From the yearly archives: "2016"

Subject: what am I dealing with
Location: Mount solon, va
August 19, 2016 11:45 am
Dear bug man we live out in the country of Augusta county and have noticed an odd type wasp looking bug… my son who is 6 was stung the past two days about 6 times in two different periods… I saw this guy nearby and feel this is the culprit… if you could please help in identifying I would greatly appreciate it
Signature: crystal

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Crystal,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, a group known as Hanging Thieves because they frequently hang by one leg while eating.  Hanging Thieves are not aggressive toward humans, but they are capable of biting if they are carelessly handled, but that would have required your son catching one and getting bitten.  We do not believe a Hanging Thief is responsible for the stings your son received.

Subject: What is this
Location: Florida orlando
August 19, 2016 3:32 pm
Found it in Orlando
Signature: K webb

Exuvia of a Masked Hunter

Cicada Exuvia, NOT Exuvia of a Masked Hunter

Dear K Webb,
This is the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Masked Hunter.  All insects molt or shed their skins, and the remains are called the exuvia.  The Masked Hunter is a predatory Assassin Bug often found in homes.  The immature Masked Hunter has a sticky exoskeleton that attracts dust and debris, very effectively masking it in its surrounding.  When it molts, the Masked Hunter leaves behind its exuvia, and it is naked until more dust and debris sticks to it.  Though they may bite if carelessly handled, Masked Hunters are harmless.

 

Update:  Cicada Exuvia
Thanks to the readers who wrote in.  We retract our original identification.  We should look more closely in the future.  Our eyes were playing tricks on us.

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
August 19, 2016 9:23 am
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I found a lot of this bugs in on the wall coming up from the ground in my backyard. I normally do not see them. What is it?
Signature: Ken

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Dear Ken,
The Mediterranean Red Bug,
Scantius aegyptius, is an invasive species that was accidentally introduced into Southern California recently.  We first found an individual in our Mount Washington, Los Angeles office grounds two years ago, but luckily we have not found another.  According to BugGuide:  “native to the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (first found 2009); established in so. CA.”  According to the Center for Invasive Species Research:  “Recently, another brightly colored, mostly seed feeding bug belonging to the family Pyrrhocoridae or ‘Red Bugs’ has become established in southern California and is drawing attention due to large aggregations of the bright red and black nymphs and adults feeding on annual broadleaf weeds in open space areas.  Scantius aegyptius, an old world pyrrhocorid bug, native to the eastern Mediterranean region, was documented for the first time in North America in Orange County during June of 2009.  Reports of this insect from other southern California locations (i.e., Riverside County) suggest that this insect has been established for a year or more prior to these Orange County collections.”  The site also states:  “Damage: The literature contains very little information regarding the biology of S. aegyptius and Scantius species in general are not considered to be economically important species.  In California, Scantius has been observed feeding on the developing seeds and stems of Knotweed (Polygonum spp.) and Malva (Malva parviflora).  It is likely that S. aegyptius will feed on the seeds of several species of annual herbaceous plants.  The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas.  These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations.”

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Central Indiana, USA
August 19, 2016 7:45 am
This guy or gal was hanging out on my porch last night. The picture doesn’t give much indication of scale for size, but I would say it was about the length of a half dollar. I’m in central Indiana where we are into late summer. Thank you for any help in identifying!!!
Signature: R. Morris

Spotted Winged Antlion

Spotted Winged Antlion

Dear R. Morris,
This is a Spotted Winged Antlion,
Dendroleon obsoletus, and according to BugGuide:  “Large, with black circular spots on wings–distinctive in much of range. Antennae slightly clubbed, with pointed tips, often (or always?) pinkish in the middle.”

Subject: Weird Bug
Location: Sydney, Australia
August 19, 2016 7:19 pm
Hey there,
We found this bug in our garage, any idea what it is?
Signature: Dale

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Dear Dale,
These are most likely Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs.  The hatchlings are such fierce and beneficial predators that the species has evolved, indeed many members of the order Neuroptera have evolved, so as to lay eggs in a manner that will help protect the hatchlings from being eaten by one another.  The duration needed for each individual to hatch and climb down the stalk helps to separate it from its siblings in both time and space.  You may verify our identification on the Australian Museum site where it states:  “The larvae are ambush predators with traplike jaws feeding on small invertebrates found in the leaf litter.” 

Subject: Grubs found in rotting wood of coral tree
Location: Los Angeles
August 19, 2016 9:30 am
Good morning, Bugman.
We discovered today a large area of rot on the base of our coral tree. Excavating the rot, I found several communities of this grub pictured. The animals seemed at first not to move at all, but after some time, it became evident that they do move, very slowly.
I am inclined to believe that they are taking advantage of the rotted wood, and are not the cause of it.
They were surely not expecting this sudden exposure!
Can you identify them?
Signature: Swami M

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Swami,
We are nearly certain these are Black Soldier Fly larvae,
Hermetia illucens, which you may find pictured on BugGuide.  Black Soldier Fly larvae are frequently found in compost piles, where they are beneficial as they aid in decomposition.  According to BugGuide:  “Commercially distributed for composting” and “Larvae live in compost, dung, rotting vegetation.”

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Om
Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Yes, I agree the larvae match the images of Black Soldier Fly larvae on your website.
I am hoping we can save our tree; it seems to be infected with some kind of rot that turns the wood right under the bark to mush. Apparently these larvae love it, as there are quite a few.
Best wishes,
Mahayogananda
ps I’m at the Vedanta Society in Hollywood