Subject: Black bug with wings and 6 legs
Geographic location of the bug: Denton texas
Time: 03:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Just curious as to what this is.
How you want your letter signed: Justin
The large insect in your images is some species of Hymenopteran, most likely a species of solitary Bee, and it appears to be crawling with Mites. We searched for information on Bees and Mites and we discovered a site, Bee Mite ID, that can be used to identify the Mites, but better images are needed and input from someone with far more skills at identifying mites than we have, like an acarist, would be helpful. We found an image on BugGuide of a Bumble Bee with Mites, another image on BugGuide of an Orchard Bee with Mites, and an image of a Mason Bee with Mites also on BugGuide. Some Mites that infest insects and arthropods are detrimental to the health of the Bees and the Nests, while other Mites only use insects to move from place to place, a phenomenon known as Phoresy, and those Mites, even when numerous, are not detrimental to the host. We will write to Eric Eaton in the hope of getting a more specific identification for you. Was this Bee able to fly?
Yes, a mason bee covered in mites. I am no mite expert and am not sure whether they are beneficial to the bee, detrimental to the bee, or of no consequence at all. Looks like even mite experts are still trying to sort them out:
I wish I could be more helpful.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Facebook Posting by Lisa Phillips: My Mason bee blocks got infested with these mites. Built new blocks and burned the old ones.
Thank you so much for the quick response. I’m not sure if it was able to fly. It did not try to fly away when i walked up to it so i am assuming that it couldnt. Unfortunately those are the only two pictures that i got of it. I really do appreciate you finding this out for me. I had never seen anything like it. The only thing i could think of is that it was a bee or some sort of wasp with eggs or babies. I remember seeing a spider with the babies on its back. Thank you again.
Hi again Justin,
The spider you saw is probably a species of Wolf Spider. The female drags around her egg sac and carries she carries her spiderlings for a short time so they have time to disperse throughout her range. We have been thinking about your sighting. We suspect that it would be difficult for so many Mites to crawl on an adult Mason Bee, but a newly metamorphosed individual would be most vulnerable up until the time of its maiden flight.