From the monthly archives: "June 2021"

Subject:  What is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Pennsylvania
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 07:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

This is a Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Darapsa myron, and you can compare your individual to this BugGuide image. 

Subject:  What ARE you?!?
Geographic location of the bug:  Montserrat, British West Indies
Date: 05/26/2021
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We are a tropical island. It’s almost 8 inches across from antennae, end to end. Discovered on my kitchen floor in the middle of the night.
How you want your letter signed:  Gretchen Hosbach

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Gretchen,
We are catching up on some unanswered requests and we decided to post your submission.  This shy, nocturnal hunter is a Tailless Whipscorpion.  They do not have venom and they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Because they will hunt and eat spiders and cockroaches, they are often tolerated indoors.

Subject:  Is this a Blinded Sphinx Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Western PA
Date: 06/05/2021
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi.  This guy has been hanging out on our garage for a couple days.  I think it is a Sphinx moth – specifically a Blinded Sphinx moth. Am I correct?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Cheryl

Small Eyed Sphinx

Dear Cheryl,
This is a Small Eyed Sphinx, not a Blinded Sphinx.  The two moths are in the same genus, so they are closely related and share physical characteristics.

Subject:  Please ID Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Powell, Ohio
Date: 06/12/2021
Time: 09:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this on my hat On June 1. I’m on 3 acres of mixed woods – maple, black and honey locust, black walnut, lots of dead ash, some sassafras. Can you identify this for me? Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  I have no idea what you mean by that. My name is Molly.

Eyed Elater

Dear Molly,
This magnificent Click Beetle is called an Eyed Elater.  What appear to be big, black eyes are actually markings on the thorax called eyespots and they are thought to fool predators into thinking the Eyed Elater is a large predator.

Thank you so much, Daniel. I did some reading, they really are fascinating!
I do appreciate your help!

Subject:  Potential invasive?
Geographic location of the bug:  Palouse WA
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 01:53 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found three of these in my house, was looking online to see if they were a native species but the only bugs I could find that resembled them were native to the southern states (texas, arizona etc)
How you want your letter signed:  Problems on the Palouse?

Black Corsair

This is a Black Corsair, Melanolestes picipes, and it is a native species, but Washington does not have any sightings according to BugGuide, however, that is only an indication that there have not been any submissions from Washington.  Exercise caution with the Black Corsair.  It can bite and the bite is reported to be painful.  According to BugEric:  “Be careful that you don’t ever mindlessly swat one of these insects if it lands on you.  the defensive bites of assassin bugs in general are excruciating, and the odds of being bitten go up when the Black Corsair comes to town.  Because they are attracted to lights, and run and fly with great speed and afility, the males may find their way indoors.”  According to BugGuide:  “Can inflict a painful bite but does not feed on blood and does not transmit diseases.”

Subject:  long-bodied yellow-orange fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Buffalo NY, USA
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I’ve never seen anything like these before. Dozens of them hovering over a patch of leaf litter with white fungus in a heavily shaded corner of our yard. They move around constantly and were not seen to land. Body length about 2.5cm.
How you want your letter signed:  JR

Yellow Soldier Fly

Dear JR,
These yellow flies reminded Daniel of some flies he saw in Ohio several times in June that he believed were Soldier Flies in the family Stratiomyidae, and a web search led to Red Worm Composting and an article entitled Yellow Soldier Flies Revisited where it states:  “As if this wasn’t cool enough, today when I walked by a bag of (compostable) used cat litter material – waiting to get added to my new litter vermicomposting system – I noticed a bunch of these large, yellow flies hovering around the bag.”  Eventually Dr. Stephen Marshal, at the University of Guelph identified them as probably
Ptecticus trivittatus.  We located a matching image on BugGuide.

Yellow Soldier Fly

Dear Daniel,
Thanks very much for the prompt response. Yes, that’s a match!
Much appreciated. Best wishes,
John Ringland