From the monthly archives: "April 2018"

Subject:  What are these bugs on my artichoke?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern France
Date: 04/29/2018
Time: 09:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Our artichoke plants are infested with these strange looking bugs. They are on artichoke plants quite far apart, but no other plants. Looks like some sort of lice (?) with a very strange tail which they use to cover/camouflage their bodies with. They are eating the plants fast and causing quite a lot of damage. Approx 5mm in size.
How you want your letter signed:  Matilde Holloway

Thistle Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Matilde,
These look unmistakably like Tortoise Beetle Larvae that carry fecal matter on their back for camouflage.  We did some research and found several French language sites, including Natura Mediterraneo and Agraria that identify these as the larvae of the Tortoise Beetle
Cassida deflorata.

Thistle Tortoise Beetle Larvae

Thank you so much, that makes perfect sense, when we first saw them we thought they were droppings. Upon further research it appears they are
Thistle Tortoise Beetle Larvae  which makes sense given that they were on the artichokes only.
Thanks again

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 04/28/2018
Time: 03:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you identify this bug for me please
How you want your letter signed:  Catie

Sexton Beetle

Dear Catie,
This is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Burying Beetles get their common name because adults will bury small animals including mice, birds and lizards after laying eggs upon the corpse.  According to BugGuide:  “Remarkable parental care: adults bury a small carcass, lay eggs in it, and stay to feed the young on regurgitated carrion.”

Wow! Way cool beetle!!! Very interesting! I had never seen one before!
Thank you for answering.
Catie Lambie

Subject:  Found a bug I’ve never seen before
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Victoria, Australia
Date: 04/28/2018
Time: 05:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear bug man, found this sick looking bug when out camping. I’ve never seen anything like it before
How you want your letter signed:  From brett

Flightless Female Soldier Fly: Boreoides subulatus

Dear Brett,
The first time we received an image of this species of flightless Female Soldier Fly
Boreoides subulatus, we did not know if we were looking at a mutilated individual that was missing its wings.  The species is pictured on iNaturalist and on Atlas of Living Australia, and according to the Museums Victoria site:  “Female Wingless Soldier Flies are seen on walls and fences, laying masses of long white eggs. Larvae live in damp soil or rotting vegetation, especially in or near compost.”  

Subject:  Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Ontario Canada
Date: 04/29/2018
Time: 02:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this bug crawling on some laundry
How you want your letter signed:  Regards

Immature Masked Hunter

This is an immature Masked Hunter, a species frequently found indoors in the northern sections of North America.  The Masked Hunter is a predatory Assassin Bug that is capable of biting a human if it is carelessly handled.  Immature Masked Hunters have a sticky exoskeleton that allows dust and debris to stick to the insect, effectively camouflaging it in its environment.

Subject:  What kind of “nest” might this be?
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern shore of maryland
Date: 04/29/2018
Time: 01:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you help identify if this is an insect or bees nest?  It’s fairly small.  Less than an inch long and less than a half inch wide.
How you want your letter signed:  Bobbie

Wheel Bug Eggs

Dear Bobbie,
These sure look like Wheel Bug Eggs and here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  This is the time of year we begin to get identification requests for hatchling Wheel Bugs.  Wheel Bugs are predatory Assassin Bugs that are beneficial in the home garden.

Subject:  Pile of spiders! What kind?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mill Valley, CA, Marin County, right outside San  Francisco, Northern CA
Date: 04/27/2018
Time: 03:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I was out on my deck and I saw this in a spider web. My husband decided to hit it with our bug zapper and TONS of baby spiders scattered everywhere. It freaked me out. I’ve never seen a nest like this before! From a distance it looked like a piece of a plant or tree.
First two pictures arr of them huddled together and second picture is of them scattering.
How you want your letter signed:  Alison

Orbweaver Spiderlings

Dear Alison,
These are harmless Orbweaver spiderlings, and they are probably very recently hatched.  Young Orbweavers frequently disperse by ballooning away on the wind:  spinning a silk thread that catches the wind and transports the individual spiderlings great distances from where they hatched.

Obweaver Spiderlings Disperse