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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Furry large fly?
Location: Washington state
May 18, 2017 6:34 pm
This bug circles people really fast, especially hiking in Seattle area, spring through summer. No interest in dog or horse. Hasn’t tried to bite me just circles like crazy. Really loud buzzing, size of a nickel. Sometimes the body is yellow instead of orange. Super fuzzy body. What attracts it, seems like scented deodorants? Hair shampoo? I just want it to let me be.
Signature: Make it stop!

Bumble Bee Carnage

Dear Make it stop!,
We cannot, but you obviously did.  This appears to be a beneficial native Bumble Bee, perhaps the Hunt’s Bumble Bee that is pictured on BugGuide, and it appears to be very dead.  By your own admission, it does not bother dogs nor horses, and it seems the worst thing you can accuse it of is of buzzing really loud and flying in circles.  We have no choice but to tag this as Unnecessary Carnage and we would strongly urge you to refrain from hiking if you can’t deal with the wildlife.

Facebook Comment from Cindy
This might very well be a troll. Even if it isn’t, yes that’s a horrible thing to do. Poor Bee. 🙁

Facebook Comment from Heather
What kind of a**hole kills a bumblebee?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brood X Cicadas emerging 4 years early
Location: Silver spring, MD
May 17, 2017 12:28 pm
Our cicadas aren’t supposed to emerge till 2021, but we are being flooded right now. I’ve never understood why some broods have 13 year cycles, other broods have 17 year cycles. Is it possible that our population of Brood X cicada, which last emerged in 2004, is converting from a 17-year cycle to a 13 year cycle? Is there a precedence for this?
Signature: Divya

Periodical Cicada: Brood X straggler

Dear Divya,
Thank you for sending in your marvelous images and for posing such an interesting theoretical question.  First thing is that not all Periodical Cicadas are the same species.  According to BugGuide, there are at least seven species in North America, with three of them being on a 17 year cycle and four on a 13 year cycle.  More northern species have a 17 year cycle while southern species are on a 13 year cycle.  According to Cicada Mania, 2017 will see the emergence of Brood VI, but there is a note that reads:  “If you’re in VA, MD, DC, DE, IN, TN, & OH head over to our Brood X straggler page.”  There is a further note that reads:  “Brood X stragglers are emerging in Tennessee (around Knoxville), Washington D.C., Virginia (counties around D.C.), Maryland (counties around D.C.), Ohio (around Cincinnati), Delaware, Indiana, & Kentucky! These stragglers are emerging 4 years ahead of time. HOT weather this week will cause even more to emerge, and they may begin to chorus (synchronized singing) as well.  Note: because of the significant number of cicadas emerging ahead of time, this might be an acceleration event. Periodical cicada accelerations occur when a significant group of an established brood emerge in years ahead of the main brood, and sometimes the accelerated group are able to reproduce and create what is essentially a new brood. Brood VI was likely part of Brood X at one point of time1. We’ll have to see if the Brood X stragglers are able to survive predation, and reproduce in significant numbers to sustain future populations.”   We would not discount global warming as a contributing factor in the acceleration.  We are featuring your submission on our home page banner.

Periodical Cicada: Brood X straggler

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an ichneumon wasp?
Location: Austin, TX
April 30, 2017 8:49 am
What is this bug? Finding them inside the house this spring trying to get out…hanging around the windows…do they sting/bite? Any house structure damage concerns?
Signature: Stephen

Grass Carrying Wasp

Dear Stephen,
Based on BugGuide images, we are pretty confident that this is a Grass Carrying Wasp,
Isodontia mexicana.  According to BugGuide:  “Taken from the Internet Reference below (Penn State): The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks. In Pennsylvania, Isodontia mexicana typically produce two generations per year.  Remarks These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  We have many more images in our archives of the nests of Grass Carrying Wasps because they are so frequently found in window tracks.  Solitary wasps are generally not aggressive, and rarely sting humans, though that possibility does exist.  Since they are harmless, and since it appears one individual in the images you attached might be dead from unnatural causes, we are tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage.  Because Grass Carrying Wasps are emerging from nests formed in window tracks now that spring has arrived, and because we suspect other homemakers might be experiencing similar sightings, we are tagging this posting as the Bug of the Month for May 2017.

Grass Carrying Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cecropia Moth
Location: Lompoc, California
April 14, 2017 2:24 pm
We found one of these moths, figured out the name through your page, but it doesn’t seem to want to fly away. We noticed these egg looking things on its body. What are they? Should we keep it safe in a terrarium? If so, what do they eat?
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Susan

Ceanothus Silkmoth

Dear Susan,
Though this resembles a Cecropia Moth, that is an eastern species and this is a western relative, the Ceanothus Silkmoth.  Male Giant Silkmoths have more feathery antennae as that is the scent organ that allows him to locate a female through the pheromones she releases, so we believe this individual is a female.  Giant Silkmoths do not feed as adults, and they live for about a week on stored body fat.  Flying takes energy, and a female filled with eggs is much heavier, so she is reluctant to fly unnecessarily.  Often a newly emerged female will release some unfertilized eggs before attempting to fly, and we suspect that is what you have documented in your image.  Though the eggs pictured on Liang Insects are more brown, it is possible that freshly laid eggs are lighter in color.  If you keep her in a terrarium, make sure it has a screen lid.  She may attract a mate.  You might want to consider releasing her and letting nature take its course.  Again, she cannot eat. 

Ceanothus Silkmoth, presumably with eggs.

Ed. Note:  Since Ceanothus Silkmoths are currently in flight on the west coast, we will feature this posting for a spell.

Head and Antennae of Ceanothus Silkmoth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unidentified insect
Location: Phoenix, AZ
April 14, 2017 3:36 pm
Hi Bugman,
I was in Phoenix, AZ last week (first week of April) and found what was left of an insect in the grass. I think a bird ate the abdomen of this insect? Maybe the wing spread was 2″? I tried to identify it by looking at pictures on line, but I have struck out thus far. Can you help me identify this interesting looking insect?
Thank you,
Signature: Dawna

What Ate the Iron Cross Blister Beetle???

Dear Dawna,
We always love receiving and featuring our first Iron Cross Blister Beetle from the genus
Tegrodera each spring, and this year that distinction goes to your submission, however we generally are thrilled to receive a living example.  We are quite curious what ate the fatty abdomen on your individual and left behind the harder elytra, legs and front of the body.  We often receive images of Prionids and Cicadas that have been eaten in a similar manner, and we suspect birds are the predators in question.  The curious thing about your Blister Beetle is that it is a member of a family that is known for the ability to secrete the compound cantharidin that causes blistering in human skin and that could make horses quite ill if they ingest Blister Beetles while eating hay.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination