From the yearly archives: "2018"

Subject:  some type of wolf spider
Geographic location of the bug:  arvada,co
Date: 07/10/2018
Time: 11:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  i found this at a creek in arvada.i believe it is some type of wolf spider but id lile a more detailed identification. you might notice the egg sac shes holding in her fangs, she laid it ahout a week after i found her. ive had her for around three weeks.
How you want your letter signed:  Alex

Female Fishing Spider with Egg Sac

Dear Alex,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, not a Wolf Spider.  Both Fishing Spiders and Wolf Spiders have well documented maternal behavior, and both transport an egg sac after producing it.  The Wolf Spiders drag the egg sac from the spinnerets, and when the spiderlings hatch, they crawl on the body of the female for several days before eventually dispersing.  Fishing Spiders carry the egg sac in the chelicerae or fangs as your image illustrates, and like other Nursery Web Spiders, they will eventually construct a nursery web that they guard when they find a location that is appropriate.  Dolomedes scriptus is reported from Colorado according to BugGuide, and the individual in this BugGuide image has markings very much like your Spider, so we believe that species is correct.   Fishing Spiders are often found near water, and adult Fishing Spiders are capable of capturing aquatic prey, including small fish.

Fishing Spider

thank you SO much! this was very helpful and I am very impressed in how quickly you got back to me. have a wonderful day!

Fishing Spider

Subject:  Unidentified Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Baltimore,  MD
Date: 07/11/2018
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This beetle was found clinging to the shirt of a child. I’ve never seen one this large in my kife. It’s wounded above the left eye.
How you want your letter signed:  I.O. Kirkwood

Green June Beetle

Dear I.O. Kirkwood,
This is a Green June Beetle.  They are sometimes plentiful, and they form swarms by flying low over lawns.

Subject:  This bug / insect scares me
Geographic location of the bug:  Goodlettsville TN
Date: 07/11/2018
Time: 07:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This see picture has shown up on my front porch. It flies quickly if you try to get near it. Is it harmful or dangerous? It scares me.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen

Stump Stabber

Dear Karen,
The Giant Ichneumon or Stump Stabber is neither harmful nor dangerous, but the lengthy ovipositor is frightening looking.  This is a beneficial insect.  The female uses her ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the bark of trees infested with wood boring larvae, and the Ichneumon larva feeds on those wood boring larvae.

Subject:  Unknown hymenopteran
Geographic location of the bug:  south eastern PA
Date: 07/10/2018
Time: 04:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. I am the plant protection intern at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and our arborist saw this insect fly out of a diseased Juniper. Can you please help me to ID it? I am sorry that he removed the insect’s head. I took this video because it is still moving.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Jenny

Braconid, we believe

Hi Jenny,
Because of the coloration, what appears to be a long ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen, and the written description that it emerged from a diseased juniper, we believe this is a Braconid, a parasitoid Hymenopteran in the family Braconidae, which is well represented on BugGuide.  We have an old posting of Braconids swarming on a grape trunk in California, and at that time, Eric Eaton noted “so few braconids are parasitic on wood borers.”  We also have this UK sighting in our archives that we believe to be in the genus
Atanycolus.  That genus is represented on BugGuide where it states:  “Parasites of woodboring beetle larvae, especially metallic wood-boring beetles (Buprestidae) and longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).”  Since your juniper is diseased, it is probably infested with wood boring beetle larvae, the natural prey for parasitoid Braconids in the genus Atanycolus, so your arborist seems to have decapitated a beneficial predator and part of the solution, and not the cause of the problem for the tree, which is why we will be tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  If the tree does have a bad infestation of borer grubs, you might see additional Braconids emerge.  The female Braconid uses her ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the bark of an infested tree or other woody plant, and the hatched larvae feed on the larvae of the beetles.  Adults emerge after pupation, so it is an understandable mistake to believe the Braconid is a harmful insect when it emerges from the tree.  We hope the information we provided will score you a few extra intern points.  

Great. Thank you so much for the very detailed response. It was sad to see that a good insect was decapitated, although it was an honest mistake. I was not there when it happened 🙁 I realized that my post still said video, even though I sent a picture. I was unable to upload the video file to the site because it was too large, but I have attached it here. It is very unsettling, especially when the poor wasp’s wings move.

Braconid Wasp

Thanks Jenny,
We were able to get a better still from the video to illustrate the posting.

Subject:  Rabat Morocco, lovely wasps everywhere
Geographic location of the bug:  Rabat, Morocco
Date: 07/10/2018
Time: 03:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  As July began, I saw more holes in the soil, and then these large and lovely creatures emerging from them. Now they are everywhere, buzzing about the bougonvillia, feasting on the marjoram, and dancing over the roses. They are about 1″ long, and though the pictures don’t show it well, they have yellow markings that are similar to the scolid wasp pictures supplied by others on the Mediterranean. It also has interesting segmented orange antennae.
How you want your letter signed:  Moroccan wasp fan

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Moroccan wasp fan,
Your images of this gorgeous Scarab Hunter Wasp or Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae are truly beautiful as well.  We are having trouble identifying your exact species, but your individual’s similarity to this FlickR image of
Scolia bidens from Mallorca causes us to speculate that you have captured images of a different Scolia species that also has distinctive orange antennae.

Flower Wasp

Thank you! They are really quite neat, especially because I had been wondering why there were so many holes. In Morocco, we have no screens so we share our home with any number of insects (there is a constant game with the ants, I hide the honey and they find it), but these ones are my favorite so far. I do feel a bit sad for the big bumbling beetles though, I assume the number of wasps is sadly inverse to the number of those ‘junebugs’ we saw.

Hi again Andrea,
Insect populations do ebb and flow, so when prey is plentiful, the population of predators increases, and when prey is scarce, you will see fewer predators.  This is what keeps nature in balance.

Subject:  The Mantis on my Woody Plant is growing
Geographic location of bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  7/10/2018
Time:  6:46 AM
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I thought you might be interested in a follow-up on the Mantis on my woody plant I wrote about three weeks ago.  Last week I saw a shed exoskeleton (sorry no photo) and after disappearing for the day I made that discovery, the Mantis returned and has been back living on my Sweet Sarah clone ever since.  The Mantis has gotten bigger.  A Green Lynx Spider shared the plant for about a week, but today the Mantis is where the Green Lynx used to be and the Green Lynx is gone.  I have not seen this Mantis eat.  Both the Mantis and my plants survived the heat wave last weekend.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Immature California Mantis on Sweet Sarah clone

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for the update on the immature California Mantis you found on your Woody Plant.  We suspect it is the product of the female California Mantis you documented last year.

Update:  July 11, 2018
After noticing a Facebook posting by Jason RE who wrote:  “‘woody plant’ silly rabbit that is marijuana, not seeing any buds” we decided we needed to crop the image so the well camouflaged mantis is more noticeable.

Immature California Mantis