From the monthly archives: "April 2015"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fuzzy Fly? on Eschscholtzia in garden
Location: Pleasanton, CA
April 15, 2015 7:28 pm
I would appreciate it if you could help identify this insect. It looks like an orange, fuzzy fly, about the size of a small bumblebee. It was visiting my garden in early April, and though I have looked for it many days since, that first day was the only time I’ve seen it.
Signature: R. Battaglia

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Narcissus Bulb Fly

Dear R. Battaglia,
Your request has been sitting on our back burner since we first read it, because we recognized this fly, but we couldn’t remember its name.  Today it hit us.  This is a male Narcissus Bulb Fly,
Merodon equestris, a member of the generally considered beneficial family Syrphidae, the Flower Flies or Hover Flies.  According to BugGuide it is:  “native to Europe, adventive and now widespread in North America (wherever Narcissus are grown), Japan, and Australasia Food Larvae live in and feed upon plant bulbs.”  Your individual looks exactly like this image posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: slowly overcoming my wasp phobia
Location: Missouri, United States
April 16, 2015 10:19 pm
I’m quite proud of myself, this wasp fell out of my hair and onto the ground yesterday and it didn’t look like she (he?) could fly. I watched her fumble around on some weeds for a bit and then I held my hand there and she crawled on.
I was very scared, I’ve had countless bad experiences with wasps. but this went very well and I hope to have good experiences with them more often.
I believe this wasp is in the polistes genus? a paper wasp of some sort?
Signature: Stolz

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Stolz,
Congratulations on your new confidence.  We agree that this is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, and we thought that perhaps you were not stung because the individual was a male, so we researched how to tell the sexes apart.  According to BugGuide:  “Males have curly antennae and yellow faces, exception being P. annularis males, which have red faces just like females.”  Your individual does not match images of P. annularis posted to BugGuide, so we are presuming your individual is a female.  Your individual resembles the allegedly aggressive Red Wasp, Polistes carolina, that is the subject of many comments on our site, but BugGuide does not list the Red Wasp occurring in Missouri.  Perhaps your individual is the very similar looking Polistes rubiginosus, that according to BugGuide, is reported from Missouri.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
April 16, 2015 1:25 pm
Found two of these crawling on me.
Signature: Luke

Lablab Bug or Kudzu Bug

Lablab Bug or Kudzu Bug

Dear Luke,
This is a Lablab Bug or Kudzu Bug,
Megacopta cribraria, an invasive and recently introduced species that is spreading throughout the south.  We decided to do a bit more historical research on this species, and our first citation is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution website AJC.com which states:  “Best anyone can tell, the scourge began in Hoschton in 2009. A pest-control guy had samples from a house a-crawl with odd little bugs. They were brown and ugly and smelled bad, sort of like ladybugs dipped in something a dog would roll in.  The pest-control guy had never seen anything like them, so he slipped a few dead ones in a vial of alcohol. He gave them to an entomologist at the University of Georgia, who was equally perplexed.  He showed the mystery insects to Joe Eger, another entomologist who stopped by the UGA professor’s office to say hello. Eger is an expert on stinkbugs.  Intrigued, Eger visited the Hoschton house where the bugs turned up. He traced the hordes of unwanted visitors to a nearby tangle of kudzu. Thus did Megacopta cribaria officially debut. Since its discovery four years ago, it’s been discussed and cussed, researched and reviled. It’s the object of inquiry in laboratories from Griffin to Missoula, Mont. It’s the kudzu bug. With spring on the horizon, swarms of them ought to be out in force soon.”  The Bug of the Week site reports:  “As a foodie fond of invasive kudzu, some might herald the arrival of the bug as a blessing, but this bug has a darker side. In addition to kudzu, one of Maryland’s most important crops, soybeans, is also on the menu. Soybean growers in infested states have already reported important losses associated with kudzu bug.  This critter has sucking mouthparts that, once inserted into the leaves and stems, rob the soybean of its nutritious sap. The removal of these vital fluids can significantly reduce yields. In addition to kudzu and soybeans, wisteria, a widely planted and naturalized ornamental plant, also serves as a competent source of food.”  The North Carolina State University Residential, Structural and Community Pests site states:  “As temperatures and day length decline, kudzu bugs seek out sheltered areas where they can pass the winter, such as under bark or rocks, or in leaf litter, etc. They are most common along the edges of kudzu patches and soybean fields and in areas near residential areas, we can expect to see them invade homes simiilar to the behavior of another nuisance pest – the Asian lady beetle. The bugs will often congregate on light-colored surfaces (such as siding, fascia boards, etc.).”  The site also provides a link to a map that illustrates the expanded range of the Lablab Bug in the south.  While the Lablab Bug poses no direct dangerous threat to humans, they are an invasive species, a serious threat to the agricultural industry, and a troublesome nuisance when they invade homes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug
Location: northern California
April 17, 2015 12:39 am
it is April and i was Northern California. To be more specific the north Bay Area the day I found the big. I was relaxing in a friends backward when it landed on one of the chair pillows we were sitting near. He looks like a dragon fly praying mantis and wasp mixed in one with really cool coloring. I’ve never seen anything of this nature and was very curious to know more about this insect.
Signature: Ariana

Snakefly

Snakefly

Dear Ariana,
This interesting insect is a Snakefly in the order Raphidioptera, and though BugGuide shows them ranging west of the Mississippi River, nearly all of our reported sightings are from California.
  Snakeflies are harmless predators and BugGuide reports that:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans). Adults typically prefer aphids but may eat a wide variety of arthropods.”  What appears to be a stinger in your image is actually the ovipositor of a female, an organ used in the laying of eggs.  It is also notable that most images we receive are of female Snakeflies, and we are not certain if they are more plentiful than males, or if the presence of the ovipositor makes them more of a curiosity, or if the ovipositor is a cause of concern prompting people to be more inclined to discover if they are a stinging insect that might be harmful to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scarabs in Chicago?!
Location: Chicago, Illinois USA
April 26, 2015 7:28 pm
These grubs were inside of a dying silver maple. Found in the middle amongst wood pulp and poop. We live just north of the Windy City. I figured it was some kind of rhino or tricerotops beetle.
Signature: Jim Griesenauer

Scarab Beetle Grubs

Scarab Beetle Grubs

Dear Jim,
We agree with your assessment that these Scarab Beetle Grubs are in the subfamily Dynastinae, the Rhinoceros Beetles.  In our opinion, they probably began feeding on the rotting portion of the dying tree because we do not believe that the grubs were responsible for the tree’s demise.  Thanks for including the images of the children because they provide a nice sense of scale for these large grubs.  We suspect that large Scarab grubs are considered edible by entomophages, so we will attempt to contact David Gracer (see Huffington Post Food Blog) for his opinion.

Scarab Beetle Grubs

Scarab Beetle Grubs

Scarab Beetle Grubs with Children for scale

Scarab Beetle Grubs with Children for scale

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee/Wasp?
Location: San Antonio, TX
April 26, 2015 6:41 pm
I cannot for the life of me figure out what this is! please please help!
Signature: Thanks, Hannah Ervin

Belzebul Bee Eater

Belzebul Bee Eater

Dear Hannah,
This is one of the largest and most impressive of the North American Robber Flies in the family Asilidae.  This is a Belzebul Bee-Eater,
Mallophora leschenaulti, which you can verify by comparing your image to this image on BugGuide.

Belzebul Bee-Eater

Belzebul Bee-Eater

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was looking on bugguide.net all day, but I was looking for a type of bee not a bee killer haha! I appreciate your help very much! God bless!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination