equale equale, based on this image on BugGuide

Thank you for your help.  I did not see the standard submission form until I after I had already sent the first email request.
Myself and one other person in Tarrant county were guessing it was a Mottled Sand Grasshopper (Spharagemon collare) … She had seen one in another park recently.   Neither of us are bug experts and admit we know almost nothing about grasshoppers except being able to distinguish it as a grasshopper.   I am amazed at how many there are!
Thank you for the ID of:   Say’s Grasshopper subspecies, Spharagemon equale equale
I appreciate all you do.
Deborah

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green Caterpillar on my azalea
Location: Maryland
August 24, 2014 7:37 am
Hello,
I find this bright green caterpillar on my azalea this morning – 8/24/2014 in Maryland. It looks like it has tiny pine trees growing on it (almost).
Signature: Susan

Io Moth Caterpillar

Io Moth Caterpillar

Dear Susan,
This is the caterpillar of an Io Moth, and azalea is only one of numerous possible host plants for the caterpillar.  According to Featured Creatures:  “The io moth has a long list of host plants, with over 100 recorded plant genera in North America, including such diverse plants as azaleas, blackberry, clover, cotton, current, hackberry, hibiscus, mesquite, palms, rear, redbud, roses and willows. In Florida, io moth larvae are commonly found on oaks and other hardwoods.”  You should handle the Io Caterpillars with extreme caution as the spines can deliver a painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Metallic Wood-boring Beetle?
Location: El Paso, TX
August 24, 2014 2:43 am
I found this beetle dead on a small puddle in my backyard, luckily it was in good condition.
I suspect it is a metallic wood boring beetle, but don’t know what type.
The closest tree to the place where I found it is an old pecan tree, is this a possible host for wood-boring beetle larva?
Signature: RAvila

Jewel Beetle

Jewel Beetle

Dear RAvila,
You are correct that this is a Metallic Wood Boring Beetle or Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae.  We believe we have identified your Jewel Beetle as
 Lampetis drummondi thanks to the BugGuide archive where it states:  “Adults on Acacia, Carya, Chilopsis, Condalia, Dalea, Diospyros, Euphorbia, Gossypium, Karwinskia, Nolina, Prosopis, Rhus, Quercus, Salix, Tamarix.”

Jewel Beetle

Jewel Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination