From the monthly archives: "July 2018"

Subject:  Flying insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Coastal North Carolina
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 08:12 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A large wasp landed on my window screen and out of nowhere this thing landed and grabbed it!  Never seen anything like it before.  It’s huge! What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  DD

Red Footed Cannibalfly Fly eats Paper Wasp

Dear DD,
The predator in your images is a Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus, probably a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  They often prey upon large stinging insects.  The prey appears to be a Paper Wasp.

Paper Wasp is prey to Red Footed Cannibalfly

Subject:  Maybe a flower wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Rural Northwest Tennessee, USA
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 08:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This large wasp is trapped in my screen porch.  I usually relocate insects that get caught back outside, but this one is acutely aware of my approach. I think it is some kind of flower wasp, but I am unsure if it has the ability to sting.  I know that usually female flower wasps are flightless and the males can fly.  I don’t want to mess with it if I’m likely to get stung as it is far to aware of my attempts so far.   Any thoughts?
How you want your letter signed:  Jess

Mydas Fly

Dear Jess,
This is not a Flower Wasp, or any kind of wasp for that matter, but rather, a harmless Mydas Fly,
Mydas clavatus, that benefits from mimicking a stinging wasp.  According to BugGuide:  “Large black fly with red/orange mark on top (dorsum) of 2nd abdominal segment. Body hairless, cylindrical. Eyes large. Antennae are distinctively clubbed in the Mydidae. This species flies rather boldly in the open. With the black-and-orange pattern, it resembles a wasp and fools the casual observer” and “Batesian mimic of certain spider wasps (Pompilidae).”

Subject:  Spider or Sea Creature?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 04:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
I was poking around my patch of common milkweed today and came across this most peculiar looking creature.   Looking at the enlarged image, I believe this is a spider.  What I am not sure of is if it has been parasitized or if this is some sort of disguise?  I’ve never seen anything like it and hoping you can shed some light on what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear Deborah,
You are correct that this is a Spider and you are also correct that it has been parasitized.  This Spider has expired from a fungus infection like the individual in this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image. 

Thank you for the response and the links.  Interestingly, I found a second spider on the same milkweed that was also dead, but looked more like the photo in the first link.  I wonder if the milkweed plant is carrying something that affects the spiders.
Deborah Bifulco

While we would not rule it out entirely, our suspicion is that milkweed and the fungus are not related.

Subject:  Bug in Indiana
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Wayne Indiana
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 02:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Here is the bug on the porch
How you want your letter signed:  Fort Wayne Indiana

False Potato Beetle

Dear Krista,
Thanks for submitting your image after providing several comments on a Ten Lined June Beetle posting.  Interestingly, we had almost this same case of mistaken identity with our good friend Monique who believed she saw a Ten Lined June Beetle in France.  Your beetle is a considerably smaller False Colorado Beetle, which can be distinguished from an actual, related Colorado Potato Beetle, because, according to BugGuide, the former has:  “a brown stripe at the center of each elytron (wing cover) and on the inner edge of each elytron (where they meet down the middle) distinguish this species.”  The Ten Lined June Beetle is longer, wider and considerably heavier than either of the Potato Beetles.

Subject:  Black and yellow bug, 1cm long
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntsville, Alabama
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 12:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug is on  curtains  in my closet, here in north Alabama. It is about 1 cm long. What do you think it is? I have enjoyed your page for many years. Thank you for what you do!
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth Simmons

Newly Eclosed Tiger Moth

Dear Elizabeth,
This is a newly eclosed Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae.  Since it has recently emerged from the pupal state, its wings have not yet fully expanded and hardened.  Based on BugGuide images, we believe it is in the genus
Apantesis, formerly Grammia.  It poses no threat to you or your home.

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern New York – Suffolk County
Date: 07/29/2018
Time: 08:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! This critter was hanging out on my front door. After looking at some pictures online my wife and I think it is a Broad Necked Root Boarer, but we are not sure. Can you confirm or correct?
How you want your letter signed:  I don’t understand what this means

Male Broad-Necked Root Borer

We agree that this is a male Broad-Necked Root Borer.