From the monthly archives: "March 2016"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Biting fly
Location: Northern Uruguay
March 30, 2016 11:30 am
Hello. These are driving me crazy. and I finally got some pictures of them. The are pretty aggressive, circle around, then land on a leg and start biting. They produce painful swollen welts. They have been around from early summer through the fall. They appear to be territorial, yet they “hunt me” in pairs.
Any identification would be appreciated.
Thanks
Signature: Louis

Deer Fly

Deer Fly

Deer Fly

Deer Fly

Dear Louis,
Some of our more sensitive readers might want us to tag your submission as Unnecessary Carnage, but in our minds, blood suckers are fair game when it comes to battling with insects.  Interestingly only female Mosquitoes and Horse Flies flies suck blood, and the same holds for your Deer Flies in the Subfamily Chrysopsinae, relatives of Horse Flies in the family Tabanidae, like your individuals.  Males and females both feed on nectar, but females need blood before they are able to produce eggs.  Were you painting?  Was it oil or resin based paint?  We understand that some Beetles are attracted to fumes from paints and other solvents, but we don’t know if some Flies are similarly attracted.  You can get more information on Deer Flies on the Orkin site.

Four Deer Flies

Four Deer Flies

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large slender bug with wings
Location: Lake Jackson Texas
March 23, 2016 12:24 pm
Hello from the Lone Star state!stepped outside this morning & seen this bug on the wall, about 1 3/4″ long & about 1/4″ wide, have never seen one like this before , so just curious… What is this strange looking bug? Thanks in advance!
Signature: Curious Rae

Female Dobsonfly

Female Spring Fishfly

Dear Curious Rae,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and though she is considered harmless, she does have strong mandibles and carelessly handling her might result in a painful bite.  Male Dobsonflies have much more formidable looking mandibles, but they are incapable of biting.  The identification of Dobsonflies is one of our most common requests, and your submission is our first North American Dobsonfly submission this year.  Most sightings occur in late spring and early summer.

Correction:  Fishfly, NOT Dobsonfly
Thanks to a comment from Curious Girl, we realized we were too hasty in our identification.  This is in fact a female Spring Fishfly, not a female Dobsonfly.  Dobsonflies have more developed mandibles.  According to BugGuide, the female Spring Fishfly has serrate antennae while the male has pectinate or feathery antennae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Portsmouth
March 22, 2016 8:08 am
Hi my partner and myself have been getting bites on and off for the last few weeks. The bites become vert swollen and are very itchy. I thought it could be fleas but have been told by the pest control man they are not fles but could not say what they were. I have no pets indoors but have two chickens that live in a coop in the garden – I check them regularly and they do not have mites or bites on them. I have included a photo of a mite I found on my foot and a bite which is on my ankle which is around 3days old and healing. Many thanks
Signature: J O’Connor

Flea

Flea

Dear J O’Connor,
Despite what the pest control man said, this sure looks like a Flea to us, and Fleas tend to bite folks on the ankles.  Bites from Fleas itch and are long lasting.  From which Portsmouth do you hail?

Flea Bites

Flea Bites

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or mayfly?
Location: Victorville, California
March 21, 2016 9:53 am
There are a large number of these bugs around our house. They seem to be attracted to our porch lights and congregate in groups of anywhere to 20 to more than 50. Some flew into our house last night and I think I got stung or bit while picking one up to take back outside. They also move like wasps but don’t seem to be very aggressive. However they seem to die very quickly – I swept our porch yesterday and this morning there are dozens of dead or dying ones, which makes me think they are may flies. I tried doing some Google searches but didn’t find a lot of information. Any help is very much appreciated, as we have a small dog and a newborn.
Signature: Melissa

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Melissa,
This is an Ichneumon in the Ophionini tribe, and it is a member of a family of parasitic Wasps that are usually very host specific.  We believe this is the creature that is frequently confused with Crane Flies, especially when folks claim to have been stung by a Crane Fly.

Correction:  Netelia species
We just received a comment that while we have the family correct, the tribe and genus are not.  See BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Alaska bug care
Website:
March 21, 2016 12:50 am
My family is a new fan of your website, team, and especially Mr. Marlos! After coming across a cocooned caterpillar question that was nearly identical to our experience (Kenai peninsula, AK) a 5 hour drive from Anchorage, AK where the similar story took place 2 years ago very near the same period of season the other discovery was made. I realized we have no understanding of how to care for this bug. I’m not convinced whether it made a cocoon in our Tupperware over night of if it simply has an interesting way of dying. However I, too, am not a fan of killing bugs. So I’m hoping you may have information on how to provide care for this bug until it either erupts from it’s possible cocooned state. Or shows an undeniable death. Please feel free to contact us in any way!! We absolutely adore what you are doing with this site!! Sincerely,
Sheeara & Marshall Woodward
(Mom & 8 year old Son)
Soldotna, Ak 99669
(Just in case you want to google map is and see where this little guy came from 😉 or.. hint hint hint… Allow us to be honored by purchasing a signed copy of The Curious World of Bugs.
Signature: Sheeara Woodward

Dear Sheeara & Marshall,
After conversing with you yesterday, we were compelled to go back through our old emails to search for your request.  As you noted, Alaskan submissions to our site are relatively uncommon.  We are happy to learn that you were eventually treated to the emergence of the adult “red moth” and since you have images, we would love to include them in our posting, and hopefully provide you with a species identification.  Please attach your images to this response.  We would be honored to sign a copy of The Curious World of Bugs if you send a copy our way.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange looking spider named clint eastwood?
Location: New Jersey, USA
March 20, 2016 12:09 pm
What is this thing?
Signature: F

Ground Spider

Ground Spider

Dear F.,
This is a harmless Ground Spider,
Sergiolus capulatus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination