From the monthly archives: "June 2019"

Subject:  Bug identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Baltimore, Maryland
Date: 06/28/2019
Time: 11:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug is rare
How you want your letter signed:  Shay

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Shay,
This is an immature Wheel Bug.  Wheel Bugs are not considered rare.

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina
Date: 06/27/2019
Time: 01:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this???
How you want your letter signed:  Signed,

Brown Prionid

This is one of the large Prionid Beetles that appear each summer in many parts of North America.  Your individual is a Brown Prionid, Orthosoma brunneum

Subject:  What kind of bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Romania, Paulesti region
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 10:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this near my window. Could you please identify it?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew S.

Great Capricorn Beetle

Dear Andrew,
This is a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, and based on images posted to Beetles from Romania, we originally thought it might be
Monochamus sartor, a member of the genus commonly called Sawyers, but additional research has caused us to rethink that and to conclude that it is more likely a Great Capricorn Beetle, Cerambyx cerdo, a mistake we have made in the past.  The images on iNaturalist were a strong factor in our correction.  According to a pdf from EU Wildlife and Sustainable Farming Project:  “The great capricorn beetle is a large beetle with a thin body and very long antennae which are longer than the body” and “The species is declining across Northern Europe but is still relatively common in South France, Spain and Italy. Nevertheless, even here, the rate of decline is worrying.”

Great Capricorn

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for taking the time to examine the photos, cross-reference the sources and write such a detailed response. I command you for willingly answering the questions of so many out of passion. Your help is much appreciated.
Have a good day,

Great Capricorn Beetle

Subject:  Wasp lands on me WITH caterpillar meal
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri, United States
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 12:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  so today one of the most cool, weird, and gross things happened to me. I was sitting outside with my bearded dragon and we were under a nice tree. I feel a plop on my arm and I look down to see what it is and my hand is already poised to gently brush off whatever bug has wandered onto me, but I see the black and yellow and my brain registers: THAT is a wasp.
I pulled out my camera as fast as I could because… this is absolutely wild, I’ve never had this happen. and I sit there as I watch this wasp crunch her caterpillar prey WHILE SITTING ON MY ARM… when I moved my arm she got spooked and flew away, leaving her dead caterpillar laying on me… which I brushed off onto the sidewalk.
I have included the caterpillar itself as well, which I’m curious to know the name of, if possible.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

European Paper Wasp with Caterpillar prey alights on tattooed arm.

Dear Michael,
We applaud your quick reflex “inaction” to the aposomatic or warning coloration on this European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology: “Before 1981, the European paper wasp was not recorded in North America. In its native region, P. dominulais the most abundant paper wasp in those countries around the Mediterranean. It is also found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and eastward into China.  A highly successful colonizer, this wasp has rapidly increased its distribution in the United States during the past 20 years. Before the introduction of this new species, the northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, was the most frequently encountered species in and around structures in Pennsylvania.”  That site also observes:  “Whenever new species are introduced into an environment (either intentionally or accidentally), there are unpredictable consequences. The increased risk for stings is an obvious concern. Even more troubling, it appears that this new introduction has had an adverse impact on the native species of Polistes. The apparent reduction of indigenous Polistes will undoubtedly result in a change in the faunal balance. It is unclear what the consequences will be. Some entomologists worry that the large numbers of P. dominula will adversely affect the species of desirable insects (i.e., butterflies).”  For that reason, we are tagging your submission as Invasive Exotics as well as Food Chain.  This is also the most frequently encountered Paper Wasp in our our Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden.  We believe this caterpillar is a member of the Owlet Moth family Noctuidae, which includes Cutworms.

Probably Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Subject:  Interesting beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Dalton, Ga. United States
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 12:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this little beetle flying around,  when it landed I noticed a pattern and have not seen this type before.  Probably a half inch in size.
How you want your letter signed:  JoshP

Dark Flower Scarab

Dear JoshP,
Based on this BugGuide image and others, we are confident that you encountered a Dark Flower Scarab,
Euphoria sepulcralis, and according to BugGuide “Spangled Flower Beetle” is another common name with the justification “Common name proposed here, ‘spangled’ is a coinage, based on white marks scattered on dark elytra. ‘Dark Flower Scarab’ is also an appropriate common name.”  According to Featured Creatures:  “Little is known about the biology of this species, especially of the immature stages. …  In Florida, adults have been collected in all months except October and December, with peak summer abundance in August, at least in Alachua County (Landolt 1990). Adults are found on flowers, where they apparently are pollen feeders, at fermenting sap flows, and on ripe or decaying fruit.”

I agree,  thank you so much for your help!

Subject:  Weird insect found in jordan
Geographic location of the bug:  Amman, jordan
Date: 06/28/2019
Time: 05:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, i found this bug in amman, jordan at 12:00 am. I asked my family if they knew what it is and none of them have seen something like it before
How you want your letter signed:  Raya

Levant Hawkmoth

Dear Raya,
This is a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, and we identified it as a Levant Hawkmoth,
Theretra alecto, thanks to images on iNaturalist and Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic where it states:  “Occurs in areas where grapes are grown. Little is known about the behaviour of this species except that it is attracted to flowers and light.”