From the monthly archives: "July 2018"

Subject:  Bug on branch, in trash.
Geographic location of the bug:  Pinellas County Florida
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 02:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  No

Long-Jawed Longhorn Beetle

The Long-Jawed Longhorn Beetle, Trachyderes mandibularis, is profiled on the Texas Entomology site where it states:  “Adults are active during the day and most are found near wounded trees that are oozing sap.”

Subject:  Is this a deer fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Elicott City, MD
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 10:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A friend of mine spotted this little B@#$%^d on his car.   I sort of remember this as a deer fly from my childhood in the northern midwest, but never saw one on the east coast.  If I remember correctly, a bite from these guys will raise a respectable welt.
He said it was HUGE for a fly, maybe 3/4 inch?
Thanks for the help.
How you want your letter signed:  Ray Oberg

Female Black Horse Fly

Dear Ray,
This is a Black Horse Fly, not a Deer Fly, but Horse Flies and Deer Flies are both in the family Tabanidae, so they do resemble one another.  Deer Flies and Horse Flies are both biting Flies, but only the females bite and suck blood, and the bite is reported to be quite painful.  This is a spectacular image of a female Black Horse Fly,
Tabanus atratus.

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Cape town south africa
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 11:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this on my patio area
How you want your letter signed:  Any

Red Headed Cockroaches

Dear Any,
These are Red Headed Cockroaches,
Deropeltis erythrocephala, and we verified their identity on iNaturalist and iSpot.  This is an outdoor species that will not infest your home and you have no need to be concerned regarding this sighting on your patio.

Red Headed Cockroaches

Subject:  Red spotted purple butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Shohola Lake, PA
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These butterflies were alighting on one spot of gravel road by Shohola Lake.  It looks to be coyote scat (hair & bone fragments, pawprints seen in mud nearby).
They allowed me to approach slowly and I was lucky to get these shots.  They are truly gorgeous.
How you want your letter signed:  Paula K

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Paula,
Thanks so much for sending in your wonderful images of Red Spotted Purples “puddling” on coyote scat.  We have decided to make your submission our Bug of the Month for August 2018.  Though butterflies are generally thought of as pollinators that visit flowers, they will often visit more unsavory substances, including puddles of urine, scat, putrefying flesh, rotting fruit and mud puddles to ingest salts and minerals found there.

Red Spotted Purples

Dear Daniel,
I’m honored to have my photos chosen as Bug of the Month!  And now I know about “puddling.”
Some years back I send you photos of mating buck moths from Shohola Lake, PA.  It seems a great place to find interesting insects. And as I wrote back then, your site is a natural treasure!

Thanks for your kind words Paula.  We located your image of mating Buck Moths in our archives.  It is hard to believe that was 11 years ago and we are still going strong.

Subject:  Mason Was planning – I think!
Geographic location of the bug:  SE Louisiana
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 09:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found two of these tiny wasp-looking creatures leaving their baby creatures in tiny perfectly round holes in my shed wall. Got a photo of one but the other flew off before I could get her. I say ‘her’ because she was a bit thicker in the abdomen and I thought that maybe she was carrying eggs. After an Internet search I figured that they are probably Mason Wasps, but I’m wondering if you can tell me more. I’m an avid outdoors person and am astounded that I’ve never seen these before! I’m quite familiar with Carpenter Bees, they like my shed as well. An ID would be appreciated!
How you want your letter signed:  Margie from Louisiana

Keyhole Wasp Nesting

Dear Margie,
We feel pretty confident that this is NOT a Mason Wasp in the subfamily Eumeninae, as those tend to be bulkier, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We believe this is a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae, but we would gladly accept any identification assistance our readership can provide.

Keyhole Wasp Nest

Thanks, Daniel! I also posted to the Insect ID page on Facebook. One of the readers there thinks that it is a Crabronid Trypoxglon? He said “Not a potter, mason, mud dauber, or thread waisted.”
What do you think about this ID?
Hi Margie,
The large head was one of the features we observed, and according to a comment by Eric Eaton on BugGuide:  “All other our species (the ‘keyhole wasps’) nest in pre-existing tunnels like beetle borings, sealing the finished nest with mud. Paralyzed spiders are used as provisions in each cell.”  That seems like a very good identification to us and we like the name Keyhole Wasp.
I’m looking at your site and searching under the Trypoxylon group I found this guy – I think it is the same:
Is this one called a keyhole wasp, too?
Hi again Margie,
That link was from BugGuide, not our site.  The name Keyhole Wasp was used in a comment by Eric Eaton.  When we researched the common name Keyhole Wasp, we found it in reference to the Mason Wasp
Pachodynerus nasidens on BugGuide.

Subject:  What kind of beetle is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Boise Idaho on a screen
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 12:23 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please advise as to the kind of beetle is shown in the attached picture.
How you want your letter signed:  Best find of the day

Male California Root Borer

Dear W!,
This wondrous beetle is a male California Root Borer,
Prionus californicus, and despite its name, it is reported from numerous other western states on BugGuide, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington as well as British Columbia.