From the monthly archives: "February 2019"

Subject:  What type of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Israel
Date: 02/05/2019
Time: 02:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found a bug and am curious what species it is.
How you want your letter signed:  To you

Oleander Hawkmoth

This beautiful moth is an Oleander Hawkmoth, a species that has expanded its range to many warm areas where oleander, a larval food, is grown as a decorative garden plant.

Subject:  is this a wasp mimic longhorn beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Madill, Oklahoma (central southern part of state)
Date: 02/04/2019
Time: 02:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  found this unusual beetle while working cows on our ranch this past weekend 2-3-2019. Was a warm (unusual 60’s degree F) winter day
How you want your letter signed:  chris w. bradshaw

Hickory Borer

Dear Chris,
This looks to us like a Hickory Borer.  Hickory Borers are active late in the winter and early in the spring.  Those appear to be oak leaves and acorns in your image.  Do you also have nut trees nearby?  According to BugGuide:  “larvae mine newly dead hickory, and sometimes other hardwoods.”  It is commonly accepted that the Hickory Borer, one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae, is a Yellowjacket mimic.

Thanks Daniel, and yes we have pecan grove not too far away. They were just planted 3 years ago so not very old yet. Again Thanks.

Update:  We wouldn’t rule out that this might be a Mesquite Borer, which is pictured on BugGuide, though BugGuide does not report the Mesquite Borer from Oklahoma. 

Subject:  insect ID
Geographic location of the bug:  south texas
Date: 02/04/2019
Time: 08:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  several of these are on one of our 4 year old grapefruit trees
How you want your letter signed:  tony p.

Ailanthus Webworm Moths

Dear Tony,
These are Ailanthus Webworm Moths and they will not harm your grapefruit.  They are seeking nectar from the blossoms, so they might actually be pollinating more fruit for you.  The Ailanthus Webworm Moth is a native North American species that has adapted so that caterpillars feed on the leaves of the scourge, the Tree of Heaven, but alas, feeding on just the leaves does nothing to curb the spread of this invasive “weed” tree.

Subject:  Armour-plated bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Costa Rica rainforest
Date: 02/03/2019
Time: 09:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Sorry this picture is fuzzy. This bug is about 2” long, sitting on the floor at the exterior door jamb of the house we’re renting. Do we have to worry about it hurting us or our dog?  Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Sue


Dear Sue,
This is a Cockroach, probably a flightless female, and we are confident it is not a species that will infest homes (most species of Cockroaches prefer to live outdoors) nor will it pose any threat to you or your dog.  It looks similar to this individual pictured on BugGuide.

Wow! Thanks so much, Daniel. Fascinating! (and I’m glad it won’t infest the house)

Subject:  Unkown Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Malta, Europe.
Date: 02/03/2019
Time: 05:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, can you tell me what this bug is?
How you want your letter signed:  Mauro Cilia

House Centipede

Dear Mauro,
The House Centipede is a cosmopolitan, nocturnal predator that had adapted to cohabitation with humans.  While it is possible that a bite might occur, House Centipedes tend to flee.  Since House Centipedes pose no threat to the home, their predatory behavior might be considered beneficial since they eat Cockroaches, Spiders and other less welcome household intruders.

Subject:  very large fly/ wasp. Jan 2019
Geographic location of the bug:  North Sydney
Date: 02/02/2019
Time: 12:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
This bug had gathered quite a crowd as it sat on the pavement (dead or close to) owing to its size. About 4 cm long, but as you can see from the photo also very fat. Sent friend the photo and he said it is a horsefly, but it seems this one is much much larger and the head doesn’t look right for a horsefly.
How you want your letter signed:  Steve F

Double Drummer

Dear Steve,
This is neither a Fly nor a Wasp, but you are not the first person who has submitted an image of a Cicada to our site thinking it was a giant fly.  Australia has much diversity when it comes to Cicadas, and the sounds that Cicadas produce make them familiar to many folks because of the sound and not because they have been observed.  Australians have also come up with some very creative common names for Cicadas, and your individual appears to be a Double Drummer,
Thopa saccata, which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect site where it states:  “Double Drummer Cicadas are the largest cicadas in Australia. They make loudest sound in the insect world. They are brown to orange-brown in colours with black pattern. On each side of the males’ abdomen there are the small pockets, the double drums, which are used to amplify the sound they produce. Females do not have the double drums but with longer abdomen tip.   Those large cicadas may not be seen easily because they usually stay on tree top. However, we always know they were there by hearing their loud songs. Their song is loud, piercing, chainsaw-like whine, which fluctuates smoothly in pitch. Singing occurs throughout the day and also at dusk in summer season.”

Many thanks Daniel.
What a wonderful service.
Best regards.