From the monthly archives: "August 2017"

Subject:  what is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  chicagoland – suburban area
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 08:15 AM EDT
about 5″ long. looked to be able to fly.
How you want your letter signed:  jim

Male Chinese Mantis

Hi Jim,
This looks to us like a male Chinese Mantis, a species now naturalized in many parts of North America.

Subject:  What’s this bug?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern California
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 04:38 AM EDT
It was making a very loud noise and flew into my house towards the light. It’s late August.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you from Megan Osborn

Tree Cricket

Dear Megan,
This is a Tree Cricket, and they are quite loud.

Subject:  Looks like a Rose Sawfly BUT…….
Geographic location of the bug:  Five Ashes, East Sussex, UK
Date: 08/29/2017
Time: 03:21 AM EDT
I, at first, thought this must be an Ichneumon wasp because of what appears to be very long antennae and ovipositor, but the coloration exactly matches a Rose Sawfly. Any help gratefully received.
How you want your letter signed:  Nigel Horsley

Braconid Wasp

Dear Nigel,
This is definitely a parasitoid, not a Sawfly.  We suspect it is a Braconid, a family closely related to the Ichneumons.  Here is an Alchetron page with some similar looking Braconids, and Alamy has a nice image.  We are reluctant to speculate on a species, but if you find out any additional information, please give us an update.

Many thanks Daniel.  You are totally on the right track.  I now think it’s likely to be Atanycolus sp.
Best wishes, Nigel.

Subject:  Some kind of fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
What is this? I have never seen this before, and it was sitting on a hummingbird feeder outside my mother-in-law’s apartment in north central Oklahoma (Stillwater).
How you want your letter signed:  Shelley M

Soldier Fly

Dear Shelley,
We can’t understand why the beautiful green Soldier Flies in the genus
Hedriodiscus have no common names.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your individual is Hedriodiscus binotatus.  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “Often superficially resemble wasps in appearance and behavior. Adults vary widely in color and shape. Wings at rest are folded scissorlike across the abdomen. Antennae characteristic in having a long terminal segment which, when bent, gives a flagged appearance.”  Tree of Life notes:  “The adults are most often collected on foliage in damp forests, near bodies of water, or near boggy areas (James 1981).”

Soldier Fly

Subject:  Green caterpillar, white and red splotches
Geographic location of the bug:  South Jersey (NJ)
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 12:23 PM EDT
This guy appeared on my grandson’s shirt when no one was looking. We were sitting outside under the “umbrella tent” on the deck table around noon Wed 8/30/17. Can’t find an image online. (Would like to keep it but don’t know what it eats.) Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Monarch Mama

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Monarch Mama,
If you compare your caterpillar to this BugGuide image, you should see the similarity to the Prominent Moth Caterpillar,
Heterocampa guttivitta.  We cannot state for certain that the species is the same, but we are confident that the genus Heterocampa is correct.  Was that paper really that pink?  We color corrected it and the green on the caterpillar looks better, but we will delete our color corrected image from the posting if the paper background for the caterpillar was really pink.

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Subject:  Are these Monarchs?
Geographic location of the bug:  gilford, nh
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 02:49 PM EDT
Found this hatch a leaf between leaves in a patch of milkweed. They have the coloring of Monarch caterpillars, but I have never seen so many together. Do you know what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in NH, Wendy O.

Sawfly Larvae

Dear Wendy O.,
These look more like Sawfly Larvae to us.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees whose larvae resemble caterpillars.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Sawfly larva in a similar position, and here is a BugGuide image of a similar grouping of Sawfly Larvae.  Finally, here is a BugGuide image of a really similarly colored Sawfly Larva, but alas, it is not identified to the species level.  We are posting your image and perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist with a species identification.  Were they actually on Milkweed?

No, the leaves were intermingled with the milkweed plants which had sprouted up in our flower garden.  Thanks for letting me know. They looked so much like mini monarchs that I was confused.  I’m in the garden and outdoors a lot and had never encountered anything like these.  Thanks for responding so quickly.
Best regards,
Wendy O.