From the monthly archives: "July 2019"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dobson fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Piseco lake, NY. (Adirondacks)
Date: 07/23/2019
Time: 08:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
This interesting creature was like looking through a microscope, only… I wasn’t.  This is a standard sized brick it is sitting on. Seen mid July on a very rainy day. There were several on the wall of the building. My guess after a bit of research would be Dobson fly?  Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Jamie

Female Dobsonfly

Hi Jamie,
You are correct that this is a female Dobsonfly.  We posted numerous images yesterday of both Dobsonflies and related Fishflies, a clear indication the hottest days of summer have arrived.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Lake county, Ohio
Date: 07/25/2019
Time: 09:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! My young explorer found this mystery beetle and we would love to know more about it. Thank you for your help!
How you want your letter signed:  Natalie

Sexton Beetle

Dear Natalie,
This is a Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Your individual has very few red spots, so it was easy to identify as Nicrophorus pustulatus on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide: “Reported to be a brood parasite of other Nicrophorus. Also reported to parasitize the eggs of Black Rat Snakes, Elaphe obsoleta (Blouin-Demers & Weatherhead 2000, Trumbo 2009). The beetle larvae destroy the snake eggs, thus, the beetle would qualify as a parasitoid of the snake, a relationship usually seen only among invertebrates. In the wild, N. pustulatus is not known to exhibit the usual carcass-burying behavior of other members of its genus, though it will display some of this behavior in captivity. There is suspicion, too, that it may parasitize eggs of other reptiles, and, perhaps, birds (Trumbo 2009).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Just submitting this picture. Thought it was really beautiful!
Geographic location of the bug:  Odenville, Alabama
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 02:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I wanted to submit this picture I took today. Found this guy on my porch and thought it was beautiful! I am not sure what kind of bug this is but thought you guys would like the picture!
How you want your letter signed:  Brittni

Southern Oak Cicada

Dear Brittni,
Not to demean other submissions we receive, but we get much more pleasure reading a letter like yours that is actually excited about an insect sighting than we like reading submissions from horrified parents who have killed some insect because they fear for their child’s welfare, or from paranoid homemakers who believe everything that gets into the house poses a threat to the home and its inhabitants, or because a person perceives things that no one else believes are living in their bloodstream and that look like blurry chunks of mucous.  This magnificent insect is a Cicada, but it is not like the typical Dog Day Harvestflies we get submitted each summer.  We believe your individual is a Northern Dusk Singing Cicada,
Megatibicen auletes, which we identified thanks to numerous images on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide it is also known as the Southern Oak Cicada and “Despite the common name, this cicada is most common across the South.  Extreme n. Florida (“the Highlands”), Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina & Virginia.” BugGuide also notes:  “T. auletes is our LARGEST EASTERN Tibicen SPECIES.  In fact, it appears to be our largest and most robust North American Cicada (north of Mexico).”  A final note from BugGuide is “PRUINOSITY: These cicadas often look as though they are molded or have been dusted in “powdered sugar”. No other US species is so pruinose (NOTE: This white wax will wipe off and over time, esp. in older specimens, much of the white can be lost! Reduced white wax often changes the general appearance of these insects).”  According to Cicada Mania:  “These very large cicadas are loud, but not the loudest.”  According to Insect Singers:  ” Grating slow-pulsed song.  Calls from high in large trees.”  Thank you for your sweet submission and also for getting us off to a cheerful morning.

Thank you so much for the information! My son and I love taking pictures of wildlife and learn as much as we can! Thank you for everything that you do!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwestern NH
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 01:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Seen about 7am after a night of steady rain, the moth was attached to an outside house window screen, and about three feet from that one, another sitting on the plastic frame of the garden hose holder. July 23, 2019.
How you want your letter signed:  NH woodland area

Blinded Sphinx with Rain Drops

Your close-up image of the Sphinx Moth with rain drops is gorgeous.  We are happy you also sent more traditional dorsal views as we were able to identify it as Paonias excaecata a Blinded Sphinx, a common name that refers to the markings on the oceli on the underwings.  When the moth is threatened, it reveals the underwings which creates the illusion of a pair of eyes startling a predator into perceiving that it might have awakened a sleeping giant.  Because those markings include a light blue center dot, rather than a black pupil found on the oceli of many other species of “eyed moths”, the Blinded Sphinx appears to have cataracts.  In searching for Sphingidae of the Americas, we encountered a new [to us] site Sphingidae of the United States of America where it states:  “This species seems to only fly in the warmer months in the Northeast, and even in Florida, it doesn’t seem to be recorded from December to March. This species is extremely common at lights, and both sexes are attracted to light. It does not feed as an adult. The adults do have a fairly large size difference, with females being much larger and rounder than males.”  After that internet detour, we returned to Sphingidae of the Americas to get the information “Males demonstrate a strong curve to the abdomen” so we could inform you that both of your moths are males.

Blinded Sphinx

Awesome!
I researched your page and guessed a Blind Sphinx. Thank you for confirming. This encounter, with these two beauties has peaked my interest, and I’ll now be on the look out for others.
Enjoy the rain drop photo. I did take it myself with an iPhone 8 Plus. You may use it if you want on your page.
Happy week,
Nan

Blinded Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Borer Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ayr, Ontario
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 09:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this guy on the side of our house at the end of July. About 4”-5” long.
How you want your letter signed:  Alex

Female Dobsonfly

Hi Alex,
We are being bombarded with identification requests for Corydalids today, but your image is the first we have received of a female Dobsonfly, and the image is so beautiful, we have to format it for posting.  Though the mandibles of the male Dobsonfly look much more frightening, they are specialized for allegedly fighting off other males as well as during mating, but they are not useful for either eating or defending from a threat.  The mandibles of the female Dobsonfly are much more utilitarian, and she can easily defend herself by painfully nipping at a threat, including a person, but the bite is not dangerous.  Adult Dobsonflies do not eat.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response! Your website has created a whole new world of backyard research for me. I’ve been doing lots of reading on these guys since I saw your response.
Feel free to use my picture for anything that you might need.
Cheers,
Alex

Hi again Alex,
We are happy to hear our site has inspired you to do more research into the wonderful creatures that surround you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Glittery Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Little Cottonwood Canyon Utah
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 10:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This beetle shimmered like glitter in the sunlight. We saw it at Tanners Flat campground in July.
How you want your letter signed:  Tyson Cramer

Golden Buprestid

Dear Tyson,
Your beautiful beetle is one of the Metallic Borer Beetles in the family Buprestidae.  It is a Golden Buprestid,
Buprestis aurulenta, and here is a BugGuide image for corroboration.  We have a letter in our archives regarding a Golden Buprestid that emerged from an eight year old cutting board.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination