From the monthly archives: "September 2018"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unusual bug near swimming pool
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach CA
Date: 09/23/2018
Time: 03:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
I was picking up leaves on concrete near our pool and I found this beautiful insect, who almost looked like another leaf or flower.
Thanks for any ideas as to his or her identity.
How you want your letter signed:  Moira

Decapitated Male Mantis

Dear Moira,
This is a decapitated Preying Mantis, and it appears to have been a male.  It might be a male European Mantis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  We can’t think of any real predators (eliminating house cats that do not generally need to hunt to survive) that would eat the head and leave the more nourishing and palatable body behind.  There is much documentary evidence of a female Mantis eating the head of a male that is mating with her.  Though his head is gone, he still goes through the mechanical actions of mating as pictured in this image from our archives of mating Mantids.

Dear bug man,
Thanks for the insight. Wow, that realization certainly ruined my Sunday, not to
mention the mantis’s. I researched how it could still be sentient. It obviously was able to think, because before I knew what it was, I thought it looked parched and dazed. So I poured a tablespoon of water into a dead leaf ‘vessel’ in front of it, and spilled the same amount onto the concrete next to where it stood, which seeped over to its right feet. It reacted by carefully moving its feet out of the water. It was as though it did need water but couldn’t drink it. Two people on Instagram then told me what it was and one of them speculated it was a post-mating male. It even seemed to have eyes, looked at from the front, but now I know otherwise. I read that mantii can survive decapitated and half-eaten for up to six days. Then I researched invertebrates ability to feel pain, concluded that they do feel pain. I went back to it and it was being eaten by ants. I moved it to another garden location, but a couple ants still clung to it. I asked my husband later if it would have been kinder to have killed it and put it out of its misery. He thought so. By then it was dark, we were walking the dog, and it would have been hard to find. If I ever come across this again, is there a humane way to assist an insect in dying? Thanks again Moira
There is no need to feel bad about what happened to the male Mantid.  Since this happens so frequently, it must be advantageous to the survival of the species.
Thanks Mr. Marlos.
I am amazed by nature. I’ll try to stop feeling bad about this one’s curtain call. As you told me, that’s normal behavior for this species. At least its children had an advantage getting started in life.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  need help identifying this wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Occoquan NWR, Occoquan Virginia
Date: 09/22/2018
Time: 08:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Once more I must ask for you excellent help. I cannot seem to find what species this attractive wasp is in any of my usual resources (including your wonderful site, of course!) Thanks very much in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  Seth

Male Ichneumon: Lymeon orbus possibly

Dear Seth,
This is a parasitoid wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, and according to BugGuide:  “~5,000 described spp. in almost 500 genera in the Nearctic Region, possibly 3,000 more undescribed; arguably, the largest animal family, with the estimated 60,000 species worldwide (up to 100,000, according to some estimates.  Those numbers mean that species identifications can be very challenging. Your individual looks very similar to
Lymeon orbus based on this BugGuide image, but your individual lacks an ovipositor, making it a male, and your individual has a black band on the hind leg lacking in the images we have located of Lymeon orbus.  So, we are certain that this is an Ichneumon Wasp, we are nearly certain it is a male, and beyond that, we need to defer to real experts.  If you find any closer visual matches, please let us know.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mating Stink Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Jacksonville, Florida
Date: 09/22/2018
Time: 09:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these flat, mating bugs that look like some sort of stink bug.  The picture was taken 9/22/2018 around 12:30 PM.
How you want your letter signed:  EK Gilley

Mating Rough Stink Bugs

Dear EK Gilley,
These are indeed mating Stink Bugs.  More specifically, they are mating Tree Stink Bugs or Rough Stink Bugs in the genus
Brochymena.  According to BugGuide:  “Usually bark-like (cryptic). Lateral teeth on juga. Head elongated, pronotum laterally with toothlike projections, and rear margin of abdomen has pleated pattern.”  We haven’t posted a new image representing this genus in over a decade and we have learned quite a bit since then.  We used to write that they are a predatory species (a claim we never source cited) but we have come to realize this is not always the case, and as BugGuide indicates, they are:  “phytophagous (some reports of predation).” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some Type of Katydid
Geographic location of the bug:  Anderson, Indiana
Date: 09/22/2018
Time: 12:40 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little Katydid on the flowers in my driveway. It seems somewhat similar to the Meadow Katydids I’ve seen in our yard, but this one was much bigger.
How you want your letter signed:  Christa Massey

Conehead Katydid

Dear Christa,
This is one of the Conehead Katydids in the genus ,
Neoconocephalus.  Because of the extremely long ovipositor that extends well beyond the wing tips, we suspect this might be Neoconocephalus retusus based on this BugGuide image.  Of the entire genus, BugGuide notes:  “Adults feed mostly on seeds of grasses, sometimes sedges. Nymphs feed on grass flowers, developing seeds.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what in the world?
Geographic location of the bug:  Blue Ridge Mtns, NC
Date: 09/23/2018
Time: 08:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  found hanging in a tree.  stung head when walked under it.  felt like bee sting.
dont know if its a bug or a flower.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug or Flower?

Saddleback Caterpillar

You were stung by a Saddleback Caterpillar, Acharia stimulea.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillars are capable of inflicting lasting and painful stings with their spines.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Gorgeous Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  East Central Indiana Winchester
Date: 09/18/2018
Time: 03:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
I found this guy in the parking lot of my office. We are located near a small creek with some brush. I was hoping you could help me identify this bug!
How you want your letter signed:  Ann

White-Lined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Ann,
This is just one of several different color variations of the Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar.  You may see other color variations here and here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination