From the yearly archives: "2018"

Subject:  unidentified green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date: 07/05/2018
Time: 09:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just like to know what this is. Have never seen anything like it.
How you want your letter signed:  Brad Pahmier

Immature Male Common True Katydid

Dear Brad,
We apologize for our delay.  Your identification request was on the back burner so long it fell off the stove, but we went back through our unanswered mail and relocated it.  This is an immature male Katydid, and when we searched for images of immature Katydids from Indiana, we found our own posting from Ohio of a female immature Common True Katydid,
Pterophylla camellifolia.  This BugGuide image of an immature male Common True Katydid looks exactly like your individual.

Subject:  Name the bug, please
Geographic location of the bug:  Marblehead, MA USA
Date: 07/13/2018
Time: 09:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help identify this immature insect. It has been camped out on my wife’s rosebush for the past several days. Our guess is katydid or cricket, but it has no wings (yet).
How you want your letter signed:  Wayne and Susan

Immature Male Katydid

Dear Wayne and Susan,
This is indeed an immature Katydid and it is a male that is lacking an ovipositor.  We believe it looks like this BugGuide image of a member of the subfamily Phaneropterinae.

Immature Male Katydid

Subject:  Don’t think it’s Bombus vosnesenskii, so which bumbler is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 12:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I originally thought this was Bombus vosnesenskii (Yellow-Faced bumble bee), but all photos representing that particular species shows only one  yellow segment on the abdomen, whereas the one I took the photograph of, shows two.
I tried researching by location and bee color/appearance on discoverlife.org‘s bee identification, but none seem to match. Based upon the appearance of pollen baskets and sparse hairs on the hind legs, I am pretty sure it’s a true bumble been (not a Cuckoo) and a female.
If you are able to help, I’d love your assistance!
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

Dear Bug Aficionado,
When we first looked at your images, we too began trying to match to BugGuide images of a Bumble Bee with a yellow face as well as two abdominal stripes, but upon reviewing your images, we believe the second yellow band we thought we observed on one of your images is an optical illusion, part of the clover blossom rather than the Bee.  None of your images clearly shows a second yellow band.  Perhaps you have additional images that show the markings on the abdomen.  Since we cannot clearly see a second band, we are going to call this a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee as the yellow face as well as other markings, including the half black thorax, agree with that species.  Also, the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee pictured on Hilltromper does appear to show a second abdominal stripe.  The Arboretum Foundation page entitled Getting to Know Our Northwest Bees identifies four species including the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee.

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

I think you are right about the optical illusion! I zoomed in on the photo, and, sure enough, what I thought was a second yellow abdominal segment is actually one of the clover head’s flowers!
Thanks so much for your help! Trying to ID this fuzzy-butt was driving me bonkers!
Also, thank you for correcting the ID of my blue butterfly from Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) to Pacific Azure (Celastrina echo). They both look very much alike, and despite butterfliesandmoths.org having a verified sighting of C. ladon in Oregon (which is what led me to my ID- I simply didn’t research enough), it is quite likely that they, too, mis-identified the specimen.
-Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

Subject:  Huge moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Collins, CO
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 03:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this last night putting out the dog around 1:30 am.  Never seen one that big ever.  Black Witch??
How you want your letter signed:  Mark

Black Witch

Dear Mark,
This is indeed a male Black Witch.  According to BugGuide:  “The northward June migration out of Mexico coincides with Mexico’s rainy season which typically starts in early June and lasts through October.”

Subject:  Possibly Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 12:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think I have correctly ID’d this as a Spring Azure! Hope you enjoy the photo, and as always, it’s been a pleasure visiting your site.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Pacific Azure

Dear Bug aficionado,
Thanks for the compliment and thank you for submitting your wonderful image of what we are going to have to disagree is a Spring Azure, because according to BugGuide, the range of the Spring Azure does not extend that far west.  Our best guess is that this is an Echo Azure,
Celastrina echo, because, according to BugGuide:  “Most western Azures have been classified as belonging to this species name. Where this species and more easterly ranging species meet, and how to tell them apart is not well presented in literature as of yet.”  Of the four subspecies of Echo Azures documented on BugGuide, both the Pacific Azure, Celastrina echo echo, and the Northwestern Azure, Celastrina echo nigrescens, are reported from Washington.  Based on this BugGuide image, we would lean to the Pacific Azure.  We find differentiating the Blues to be especially challenging.

Subject:  Odd fly eating another fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbus Ohio
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 05:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this cool guy on my trash bin with another smaller fly in its mouth. It also had a long stinger/appendage coming out of its bottom.  It was not afraid of me and simply wanted to finish its meal
How you want your letter signed:  Katy

Robber Fly eats Fly

Dear Katy,
The predator is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  Robber Flies are amazing predators that capture prey while flying.