Subject: Green mini ? fly
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
September 30, 2016 6:31 pm
I’m in the west coast tropics of Mexico. You published my picture of a tailless whip scorpion a few years back. I’m amazed by the diversity of new bugs that show up after each rainstorm down here.
Every time I show a new bug to a local friend, he just shrugs his shoulders (if he’s not terrified by the bug :-)) and says nueva lluvia nuevo animal!
Anyway, this one is the only example I have ever seen, so I hope you can let me know what it is.
Thanks!
Signature: Steve in the tropics of Nayarit.

Free-Living Hemipteran: Planthopper or Other???

Free-Living Hemipteran: Planthopper or Other???

Dear Steve,
This is a Free-Living Hemipteran from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, a group that includes Cicadas, Leafhopper, Treehoppers and Planthoppers.  Though it resembles a small Cicada, we believe it is a Planthopper in the superfamily Fulgoroidea.  We will continue to research its identity.

Free-Living Hemipteran

Free-Living Hemipteran

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found a ton of these on kitchen tile, killed many but can’t identify in order to take care of problem
Location: Parker, CO
October 1, 2016 5:48 pm
Hi, I live in Parker, Colorado. Last night when I was cleaning the kitchen I noticed what looked like black crumbs or pepper on the floor. Went to wipe it up and it was actually a throng of incredibly tiny black bugs. I’ve noticed several just roaming around in the kitchen since I cleaned that spot up, and I want to be sure get rid of all of them.
Signature: Brett M.

Springtail

Springtail

Dear Brett,
This is an Elongate Bodied Springtail, a benign creature that can become a nuisance when they are plentiful indoors.  They are generally found in conjunction with damp conditions.

Subject: Tiger Bee?
Location: Hialeah Florida
October 1, 2016 8:20 pm
Oct. 1 I noted a bee that behaved differently from the usual honey bees I see. It spent a lot of time nectaring on a single lantana blossom, then flew only a few inches to the nearest blossom, and stayed on that one quite a while, too.
When I looked through the zoom lens I saw that it was definitely not a honey bee- with much larger eyes, a white ‘nose’, and no ‘hair’ on the back, which was striped instead of solid color, and it did not seem to be picking up pollen.
Is it perhaps some kind of leafcutter bee? It was very pretty and made me think of a tiger’s coloration.
Signature: Curious in Florida

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Curious in Florida,
This is not a Bee, but rather a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group that contains many members that mimic stinging bees and wasps for protection.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Palpada and according to BugGuide:  “Closely related to Eristalis but usually more colorful on the thorax and/or abdomen.”  While several species in the genus are found in Florida and look similar, we believe the closest visual match on BugGuide is Palpada vinetorum, and according to BugGuide:  “A robust syrphid, (typical of genus Palpada), yellowish-brown with gray bands on thorax. Legs reddish or yellowish, femora darker. Hind tibiae thick, arc-shaped. Wings slightly darkened.”

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity!
After I sent the ID request I wondered if perhaps it was a fly pretending to be a bee (I now have a mental image of flies dressing up as bees for Halloween and going around with tiny sacks to collect nectar). It sure looks like the Palpada vinetorum in the BugGuide pics. You are amazing. :^)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Challenge to our Readers:  Help us identify this striking looking Fly

Subject: Giant Malaysian Fly
Location: Malaysia
October 2, 2016 8:03 am
Hi,
I’ve seen this fly on occasion and am unable to identify it. It’s the largest fly I’ve ever seen, around the size of a large deer fly, around 1.5 inches in size. Though I think I’ve even seen as big as 2 inches.
They have shiny, bluish backs, and about 1/4 of the end of their abdomen is yellow. They are generally slow.
Signature: Alex

Horse Fly, we believe

Horse Fly, we believe

Dear Alex,
We have not had any luck finding similar looking images online, but we believe this is a female Horse Fly in the family Tabanidae.  Interestingly, our searches did bring up images of a “gold butt” Horse Fly that was captured in 1981 in Australia and has recently been named after pop diva Beyonce.  According to Asian Scientist:  “A previously un-named species of horse fly with golden hair on its lower abdomen has been named in honor of pop diva, Beyoncé – a member of the former group Destiny’s Child.  AsianScientist (Jan. 13, 2012) – A previously un-named species of horse fly with golden hair on its lower abdomen has been named in honor of pop diva, Beyoncé – a member of the former group Destiny’s Child, that recorded the 2001 hit single, Bootylicious. According to the Australian National Insect Collection researcher responsible for officially ‘describing’ the fly as Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae, CSIRO’s Bryan Lessard, the fly’s spectacular gold color makes it the ‘all time diva of flies.'”  The site also notes:  “‘It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honor of the performer Beyoncé as well as giving me the chance to demonstrate the fun side of taxonomy – the naming of species,’ Mr Lessard said.”  Weekly World News also picked up the story and notes:  “CANBERRA, Australia — A newly discovered horse fly in Australia was so ‘bootylicious’ with its golden-haired butt, that entomologists named it: Beyonce.  Previously published results from Bryan Lessard, a 24-year-old researcher at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, were recently announced on the species that had been sitting in a fly collection since it was captured in 1981 – the same year pop diva Beyonce was born.”  Though your fly shares the striking gold butt, your individuals blue body and black wings make it an even more striking looking fly.  We hope our readers will take up this challenge and write to us with their findings.

Hi Daniel!
I appreciate the quick reply!  I did a Google search with the “gold butt” Horse fly name, and saw what you’re referring to.  It’s similar in appearance, but not identical.  I don’t know if that means they’re related?  The main difference is that the fly I found is completely hairless.   If you guys want, I can capture one (next time I see one… I see them once every few months) and send it to you.   I sometimes find them dead, and can prepare a specimen for you (if you let me know how. 🙂 ).
Thanks!

Hi again Alex,
Let’s let our readership attempt to identify your fly before we resort to capturing a specimen.

Subject: Beautiful katydid and an elongated long-lawed orbweaver?
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
October 1, 2016 1:29 pm
Hi Bugman,
I’ve had the immense pleasure of working in and around many streams this past summer. You can imagine some of the lovelies I got the opportunity to see! This is Nova Scotia, so we don’t get a whole lot of exotic beauties here ;-), but I’ve always got my eyes peeled. I wanted to share two of the critters I found in my travels. The first I’m hoping to confirm, but I suspect it is an elongated long-jawed orbweaver. I ran into many of the plainer looking long-jaws in and around the culverts and bridges, but this one was different and was not sitting in that typical ‘straightened’ position. The pattern on his or her abdomen is simply gorgeous.
The second photo is of a katydid I spotted hanging out on the ground feasting on something (didn’t notice that part until after I coaxed it onto my hand and it shoved a foot in its mouth and drooled on me, haha). I simply love the angle and the great view of his eyes so I wanted it to go forth into the universe, should I be lucky enough to get this post seen. Forget all the fantastic work experience I got – the bugs I got to see and hold were the highlight of my field work.
Fun notes: People get insanely scared of the massive amounts of incredibly well-fed argiopes in the marsh grasses and it’s hilarious to watch them screech…until a large black wasp creature lands on you and then you scream like a little girl too (which turns out to also be hilarious in hindsight)
It’s a very sad affair when you do not have your camera in reach and you run into an amazing six-spotted fishing spider FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME in your life. I mean, there are dreams of college graduation and sports cars, but the first six-spotted fishing spider and he’s actively fishing, but no camera… *cry*
Cheers!
Signature: NatureGirl

Katydid

Katydid

Dear NatureGirl,
Thanks so much for your wonderfully enthusiastic submission.  We believe your Katydid may be a Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid,
Scudderia furcata, which is pictured on BugGuide, but we are not certain.  Your Orbweaver is a Long-Jawed Orbweaver in the genus Tetragnatha.  According to BugGuide:  “These spiders spin circular (orb) webs, mostly in the horizontal plane, often just inches above the surface of water where they can intercept emerging insects like midges, mayflies, and stoneflies” and “Larger species near water, especially along the shores of rivers and streams. Smaller species in fields and meadows.”  Yes, large Argiopes are scary looking, but perfectly harmless, though large individuals might bite if carelessly handled.  We are sorry to hear about missing getting an image of a Six Spotted Fishing Spider, so we are linking to some marvelous images from our archives.

Longjawed Orbweaver

Longjawed Orbweaver

Subject: Tennessee Bug
Location: Middle Tennessee
September 30, 2016 10:34 pm
I found this bug in the back room at work. It is usually rather warm back there and filled with spiders. I haven’t seen this one before. I’m curious to know exactly what it is.
Signature: Kent

Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug

Dear Kent,
Your predatory Assassin Bug is
Microtomus purcis based on images posted to BugGuide where its habitat is described as:  “under bark.”  Are you near a woods or is your jobsite made of wood?  It might have been living between wooden slats before accidentally finding its way into the back room.  Like other Assassin Bugs, it might bite if provoked.