From the yearly archives: "2018"

Subject:  Hissing beetle in NC in July
Geographic location of the bug:  NC mountains, Lake Toxaway
Date: 07/14/2018
Time: 03:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was a ten lined june bug, but they’re apparently only found out west.  I’m in NC.  It hisses, so what is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Lined June Beetle

Dear Chris,
You are absolutely correct that this is not a Ten Lined June Beetle,
Polyphylla decemlineata, a western species, however it is still a Lined June Beetle in the genus Polyphylla.  The large antennae indicates it is a male.  The hissing sound you heard is made when the beetle rubs its body parts together, a process known as stridulation.  We believe your individual is a species with a BugGuide range of “Virginia south through the Great Smokies to Louisiana” and with no common name other than the general genus name of Lined June Beetle, Polyphylla comes, based on this BugGuide image, but we would not rule out that it might be the Variegated June Beetle, Polyphylla variolosa, based on this BugGuide image.  Both species are in your geographic area.  Apparently these species can be difficult to differentiate, as this BugGuide posting proves.

Subject:  Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Lincoln Nebraska
Date: 07/13/2018
Time: 11:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This buzzed by my sidters house today and I’ve never seen anything like it.  Is it dangerous? They have kids and pets to keep safe.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned Sister

Spider Wasp

Dear Concerned Sister,
The time for your concern is long passed since it appears the Spider Wasp in this image was already dispatched with some type of spray that formed puddles around its body.  Spider Wasps are not aggressive, though the might sting if carelessly handled.  They are considered beneficial as they help to keep Spider populations in check.  Many insects accidentally enter the home, and the best way to remove them alive is to trap them in a glass, and then slip a postcard between the glass and the surface so the insect can be safely transported outside.  We believe the Spider Wasp in your image is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus based on this BugGuide image.  Here is an image of a Spider Wasp with its prey.  Because we feel this harmless Spider Wasp was dispatched unnecessarily, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Thanks for the reply. I’m glad to have the info. The insect was only a bit stunned by the water. Enough to be able to catch and release it. It flew off a few minutes later, according to my sister. But it sure gave her a fright and I couldn’t identify it as anything I’ve ever seen. I’ll pass the info along that she doesn’t need to be afraid if she see another.  She was watering plants and just sprayed it with the water bottle, took pic, and got it out of the house in a Tupperware. Again thanks for the info.
Thanks for that information.  We will post your addition and remove the Unnecessary Carnage tag.

Subject:  Deer fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 07/14/2018
Time: 10:12 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello your Bugness,
Is this a deer fly?  It’s not orange like descriptions I’ve read.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Whitmore Lake

Striped Horse Fly

Dear Curious in Whitmore Lake,
Deer Flies and Horse Flies are in the same family, Tabanidae, and your individual is a Horse Fly.  The space between the eyes indicates it is a blood sucking female.  Only female Horse Flies and Deer Flies Bite.  Males do not bite.  We believe we have identified your female Horse Fly as a Striped Horse Fly,
Tabanus lineola, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.

Subject:  Scolid wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey  Allaire State park
Date: 07/07/2018
Time: 02:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is a scolid wasp I’m guessing?
How you want your letter signed:  Cindy

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Cindy,
This is indeed a Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae, and we believe, based on BugGuide images, that it is
Campsomeris plumipes.  According to BugGuide:  “Scoliid wasps are parasitic upon larvae of soil-inhabiting scarab beetles.”

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Subject:  Huge flying bug – Atlanta GA
Geographic location of the bug:  Lawrenceville GA USA
Date: 07/07/2018
Time: 10:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This thing flew onto out covered deck. At first I thought it was a hummingbird. We picked it up and set on the railing away from our puppy. Thought maybe it was playing dead, so we checked an hour later and it was gone.
How you want your letter signed:  Janet Tolman

Eyed Elater

Dear Janet,
The Eyed Elater is the largest Click Beetle in North America.

Subject:  Is this a Bee or other?
Geographic location of the bug:  Stratford, NJ
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 10:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have a “large bee” type of insect, two actually that are in the same place everyday! One is burrowing in the dirt and the other sits on a tire or leaves just a few feet away? Should I be worried about this animal? Is it harmful to my children who play in the same area?
How you want your letter signed:  Robert Hammond

Cicada Killer

Dear Robert,
This is our first Cicada Killer posting of the season.  Cicada Killers are large, solitary wasps that prey on Cicadas.  The female stings and paralyzes a Cicada and then drags it to an underground nest where she lays an egg on it.  When the waspling hatches, it feeds upon the still living, paralyzed Cicada.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive toward humans.  Male Cicada Killers will defend territory, but they cannot sting, so they are perfectly harmless.  In our opinion, the Cicada Killers in your yard pose no threat to human nor pets, only to Cicadas.  People with a morbid and irrational fear of insects often subject Cicada Killers to Unnecessary Carnage.