From the yearly archives: "2017"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee or fly identification
Location: Southern Tanzania
December 31, 2016 5:58 pm
Can you please identify this bee/fly?
Signature: Helen

Probably Mason Bee

Probably Mason Bee

Dear Helen,
Because it so resembles the Giant Resin Bee, we thought your Bee (definitely NOT a fly which would only have two wings) might also be a Mason Bee in the genus
Megachile.  We located many similar looking Mason Bees on iSpot including this individual and this individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID of Cancun bee
Location: Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
December 31, 2016 12:51 pm
I took these pictures on 12/28 at about 8:30 AM in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, just south of Cancun. I thought it was some species of bumble bee, but have not been able to identify it through on-line research. I believe the white on the head and thorax is just pollen. I’m sorry for the blurriness of some of the images – I’m sending you the best of the lot. Could you please tell me what species you think this might be? Thank you.
Signature: Nochejt

Bumble Bee

Orchid Bee

Dear Nochejt,
We believe you are probably correct that this is a Bumble Bee.  We also agree that the white on the head and thorax is pollen.  We have not had any luck locating any solid black Bumble Bees with solid yellow abdomens online, but we will continue to attempt to provide a species identification for you.

Bumble Bee

Orchid Bee

Thank you Daniel. I also have come up empty. Possible new species?

Bumble Bee

Orchid Bee

Correction Courtesy of Karl
Hello Daniel and Nochejt:
I believe this is actually an Orchid Bee in the tribe Euglossini. The genus is Eulaema and the species is likely E. polychroma. Regards, Karl

Awesome Karl/Daniel!  Thank you so much.  After looking up Eulaema polychroma, I agree.  The distribution is a good match.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Bug of the Month
Since we just returned from our holiday, we need to select a Bug of the Moth.  Rain Beetles in Southern California have been experiencing some nice December rainfalls, so they seem a likely candidate to be featured this month.

Subject: Pleocoma octopagina
Location: Wrightwood , Burn Area Dirt Road Turnouts, San Bernardino County, California, USA
January 1, 2017 9:39 am
This December 22, 23,and 24, 2016 ,I drove down from Lake Tahoe south to the Wrightwood Burn area roads just north of San Bernardino in Southern California and back thru rain and snow storms . Meeting up with Mr.Garin Woo for the first morning , we set out our Home made Black lights and Mercury Vapor lite in high hopes of getting some hard to get Pleocoma octopagina Robertson 1970 male Rain Beetles . They have the most Antennae laminae segments or fans of the Male Pleocoma which is 8 . And we were not disappointed !! The rain flights started at 5 am and were intermittent until 6 am and then became steady until 7am and ended. Some were seen still flying around in the growing morning sun lite. We received a very nice series of Flying Large Newly Hatched Male Pleocoma octopagina . Precise Lengths of males were 22 mm to 36 mm with metal calipers . They come out in limited numbers and were quite Large and robust this year . I stayed out a couple more mornings solo . This was even in a completely and totally Burned out ( this August 2016 ) area …..” Truly Toasted “. There is strong evidence to me that the majority of this area’s Bush’s ( highly resistant somewhat to fire ) are still alive under ground and can provide food for the Pleocoma grubs . I have have photo evidence that in adjacent past fires we have clear regrowth coming out of Completely burned terrain / Bushs . The laminae are extremely Thick and robust with their prominent ” 8 fan segments ” . They are very large and strong flyers for Pleocoma males and they came in to Garin’s Mercury Vapor lite the strongest . I spent some time looking for females to no avail .On the way home in the Snow Storm I had to have it in four wheel drive from Bishop all the way home to Tahoe at 20 to 45 MPH ! Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Dear Gene,
Our editorial staff was away for the recent southern California rains, but we are thrilled that you were able to continue to supply us with Rain Beetle sighting information.

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle Habitat

Rain Beetle Habitat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cottonwood stag beetle
Location: Orem ut
January 1, 2017 5:37 pm
We have what we believe is a cottonwood stag beetle larvae. He is over 2 inches long and has large pinchers. We found him buried in the wood chips at the playground where we have seen the really big cottonwood stag beetles and we are assuming for its size and location that is what we have. My kids really want to “raise” it. We have kept it in a jar with wood chips for about 3 months. We occasionally add a little water. I can’t find anything about it’s lifecycle. What else can we do to ensure a successful metamorphosis in the spring/summer. We check every few days for movement through the glass, so far so good.
Signature: Jr entomologists

Probably Cottonwood Stag Beetle Grub

Probably Cottonwood Stag Beetle Grub

Dear Jr entomologists,
You are our first posting of the New Year after returning back to the office today.  We agree that this is most likely a Cottonwood Stag Beetle Grub since you have found adults in the vicinity.  Your individual looks like the Stag Beetle Grub pictured on BugGuide.

Probably Cottonwood Stag Beetle Grub

Probably Cottonwood Stag Beetle Grub

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination