From the monthly archives: "March 2019"

Subject:  What kind of beetle is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tri-state area: MI, IN, OH
Date: 03/27/2019
Time: 07:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this insect dying on my deck (though the dog may have put it there). I’ve never seen one like it, much less at the end of March when very little is moving here yet. I assume it’s a beetle of some kind, but Google isn’t much help.
Thanks for answering my curiosity if you have the time! 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Gardener

Predaceous Diving Beetle

Dear Curious Gardener,
This is a Predaceous Diving Beetle in the family Dytiscidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  You may read about Predaceous Diving Beetles on BugGuide.

Subject:  Insects
Geographic location of the bug:  Mexico, Yucatan peninsula,
Date: 03/28/2019
Time: 08:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this group of insects all huddled up together on a branch in early February this year while on vacation in Mexico.  I have no idea what they are but I was fascinated by them.  I also wondered why they were all together like this.
Thanks a lot.
How you want your letter signed:  Paul

Giant Mesquite Bugs

Dear Paul,
These are Giant Mesquite Bug nymphs in the genus

Subject:  Large black flies (Mydas??) showing up in my house.
Geographic location of the bug:  Charlottesville, VA
Date: 03/25/2019
Time: 07:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve noticed several of these bugs around the windows in my house. I will find many of them dead on the ground or sometimes crawling around on the window sill. They are black and quite large (3/4″ long). I’m thinking that they are mydas flies but am not 100%.
Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
If these are Mydas flies where are they coming from and what can I do to get rid of them?
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Zushi

Black Soldier Fly

Dear Zushi,
This is not a Mydas Fly.  Rather, it is a Black Soldier Fly or Window Fly,
Hermetia illucens.  The name Window Fly refers to clear patches in the abdomen, and not because they are found in windows.  Do you have a nearby compost pile?  Larvae of Black Soldier Flies are frequently found in compost piles.  We do not provide extermination advice. 

Black Soldier Fly

Thank you for the reply/information. I will have a look at their abdomen and look for the transparency. I do have a personal compost bin in my backyard garden. I’ve used the compost in soils around my garden and most likely i’ve dug up some of that soil to use in pots that I have some plants in inside my house. This is probably my source.
I understand not giving extermination advice. Once the weather changes for the better I plan on moving most of my plants outside. I will probably go through the process of replacing a lot of the potted soil as well and moving the current soil back into my compost.
Anything else you could provide would be greatly appreciate.
Best regards,
John Boyd


Subject:  Please let me know more about this object
Geographic location of the bug:  Limbe, Cameroon, Africa
Date: 03/23/2019
Time: 05:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
Been seeing these strange insects around the house recently so wanted learn about them more ( not too long ago I even saw 2 brahminy snakes).
For more precision about the insect on the picture, at a certain point it was able to mimic a small piece of wood by straightening his whole body like an | (All legs behind and stiking to the body with his 2 things?? in front perfectly straightened forward).
Well thanks for your time and patience.
How you want your letter signed:  Sally

Water Scorpion

Dear Sally,
This is a predatory Water Scorpion, an aquatic True Bug that is capable of flying from pond to pond.  Handle Water Scorpions with caution as they can deliver a painful bite.

Subject:  Giant caterpillar burrowing under dead leaves
Geographic location of the bug:  Miami, florida
Date: 03/22/2019
Time: 03:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! My students and I found this giant caterpillar traveling down a tree trunk and o haven’t been able to identify it. It’s about 5-6” in length and after it reached the ground it burrowed under th dead leaves in the ground and stayed there.
How you want your letter signed:  Nadia in miami

Fig Sphinx

Dear Nadia,
This large caterpillar is a Fig Sphinx,
Pachylia ficus, and it was on the ground searching for a place to pupate among the leaf litter.  There must be a fig tree near the sighting.

Subject:  Red and black bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Fountain valley, ca
Date: 03/23/2019
Time: 03:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, Bugman!
I found three of these today on a milkweed (which I planted to attract monarchs). Two of them were mating. I live in Orange County, California, about five miles from the coast.  Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Jennifer

Large Milkweed Bug

Dear Jennifer,
This is a benign Large Milkweed Bug and it will not harm your milkweed plants.  According to BugGuide, they eat:  “Seeds of milkweed plants. They can be reared and fed other seeds such as sunflower, watermelon, cashew”