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

Subject: Pyemotes?
Location: Paris, France
July 28, 2016 7:00 pm
Hello!
Recently I’ve been spotting these small (1mm long) bugs all over my apartment. Never bothered me until I woke up with a rash that made my dermatologist take photos of me! My left arm and leg were entirely covered in strange shapes. He told me I was bitten by either “pyemotes” or spiders.
Then I started seeing this suspect:
It’s a brown-ish golden color;
Comes out at night;
It has 6 legs, 2 antennas and what appears to be…hair;
The photo is very zoomed in, you can’t see the details with the naked eye;
It crawls on walls and I spotted one in my bed;
Seen in July in Paris, France;
Around 1mm, very thin, can’t see its legs with the naked eye, only 2 antennas;
Averagely fast;
What is it?
Does it bite?
Thank you very much.
Kind regards.
Signature: DS

Elongate Bodied Springtail

Elongate Bodied Springtail

Dear DS,
According to Living With Bugs,
Pyemotes are mites that can cause the reaction you describe.  The creature in your image is an Elongate Bodied Springtail, and from all we have researched, they are considered  benign creatures that do not bite, nor do they harm the home, however, they can be a nuisance if they are too plentiful.  According to BugGuide:  “Often found indoors, especially in moist or damp situations such as basins, sinks, tubs, showers, potting soil of houseplants, and windowsills where condensation has accumulated.”  As an aside, we got tremendous pleasure creating the headline for this posting:  Springtail in Paris, especially since we get so few submissions from the City of Love.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Exoskeleton
Location: Massachusetts
July 29, 2016 4:27 am
Found a molted exoskeleton this morning outside the thing is huge! It’s Brown and has two small claw s in the front. What is this freaky thing
Signature: Wyatt Demo

Cicada Exuvia

Cicada Exuvia

Dear Wyatt,
This exoskeleton is the Exuvia of a Cicada.  After spending several years underground feeding from the sap in roots, the Cicada Nymph digs to the surface, molts for the last time, and flies off as an adult Cicada, leaving behind the Exuvia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Clearwing Moth + Hover Fly
Location: Central MT mountains
July 28, 2016 8:33 pm
Took this photo today in the Highwood Mountains east of Great Falls, MT at Showdown Ski Area.
It is similar to the Rhododendron borer, but there aren’t any rhododendrons in this area.
Also, 2nd picture is of a mimic, hover fly, but that is all I know. Can you identify?
Signature: Renee

Clearwing Moth: Carmenta giliae

Clearwing Moth: Carmenta giliae

Dear Renee,
We are relatively confident we have identified your Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae as
Carmenta giliae based on images posted to the Moth Photographers Group.  We double checked that with BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Mid to high elevation montane meadows” and “Larvae bore in the roots of wild geranium (Geranium, Geraniaceae). Adults take nectar from a variety of flowers.”  We will attempt to identify your Hover Fly in a distinct posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Predation
Location: Andover, NJ
July 28, 2016 8:16 am
I was lurking around my butterfly garden this morning and happened to see this small wasp (Eumenine maybe?) subduing a large syrphid. Amazingly, the wasp took off with her prize with seemingly little effort!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Good Mornind Deborah,
What an amazing image.  This is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we believe that based on this image from BugGuide, that it is in the genus
Ectemnius.  According to BugGuide:  “most nest in decayed wood (logs, stumps), sometimes in sound wood; provision the nests with Diptera.”   The prey appears to be a Drone Fly.

Thanks so much, Daniel!  I was a bit off on my wasp ID, wasn’t I?  Even with multiple field guides, I still find it rather challenging to get the subfamily correct.  But it sure is fun trying!  I just wish our summers lasted longer – once winter comes, I’m lucky to find a shield bug.
Debbi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful
Location: New England
July 28, 2016 11:17 pm
Hello I lived at the same home in a city right outside of Boston MA, tonight I was sitting outside my home and was absolutely speechless, all of a sudden a big beautiful bug that looked half grasshopper half butterfly slowly creep his way on top my wooden porch, I lived here for 30 years, I am 36 and I never have seen this beautiful creature here before I would really love to know the name of this insect can u please help me thank you
Signature: Kristina

Annual Cicada

Annual Cicada

Dear Kristina,
This is an newly emerged Annual Cicada.  Many folks mistake them for giant flies and they are sometimes called Dog Day Harvest Flies since they appear during the hottest days of summer.  Though you might not ever have seen them before, you have probably heard the loud sounds made by Cicadas in the tops of trees.  They sound somewhat like chain saws.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scoliid wasp?
Location: Salir, Algarve, Portugal
July 28, 2016 9:56 am
I spotted this huge specimen in my garden in the Algarve, Portugal. It was quite docile and tried to hide underneath my shower decking. It was about 5-6 cm in size and as you can see from the picture is black with four almost square yellow panels on the lower half. My Portuguese friends are saying it’s a bee killer, is this true? I’ve done some image searches and it looks like a Scoliid wasp, although I’m not sure those are native to Southern Europe. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Vincent

Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

Dear Vincent,
You are correct that this is a Scoliid Wasp or Mammoth Wasp, most likely
Megascolia maculata AKA Scolia maculata based on this FlickR image.  It is also pictured on iNaturalist.  Your friends are wrong.  Scoliid Wasps do not prey upon bees.  Adults take pollen and nectar from flowers like most wasps, and the female hunts for Scarab Beetle larvae.  Project Noah indicates there are three subspecies and provides this information:  “The larger female (may reach 5.5-6 cm) can be told apart by her yellow head and short antennae. The male has a black head and longer antennae. Both have two yellow bands on their abdomens, which can be divided to form 4 spots as it is shown on the photos. Nevertheless, they hold no harm to humans despite their size, in contrast to common wasps and hornets. Indeed, mammoth wasps do have stings, but not for self-defence or nest protection (in fact, they are solitary wasps). You may see several of these wasps flying around decaying tree stumps, they have a purpose there. They’re searching for larvae of Rhinoceros beetle (lat. Oryctes nasicornis), The female wasp once she has discovered the huge larvae, will sting one to paralyze it and then lay her egg on the outer skin. After hatching, the larvae of the mammoth wasp starts eating its host, till reaches the size it could create a cocoon, where it can safely sleep through all winter. 6 months later, the larvae turns into pupa and after 1 month more, from under the underground emerges newly formed mammoth wasp. The adult once feed on flower nectar.” 

Thank you very much for clearing this up! I’m also happy to hear they feed on the rhinoceros beetle, those were responsible for killing the magnificent palm tree we had in our garden a few years back. I’ll definitely not harm these wasps when I see one in the future. Not that I would harm any creature, great or small 🙂
Vincent.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination