From the monthly archives: "April 2015"

Subject: A visitor on my leg.
Location: Tucson, AZ
April 26, 2015 1:15 pm
Hello, bugman. I was sitting at a bus bench, waiting for my bus, when I noticed the insect on my jeans. It was pretty slow, and didn’t seem dangerous, so I took a few photos before shaking it off my pants. Do you have any idea what kind of bug it is?
Signature: Jeremiah

Possibly Minute Pirate Bug

Mirid Plant Bug

Dear Jeremiah,
It is a True Bug, it looks predatory and it is small, so our first thought was that this looked like a Minute Pirate Bug in the family Anthocoridae, but alas, we were unable to find any matching family members on BugGuide.  There is a similar looking insect indentified only as Tiny Green Bug from Tucson Arizona on Colin L. Miller’s Wildlife blog on the True Bugs 3 page.
  We will consult with Eric Eaton who may be able to provide an identification.

Eric Eaton Provides a Correction
Hi, Daniel:
This is a mirid plant bug (family Miridae).  Not sure of genus, and it is missing both hind legs.  Reminds me most of a freshly-molted Neurocolpus, due to the swollen first antennal segment.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Subject: What’s that wasp?
Location: Seattle. Can be more specific if need be.
April 25, 2015 2:37 pm
Picture taken in Seattle at a park. Wasp is apparently eating the other bug. The profile and colors don’t match I’ve found, but it does resemble an ichneumon somewhat. Your idea as to species?
Signature: Roger

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Dear Roger,
This is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults nectar at flowers; mud nests are built in all kinds of sheltered locations, incl. man-made structures, rock ledges, etc. Adults collect mud for nests at puddle/pool edges.  Food nests are provisioned with spiders.”  Your individual is not feeding, but rather capturing prey with which to provision its nest, so they prey is likely a Spider.

Subject: Stick insect like thing
Location: Pond, England, Surrey ,Guildford
April 25, 2015 2:25 am
I was wondering if you could help me with a discovery that I found in my pond. I was clearing out duck weed when I found what I can only describe as a stick insect running across the water. It is about 2cm long and it has 6 legs and 2 antennae on a long thin body.
I have searched lots and lots of websites but I still cannot find out what it is.
Signature: From katie wright age 12

Water Scorpion

Water Strider or Water Scorpion???

Dear Katie,
This is a predatory, aquatic True Bug, and at first we thought it was in the family Nepidae whose members are commonly called Water Scorpions as they will deliver a painful, though not dangerous bite if they are carelessly handled.  When we reread your submission, we realized you stated it was  “running across the water.”  We apologize for the error, but since it was on top of the water, it is more likely a Water Strider in the family Gerridae.  We wish your images had greater detail.

Correction:  Water Measurer
Thanks to a comment we received, we now know that this is a Water Measurer in the family Hydrometridae and we learned on BugGuide that they are found “on emergent/floating vegetation along edges of ponds, marshes, and pools of slow-moving streams”
and that they feed upon “newly emerged, slow-moving, dying, or dead invertebrates (midges, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, ostracods, springtails, etc.)”  BioImages UK has some nice images.

Thank you sooooooo much I am really really pleased that you found out what it was. I can’t believe how good you were at identifying. If someone ever poses a question like that to me I will definately recommend you. I will ask my mum if I can make a donation

Subject: Small white bugs in garden
Location: Arkansas
April 25, 2015 11:22 am
These seem to have arrived with a bag of compost. Are they useful or harmful?
Signature: Melanie



Dear Melanie,
These are Springtails, common benign primitive insects that are beneficial in the garden where they help to break down organic matter.

Subject: Unidentified caterpillar
Location: West Virginia
April 25, 2015 3:51 am
This photo is a year or two old. It was an aggressive caterpillar that raised sex black horns when the branch he was on moved, so I’d call it defensive or aggressive.
Signature: Vanna

Hickory Horned Devil Hatchling

Hickory Horned Devil Hatchling

Hi Vanna,
Though your image is quite blurry, the shape of this caterpillar is quite distinctive.  We are guessing it was quite small and probably found in late spring.  We believe this is a Hickory Horned Devil hatchling,
Citheronia regalis, and you can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.  Most submissions that we receive of Hickory Horned Devils arrive toward the end of summer and they are of mature caterpillars that leave the trees they are feeding upon in search of an appropriate location to dig and pupateHickory Horned Devils are the largest North American caterpillars, and despite a fierce appearance, they are perfectly harmless.  Eventually a Hickory Horned Devil will metamorphose into the gorgeous Royal Walnut Moth or Regal Moth.