From the monthly archives: "March 2020"

Subject:  Spider wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Wilderness, South Africa
Date: 03/08/2020
Time: 02:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thank you for posts that helped us to identify this wasp in our garden today. It was carrying a spider and defended its catch aggressively
How you want your letter signed:  Debbie

Spider Wasp

Dear Debbie,
This is indeed a beautiful Spider Wasp, but alas, we don’t see the Spider.  It looks very similar to this beauty in our archives.

Subject:  Brown and Yellow Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Mexico
Date: 03/20/2020
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi WTB! I’ve looked high and low trying to identify this beetle(?) but have had no luck so far. I saw many of them on the leaves of plants in the fields near my house in Mexico. This was taken in September a few years back. It was in a canyon in the desert if that helps. Any ideas? Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Danny

Jewel Bug

Dear Danny,
This is not a Beetle.  It is a Shield Bug or Jewel Bug in the family Scutellaridae, and we identified it as 
Orsilochides scurrilis on Buggin’ Around.  It is also pictured on Naturalista.

Subject:  Pollen Thief
Geographic location of the bug:  Spartanburg SC
Date: 03/23/2020
Time: 08:40 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good Morning,
Spring has sprung here in the Carolinas. I was watching the bees on a holly bush when I saw two bees, one much smaller than the other. The smaller bee got on the back of the larger bee, shook him like crazy and stole the pollen from his legs! Is this common in the bee world?
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Healy

Mating Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Mike,
This looks to us like a pair of mating Eastern Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa virginica, and the male, who is on top, has a white face.  We do not think pollen thievery was on his mind.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar from many flowers, often biting into base of flower to “rob” it without pollinating (but seen to pollinate Passiflora incarnata quite effectively–pollen is deposited on thorax).”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the ID on my bees. Little did I know that I was interrupting an intimate moment! My son was morning the grass and the larger females were everywhere that there was a flower of any kind. Do three Carpenter bees sting? My son was terrified by then but they really didn’t seem to care about me, walking right up to them. I do remember from my childhood in CT, that there was a best of Carpenters in the garage and they would dive bomb us.
The picture that I took was that of the bees in a Holly bush. There were hundreds of them.
Thanks again for the education. I love What’s that bug!
Mike Healy

Hi Mike,
Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging, and females are not aggressive and rarely sting.

Subject:  Butterfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silver City, NM
Date: 03/22/2020
Time: 08:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There were hundreds of these butterflies on this one type of bush. I tried to get close to them to get a good photo but they would all fly off. I caught one but didn’t want to kill it to get a good picture so I apologize for the poor photos. The spots on the wings are yellow. They are small, like skippers. I did look through the photos on your website but couldn’t find it.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen Nakakihara

Diurnal Moth: Litocala sexsignata

Dear Karen,
Butterflies are generally thought of as diurnal and moths as nocturnal, but this is actually a diurnal Moth that flies during the day.  We have identified it as
Litocala sexsignata thanks to Butterflies and Moths of North America where it states:  “Adults are diurnal. They may be seen nectaring at flowers or sipping moisture in muddy spots.”   According to BugGuide:  “common to abundant in some areas; uncommon in others.”  This species has no common name.


Subject:  What is this bug from Southern Chile
Geographic location of the bug:  Chile, Region XI: Chile Chico: 46°43’31″S 71°43’31″W
Date: 03/23/2020
Time: 09:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this big bug in harsh, semi-desert south of Chile Chico in Region XI in the far south of Chile.
The bug was in the margins of the Rio Jeinimeni but I am sure it is a terrestrial that has fallen in and is not an aquatic insect.
The antennae on this sample were obviously broken but they must have been long, perhaps as long as the body, before they were damaged.
The obvious features are the 3.5 inch (10cm) length and the orange band across the thorax.
How you want your letter signed:  Jon

Stick Insect

Dear Jon,
This is a Stick Insect or Phasmid in the insect order Phasmida.  There is an image on Wikipedia of a mating pair that is identified as
Agathemera crassa.  It also resembles Agathemera claraziana, called Chinchemolles in Spanish, which is pictured on CalPhotos where it states:  ” ‘Chinchemolles’ hide under rocks during the day, and forage on plants at night. Many individuals have a very unpleasant odor, and sometimes one can find the hiding spots simply from the location of the odor.”  We believe we have the genus correct, but we will leave species identification to the experts.  Though it is very belated, we are tagging your submission as our Bug of the Month for March 2020.

Stick Insect

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for identifying this bug, which is probably the largest insect I have ever come across.
I can testify to the smell…
Thank you and best regards,

Subject:  What moth is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Date: 02/29/2020
Time: 04:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
This moth stopped by and stuck with me for an hour. Ive never seen a moth like it, and was super interested to know what it was? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie

Macroglossum errans

Dear Melanie,
We apologize for the long delay.  We had identified your Hawkmoth as
Macroglossum errans on Butterfly House before the world as we know it changed due to COVID-19, but we did not complete a posting.  This pretty little moth does not have a common name.  There are also some images on the Butterflies of a Dorrigo Garden and Moths site where it states:  “”Flight habit:  Nocturnal – Active at night including early evening.”

Macroglossum errans