From the monthly archives: "July 2020"

Subject:  Botfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Byron center MI
Date: 07/19/2020
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I believe this is a type of botfly?
How you want your letter signed:  Evan

Rabbit Bot Fly

Hi Evan,
You are correct that this is a Bot Fly, and thanks to this image, we believe it is
Cuterebra abdominalis which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the host is cottontail rabbits.  Your images are awesome.

Rabbit Bot Fly

Subject:  Bumble Bee mimicking hoverfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central New York
Date: 07/16/2020
Time: 05:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
I was startled by what I thought was a bumblebee in my bedroom, until I started to scoop it up in a glass and carry it outside, and I realized it was something like a monstrous horsefly. After some internet searching, I see it is a hover fly, but cannot seem to find this species. For scale, the wires are half an inch apart.
Thanks for any help!
How you want your letter signed:  Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me

Rodent Bot Fly

Dear Shoo Fly,
This is actually a Rodent Bot Fly.

Subject:  Mystery butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Date: 07/15/2020
Time: 11:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Dispatch No. 3 from the Albany Pine Bush, with a real stumper (to me at least). Since you were so delighted with my Karner Blue butterflies a couple months ago, you’ll be happy to hear the second generation is now on the wing and the place is lousy with them. Everywhere you look, there is that flutter of blue (and sometimes they even hold still for us photographers!)
But Karner blues are old hat–this year I’ve been collecting hairstreaks. In addition to the Gray Hairstreak, which I’ve seen before, I’ve seen several Banded Hairstreaks and Coral Hairstreaks, new to me this year! Which leads me to my mystery: I stooped to photograph a butterfly a good distance away on a bush, and realized that although it looks like a hairstreak (and is about the same size), its markings don’t match anything in my field guide. (Naturally it disappeared before I could get any closer; the weird and rare ones never let me get a good photo, though as a rule I have found that hairstreaks are pretty patient about having a camera shoved in their face.)
For context, this was in an open area, gently sloping up from the trail, full of spotted knapweed, New Jersey tea (both very popular), and various other low grasses and bushes. There were a few other hairstreaks in the area, and a ton of Karner blues.
Any idea who my mystery hairstreak(?) was?
P.S. I’d be glad to send you photos of my other finds, if you’d like!
How you want your letter signed:  Susan B.

Possibly Eastern Tailed Blue

Hi Susan,
Have you entertained the possibility that this might be an Eastern Tailed Blue which is pictured on BugGuide.  That is our best guess at this time.

Subject:  Bee??
Geographic location of the bug:  Sw washington
Date: 07/10/2020
Time: 01:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What the heck is this?
How you want your letter signed:  Rochelle

Clearwing Moth

Dear Rochelle,
This is not a Bee, but your mistake is understandable.  This is actually a Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae, and many members of the family are very effective Wasp mimics.  We believe this might be an American Hornet Moth which is pictured on BugGuide, and the long ovipositor indicates this is a female.

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Logan County, KY
Date: 07/10/2020
Time: 07:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Interesting beetle on a passionflower leaf around 9:30 am
How you want your letter signed:  Cindy Gupton

Banded Netwinged Beetle

Dear Cindy,
We are impressed that you identified this Banded Net-Winged Beetle as a Beetle because it is frequently mistaken for a moth.



Subject:  Lacewing?? Not sure
Geographic location of the bug:  Puslinch, Ontario, canada
Date: 07/10/2020
Time: 11:50 PM EDT:  We don’t often see really large bugs in our area. And I’ve never seen this bug before around our property. It was just sitting on the side of our gazebo in the sun for hours and hours. I thought it might be a lacewing of sorts but it’s antennae don’t look right as this guy has the feathered type rather than the clubbed.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen Gray


Dear Karen,
This is a Fishfly in the genus
Chauliodes.  Its feathered antennae distinguish it from its larger relative, a Dobsonfly.