From the yearly archives: "2016"

Subject: Grandson’s bug
Location: Washington state
June 1, 2016 1:52 pm
Charlie collects bugs constantly! He wants to know this one please –
Signature: Thank you

Ground Beetle

Ground Beetle

Though we love the image you attached, we wish you had been able to provide an image that shows the dorsal surface of the beetle unobscured by fingers as that would be better for identification purposes.  We are disappointed that Insect Identification:  Insects and Other Bugs from the State of Washington does not include many Ground Beetles.  This is some species of large Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae, but we are uncertain of an exact species.  Our likeliest suspect is a Snail Eater, in the genus Scaphinotus, and according to BugGuide:  “Feed on snails, slugs. Mandibles specially adapted for insertion into opening of a snail’s shell.” 

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the reply – I’ve never seen a child so interested in insects and spiders.  We spend a lot of time searching bug books and online sources!  Charlie is just 5 1/2 but has been doing this for a couple years.  He will be thrilled when I share your email.
Regards,
Catherine

Subject: Whats this Bug
Location: California, Central Valley
May 31, 2016 2:54 pm
We continue to have these bugs pop in our house. Not sure what they are. We live in manteca California central valley.
Signature: Matt

Longhorned Borer Beetle

Longhorned Borer Beetle

Dear Matt,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  We will attempt to contact beetle expert Arthur Evans to see if he can provide a more specific identification.

Subject: Bug on wall by bed
Location: Dundalk ?
June 1, 2016 5:26 am
Well ive had problems with bedbugs before and i thought i got rid of them but now im not sure cc i seen this bug today by my bed. But it dosent look like any bedbugs ive seen before.
Signature: Dominick

Bed Bug

Bed Bug

Dear Dominick,
The bad news is that this is certainly a Bed Bug.

Subject: Strange Flying Insect in Ohio
Location: Northeast Ohio, near water
June 1, 2016 5:51 am
Hello,
I was hoping you could help me to identify this strange flying insect I saw while hiking yesterday. It was spotted in Northeast Ohio near a stream.
Thank you,
Signature: Cody Couch

Stump Stabber

Stump Stabber

Dear Cody,
This is a Stump Stabber, a Giant Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, and she is laying her eggs where they will parasitize the wood boring larvae of Wood Wasps known as Pigeon Horntails.

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Burbank, CA
May 31, 2016 7:50 pm
Hi,
I saw this beautiful bug on my eggplant leaves this morning.
Can you help find out what it is please?
Signature: Laurent

Assassin Bug Nymph

Assassin Bug Nymph

Dear Laurent,
This is a beneficial, predatory, immature Assassin Bug.  It will help keep your eggplant free of plant feeding species.

Subject: Costa Rica wasp or hornet with really painful sting
Location: Manzanillo, Costa Rica (small town on the southern Caribbean side)
June 1, 2016 12:46 am
Dear Sir,
Currently I am on a holiday in Costa Rica. Unfortunately today I bumped head first into a nest of black wasps or hornets, by accident. I have been stung in my head a dozen times and it was extremely painful. The nest was hanging underneath a tree on the beach of Manzanillo. I jumped in the water. The bugs died after the sting and left their piercer behind. The piercer was hard and light yellow. I think I managed to get them all out, but it is difficult to tell since the stings are in my hair. So now I am wondering: what are those little devils from hell and how dangerous are the stings? Do I need to get medical attention? I do not think I am allergic (it happend 10 hours ago and I am still not really swollen) but it still hurts a lot. Thank you very much in advance for your time!
Signature: Unlucky tourist

Wasp

Wasp

Dear Unlucky Tourist,
Though your insect sure appears to be a Wasp, we are not aware of any Wasps that lose their stingers upon stinging.  That is a characteristic of Bee stings.  According to the Boston Globe:  “For a bee, a sting is all or nothing; the bee loses its stinger and injects a relatively large volume of venom — typically about 50 micrograms.  A wasp, which retains its stinger, injects from 2 to 15 micrograms — but it can do it many times.”  The nest is that of a social Wasp, and unlike solitary Wasps that are relatively docile, social Wasps will defend the nest.  We believe we may have discovered the identity of your Wasps.  In Discover Magazine we found an article entitled “Stung” that states:  “One morning not long ago, an American entomologist named Justin Schmidt was making his way up the winding road to the Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica when he spotted Parachartergus fraternus, social wasps known both for the sculptured architecture of their hives and the ferocity with which they defend them.”  Then we found an article on America Pink that states:  “For a wasp species, Parachartergus fraternus is average in size. A typical
Parachartergus fraternus forager is about 11 mm long, 3 mm wide across its thorax, and weighs about 0.05 g.”  The Sting of the Wild does not describe the sting, but rather the ability of the wasps to spray venom.

Wasp Nest

Wasp Nest

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your response. It is strange that they lost their stinger. I am questioning right now if it was in fact their stinger, or maybe the venom had some reaction with the sea water and turned hard? I most certainly pulled something hard out of every sting. It remains a mystery. I do not know if they sprayed any venom since it all went so fast. Hopefully this information might help you in the future with similar cases. Thanks so much!
Best regards,
Renske Anna

Wasp

Wasp