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

Subject: Bee with yellow tipped antenna
Location: Fairbanks, AK
May 30, 2015 6:30 pm
I found this unfamiliar bug on my deck. I’ve never seen one before . It’s larger than the usual yellow jacket.
Signature: Sarah

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Sarah,
Though this Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, is related to bees and wasps by being classified in the same order, the Elm Sawfly is incapable of stinging.  We received two recent identification requests for Elm Sawflies, and because the other submission included images of the living insect, we featured that posting as our Bug of the Month for June 2015 though it appears it was also selected as the Bug of the Month for April 2013.  Your submission is nonetheless quite important as we get very few submissions from Alaska.

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Thank you! I saw a second one today in a driveway a half mile away. Sounds as if I should give a heads up to the entomologists at Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks. You give me a starting place. Thanks again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant insect in Seattle
Location: Seattle, Wa
May 31, 2015 12:03 am
I saw this giant insect on an Italian plum in late May in Seattle. It was a warm 75 degree day. It moved slowly on the branches and the butt was pulsating. I made direct eye contact with her. She looked me right in my eyes.
Signature: Bugged out

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Bugged out,
Though it is in the same insect order as wasps and bees, this Elm Sawfly,
Cimbex americana, is perfectly harmless to humans as it is incapable of stinging.  A day earlier, we received another identification request for a “Bee with yellow tipped antennae” and we suspected it too was an Elm Sawfly.  Your images are of a living specimen and the other is dead, and we much prefer images of living insects to those of dead insects, so we decided to feature your submission as the Bug of the Month for June 2015.  The Elm Sawfly, according to BugGuide:  “hosts include elm (Ulmus), maple (Acer), birch (Betula), willow (Salix), and basswood (Tilia); adults girdle bark on twigs.”

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfl

Thanks for the info and for featuring the sawfly! The insect will live out her natural life as we choose not to kill anyone.
Thank you again!
Joe Mirabella

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Arboreal Click Beetle
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
May 25, 2015 5:51 PM

Another regular seasonal visitor came to our porch light this past week, an Arboreal Click Beetle with feathered antennae that we have been informed is in the genus Euthysanius.  This particular individual could not right itself, and we suspect is was somehow injured when we found it on our front porch.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae may be predators or feed in rotting wood (not yet known).”

Arboreal Click Beetle

Arboreal Click Beetle

Arboreal Click Beetle

Arboreal Click Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this creature?
Location: New York
May 30, 2015 9:04 pm
This rather creepy looking caterpillar looking thing was crawling up my boyfriends back while we were sitting outside at 12 am in the morning. It appears to have pinchers on its back end(I think that’s its back end) and seriously moved around when poked with a stick. As though it was trying to get you with said pinchers. The underneath looked like a mixture of hole like suckers with red in them. Only way I can describe it is blood. It’s about 3ish inches long.
Signature: Creeped Out Girlfriend

Underwing Caterpillar

Underwing Caterpillar

Dear Creeped Out Girlfriend,
We believe this is the Caterpillar of an Underwing Moth from the genus
Catocala.  We wish you had provided an image of the ” underneath looked like a mixture of hole like suckers with red in them.”  Did it look like this image from The Backyard Arthropod Project?  We just posted an image of our own native, adult Walnut Underwing from Southern California, but our image doesn’t show the beautiful, brightly colored underwings that give the Underwing its name.

I wasn’t sure how to reply to this, so hopefully you’ll get this message, but that’s exactly what it is. Thank you so much!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Walnut Underwing Visits WTB?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 30, 2015 7:00 AM
Each year we get visits from Walnut Underwings, and it is always a very exciting sighting, though our native Noctuoid is considerably smaller and less colorful than the numerous Saturniids that are currently being submitted to our site.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth or spider or both?
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
May 30, 2015 4:39 pm
Hi Daniel, my niece found this adorable little critter in Kansas City Missouri.
Any idea what it might be?
Thanks a bunch,
Signature: Michele

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Michele,
Moths do not have wings.  This is a Polyphemus Moth, and if he had opened his wings, you would have been treated to a marvelous sight.  The markings on a Polyphemus Moth are thought to mimic eyes, indicating a much larger and potentially dangerous creature that would frighten away a predatory bird.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination