Subject:  Hey Bugman
Geographic location of the bug:  Arizona
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 09:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’m filming in southern Arizona and came across this wasp (?) pouncing on a cricket. It had the most vibrant, cobalt blue coloring, almost metallic in its sheen. It was about 1.5” in length.
So tell me: what’s that bug?!
How you want your letter signed:  Tomás Arceo

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter and Cricket

Dear Tomás,
You had nearly every word in this predator’s name in your letter.  This is a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter,
Chlorion aerarium, and it is a marvelous addition to our Food Chain tag.  According to BugGuide:  “Females mass-provision several serial cells, each containing from 2 to 9 nymphs or adults of Gryllus pennsylvanicus. Prey are transported on the ground, venter-up, with the wasp’s mandibles grasping the antennae of the cricket.”
Please do us a favor in the future and submit your images using our standard form that you can access by clicking the Ask WTB? link on our site, though we in no way want to discourage you from submitting such excellent images via normal email channels.  Using our form makes it easier for us to create our postings in a uniform manner.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  It was in my couch
Date: 08/10/2018
Time: 09:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Please help me bc the bugs bite and and itch’s
How you want your letter signed: Lisa


Dear Lisa,
This is a Mosquito and your couch is not a Geographic Location.  According to Sciencing:  “Geographic location refers to a position on the Earth.”  Your couch might be in Alabama or it might be in Zanzibar.

Facebook Posting from Paula Di:  I’ve never seen a mosquito that looks like this! What part of the world is this from? Thank you

It’s on a couch.  More than that is pure speculation.  Ed. Note:  That is no dig to Paula Di, but rather support of the need for actual geographic locations to assist in our identification process.


Subject:  Stings
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Virginia
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 08:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This creature was in my house and stung my foot. It really hurt and caused some swelling. I typically don’t have bad reaction to stings so I just put some ice on spot and rubbed in some Benadryl cream.
How you want your letter signed:  Ed

Velvet Ant

Dear Ed,
Your image is quite blurry, but based on your description, we are relatively certain this is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp with a reportedly very painful sting.

Thank you. Yes, very painful.
I enjoy your site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dead Leaf Mantis?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pollock Pines, California
Date: 08/10/2018
Time: 03:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Bugman, we found this mantis in a pile of manzanita and other bush trimmings. It’s abdomen resembles a dead leaf, but is this a dead leaf mantis? Thanks in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  ~ John

Probably California Mantis

Dear ~ John,
This is an immature native Mantis in the genus
Stagmomantis, and we believe it is a California Mantis, Stagmomantis californicus, but we would not rule out that it is the very similar looking Bordered Mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as their ranges overlap in California.  Both species come in brown and green forms, and the color tends to vary based on where they are living.  Green individuals are often found on fresh green growth while brown individuals are better camouflaged on drier plants.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

You’re amazing. I knew it couldn’t be a dead leaf, but what I couldn’t think of anything else to call it!  We’ve only ever found green ones in Pollock Pines.  This brown one fit right in with the bush clippings.  Thank you for your time and ID.  We love finding Mantises.
~ John

Subject:  Scary looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  In ancient Pompeii
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 08:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have seen quite a few of these on holiday in Italy. This particular one is in the ruins of Pompeii but many were not. Could you attempt to identify I’d be interested to know what it is
How you want your letter signed:  George

Oriental Hornet

Dear George,
When we searched for Hornet sightings in Pompeii, we found this FlickR posting of an Oriental Hornet,
Vespa orientalis.  According to Encyclopedia of Life, the Oriental Hornet:  “is a social insect of the Vespidae family. It can be found in Southwest Asia, Northeast Africa, the island of Madagascar, and parts of Southern Europe. Oriental hornets have also been found in a few isolated locations such as Mexico due to human introduction. The Oriental hornet lives in seasonal colonies consisting of caste system dominated by a queen. The hornet builds its nests underground and communicates using sound vibrations. The hornet has a yellow stripe on its cuticle (exoskeleton) which can absorb sunlight to generate a small electrical potential, and it has been suggested that this might help supply energy for digging. The adult hornet eats nectar and fruits and scavenges for insects and animal proteins to feed to their young. Because they are scavengers, the hornets may also serve as a transmitter of disease following consumption infected plants. The hornets are a primary pest to honey bees, attacking bee colonies to obtain honey and animal proteins. The sting of an Oriental hornet can be quite painful to humans and some humans are allergic to stings.

Subject:  The things you find in vault toilets
Geographic location of the bug:  Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area – WY
Date: 08/10/2018
Time: 11:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little guy tummy up next to the latrine, and I was pondering if it was a tick, so I flipped it over and discovered a beautiful little beetle instead. Too broad to bring up in a search for black and white beetles. Any ideas? It was about the size of well used pencil eraser….
Thanks,  as always,
How you want your letter signed:  Tina in Wyoming

Two Spotted Stink Bug

Dear Tina in Wyoming,
You might have searched on the internet for an interminable amount of time for a “black and white beetle” because this is not a Beetle, but rather a True Bug.  Beetles and True Bugs have many diverging physical traits, but one of the easiest ways to distinguish them is by their mouths:  Beetles have mandibles for chewing, while True Bugs have a proboscis adapted for piercing and sucking.  The insect you have described as “beautiful” goes by the ignominious name Two Spotted Stink Bug, and individuals vary quite a bit in color, with some individuals having quite a bit of red (or orange or yellow) as well as black and white.  The Two Spotted Stink Bug is an important predator, and according to BugGuide:  “primarily preys on Colorado Potato Beetle and other chrysomelids ( but also on caterpillars)” and “each individual is capable of destroying an average of 231.5 Colorado potato beetle eggs during its nymphal development and 150 to 200 larvae during its lifetime,” though we don’t know how it is possible to destroy half an egg.

LOL, thank you for the information and the morning chuckle. One of my friends suggested it should be named