From the monthly archives: "May 2017"

Subject: Pretty metallic blue insect
Location: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland
May 27, 2017 3:56 pm
Saw this beautiful critter land on a leaf at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s eastern shore. Thought at first I had a six-spotted tiger beetle, but the color and the wings seem wrong for that. What do I have here?
Signature: Rob Nease

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter

Dear Rob,
This beauty is a Thread-Waist Wasp in the family Sphecidae that is commonly called a Blue Mud Wasp or Blue Mud Dauber,
Chalybion californicum.  According to BugGuide:  “Females construct mud nests in sheltered areas, often under the eaves of buildings, and provision them with spiders. Sometimes refurbishes the nests of other mud-daubers, such as Sceliphron.”

Subject: Found on my shower curtain
Location: Maryland
May 27, 2017 5:23 pm
Help! I found this bug scattering around my shower curtain. It is spring/summer and I live in Maryland outside of D.C.
Signature: Michelle

Dusky Cockroach

Dear Michelle,
This is a Cockroach, but it does not look like one of the species that typically infests homes.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a Dusky Cockroach,
Ectobius lapponicus, a species that according to BugGuide is:  “native to Europe (widespread), adventive in NA” and “earliest record in our area: NH 1984 (Chandler 1985).” iNaturalist has images of it crawling on leaves, so we suspect this individual just found its way into your home and it will not cause an indoor infestation.  According to ResearchGate:  “Adult and nymph males are typically found on low-lying vegetation, while females are more often found in leaf litter and decaying wood (Roth and Willis 1960).  That does not seem like behavior of a home infesting Cockroach.  Of the entire genus, BugGuide notes:  “Abundant in European forests, moorlands, scrubby woodland margins, and rough grasslands, mostly on the ground under dead leaves, among bracken ferns, in grass and moss, on lower branches of small trees and shrubs, and also in coastal habitats (sea cliffs, sand dunes, beaches).”


Subject: CReaPY
Location: Northern Indiana
May 27, 2017 4:25 pm
Just wondering if its a good bug or bad bug
Signature: IDK

Spring Fishfly

Dear IDK,
Good and Bad are such relative terms when it comes to insects.  This is a male Spring Fishfly,
Chauliodes rastricornis, and it is not a threat in any way to humans.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults typically fly late spring: March?-May (North Carolina), April-May (West Virginia). Seen into June and even early July in New England (see Massachusetts records). Further south (Florida), this species is seen much of year.”  The genus is mentioned on TroutNut, which means anglers will use adult and larval Fishflies for bait.

Subject: What bug is this?
Location: Bracklinn Falls, Callander, Scotland, UK
May 27, 2017 6:35 am
Hi there.
My friend saw this bug while out walking and was wondering what exactly it is. I think it looks like some sort of earwig or mantis but I honestly have no idea. It has six legs, medium-long antenna at the back and short ones at the front, black and white with stripes on its back and it doesn’t appear to have wings. It’s currently Summer and I believe it was around the Bracklinn Falls area in Callander.
Signature: Lauren Pearson

Stonefly Exuvia

Dear Lauren,
We are surmising that Bracklinn Falls means a waterfall on a stream or river.  This is the exuvia or cast-off exoskeleton of a Stonefly, an aquatic nymph that eventually develops into a winged adult.  Here is a FlickR image of a Scottish Stonefly nymph and here is an image of an adult Stonefly from Encyclopedia of Life.

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Central Florida
May 27, 2017 5:33 am
We found this bug crawling into our screened patio. I’m guessing it may be a seed bug. I’d love to know which bug it is. We have a new landscape and garden and would like to know if we should be concerned about this bug, if it may eat our plants, protect our plants or just enjoy our plants. Thank you!
Signature: Gina

Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug

Dear Gina,
You should exercise extreme caution around this Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug,
Triatoma sanguisuga, whose identity we verified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Nests of small mammals; may invade houses. Nocturnal” and “Sometimes bites humans, and the bite may be severe, causing an allergic reaction.”  Kissing Bugs have been in the news quite a bit lately as tropical species are known to spread Chagas Disease.  According to BugGuide:  “Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The North American species can carry the parasite but they do not normally defecate at the site of bite, and thus rarely transmit the disease (Vetter 2001). Rare vector-borne cases of Chagas occur in the so. US (CDC 2013).”

Subject: Found in spring green WI!
Location: Spring green, wisconsin
May 26, 2017 8:03 pm
Found this today!! It’s so pretty, it hung out for about an hour. Can anyone identify it?
Signature: Malgal 36

Male Polyphemus Moth

Dear Malgal 36,
This is a male Polyphemus Moth, and resting in this position, he is well camouflaged among dried leaves.  If he feels threatened, like by a predatory bird, he will open his wings revealing a pair of false eyespots, which often startles the predator into thinking it might be about to become a meal instead of finding a meal.