Subject: Beetle Moth Fly Thing
Location: Colorado
June 20, 2017 12:23 am
I came across this bug when I was walking my dog in a field and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s summer here and the bug was a little over an inch long. Any ideas??
Signature: Curious

Female Western Horse Fly

Dear Curious,
This is a female Western Horse Fly, identified by the gray thorax and the space between her eyes.  Only female Horse Flies are blood suckers, and though humans are not a normal host, a hungry opportunistic female Western Horse Fly might bite a person if no livestock are available.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: stripes and red legs
Location: coastal South Carolina USA
June 4, 2017 7:20 pm
Hi Bugman!
Thanks for the great website!
I took this photo of a cutie-pie with stripes and red legs on Memorial Day in my bed of native plants from coastal South Carolina. The primary flowers blooming nearby were Stokes aster and Lanceleaf coreopsis. I don’t recall ever seeing one before; could you please help identify it?
Thank you!
Warmest regards,
Signature: DJ

Cuckoo Bee

Dear DJ,
After some research, we believe this is a Cuckoo Bee in the subfamily Nomadinae.  We found several images on BugGuide that look similar.  Do you have any images of the front of the insect?  This BugGuide image of
Epeolus autumnalis, this BugGuide image of Epeolus scutellaris, and this BugGuide image of Triepeolus lunatus all look similar to your individual.  According to BugGuide:  “All lack a pollen-transporting apparatus and many are strikingly wasp-like in appearance. The apex of the metasoma of females is modified for placing their eggs within host nests” and “All are parasites in the nests of other bees. They enter the nests of their hosts when the host is absent and lay their eggs into the wall of the cell.  Females produce many more eggs than their hosts and these are very small.”  We are post-dating your submission to go live to our site later in the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much! Yes! You have solved the mystery!
Unfortunately the photo I submitted was the only one I took (lesson learned for next time), but after receiving your message I reviewed images I found searching the Internet for “Epeolus” and I’ve located a few with red legs, matching markings, and the same antennae and they appear to match-up very nicely with my photo.
It is especially interesting the specimen is a bee as my husband and I have a hive in our backyard we manage as urban/hobby beekeepers here in Charleston.  I have been reading and studying to try to learn as much as possible to help promote the use of native plants to sustain bees and all native pollinators. Recently I accepted an invitation to make a presentation about the topic and I’ve been keeping notes about special characteristics or unusual behaviors of various bees that I learned from reading “Attracting Native Pollinators” guide by The Xerces Society.  Since some of the folks attending are also National Audubon Society members, I planned to mention the similar behavior the cuckoo bee has to the cuckoo bird; however, I am just elated that now I can include a photo of one from my own yard!
I really appreciate your kindness taking time researching/responding to my question and I’m delighted you and your colleagues will be taking a well deserved holiday soon. Enjoy!
Thanks a buzz-zillion! : )
All my best,
DJ/Debbie Fisher

Subject: Unknown Beetle
Location: Oregon
June 3, 2017 6:59 pm
I can’t find a match to the flower leaf eating beetle, can you help.
I think it’s pinkish with three black stripes.
Signature: Buehler

Leaf Beetle

Dear Buehler,
Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your Leaf Beetle might be
Calligrapha californica.  According to BugGuide:  “Host plants are Coreopsis, Bidens and Ambrosia – all composites.”  We will be post-dating your submission to go live to our site later in the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help
Location: Vermont
June 3, 2017 8:06 am
Please tell me what this ugly thing is ..
Signature: Jennifer Emery

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear Jennifer,
We just posted another image of a Clavate Tortoise Beetle that was compared to “a robot gummy bear.”  Your submission is being post-dated to go live to our site later in the month when our editorial staff is on holiday.

Subject: Weird caterpillar
Location: Delray Beach, FL
June 6, 2017 6:32 am
I have a video of an odd caterpillar we saw on a vacation last week, and am curious what it is!
The motion is very compelling so I have included both a video and a still photo.
Signature: Abbe

Oleander Caterpillar

Dear Abbe,
This is an Oleander Caterpillar.  It will eventually become a Polka Dot Wasp Moth.  We are post-dating your submission to go live to our site later in the month when our editorial staff is away on holiday.

Thanks! The moth is pretty cool looking too.

Subject: Black and white bugs help
Location: Portage, Michigan, USA
June 4, 2017 11:27 am
Hello, my name is Krystina and you all helped identify what was a harmless bug. But I’m back with a new bug me and my friends found in the backyard. Thank you so much for your time and knowledge!
Signature: Krystina

Eyed Elater

Dear Krystina,
We are glad you are returning for a new identification.  This is a harmless Eyed Elater, the largest Click Beetle in North America.  Click Beetles are quite amusing.  Unlike most beetles that struggle if they find themselves on their backs, the Eyed Elater and other Click Beetles can snap their bodies, propelling themselves into the air so that they land on their feet.  What appear to be eyes are actually false eyespots that will potentially frighten away a predator that thinks a tasty morsel is actually a larger threat.  Dr. Kent Hovind’s Blog has a children’s story that explains those interesting aspects of the Eyed Elater.  Because our editorial staff will be away from the office later in the month, we are post-dating your submission to go live while we are on holiday.