Subject: Soldier Beetle?
Location: Southwestern CT
June 13, 2016 11:10 am
This beetle is feeding on the flowers of Bishop’s Weed (agapotum). It is not chewing the petals but appears to be searching for tiny insects.
Is it some kind of soldier beetle?
Signature: Susan in CT

Flower Longhorn: Trigonarthris proxima

Flower Longhorn: Trigonarthris proxima

Dear Susan in CT,
This is NOT a Soldier Beetle, and we believe we have correctly identified your Flower Longhorn as
Trigonarthris proxima thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Adults take nectar and/or pollen at flowers.”  This is a new species for our site.

Thank you so much for your quick response.  The coloring wasn’t quite right for the soldier beetle but I didn’t know what else it could be.  Will look up Flower Longhorn.
I only saw one of them on one afternoon.  It hasn’t returned.
Susan

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Friendly fly from Manitoba
Location:  Pacey Lake, Manitoba, Canada
June 12, 2016
Hi Daniel.  I haven’t posted on this site for a while, so I thought I might share this one that I photographed a few days ago. The ‘smiley face’ image is a surprisingly common theme in insect decoration; especially if you have an active imagination. This, however, is by far the most perfect and obvious that I have ever seen. It’s a Marsh Fly (Sciomyzidae: Tetanocera plebeja), sometimes called snail-killing flies because their larvae are parasitoids of snails. Cheers. Karl

Marsh Fly

Marsh Fly

Hi Karl,
We were away from the office when you sent your wonderful image.  There was no Marsh Fly category on the site, so a new category was created to accommodate your awesome image of a smiley faced Marsh Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “‘Noting the pattern on the wings is the quickest means of determining this common and widespread species.’ — Bill Murphy”

Subject: Help please! :3
Location: NC
June 14, 2016 3:20 pm
I love entomology and have recently identified many buggys! Including a eastren hercules beetle! But this guy has me stumped!!! He can fly and he is pretty big. I’m hoping you can tell me what it is! Thanks!
Signature: Fiz

Red Shouldered Pine Borer

Red Shouldered Pine Borer

Dear Fiz,
This gorgeous Longicorn is a Red Shouldered Pine Borer,
Stictoleptura canadensis, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide where it states:  “The normal colouration of Stictoleptura c. canadensis (Olivier) is with banded antennae (male and female). Rarely the antennae are all black.… Christopher Majka, 31 January, 2013.”  Your individual appears to have all black antennae.  Some individuals  have mostly red elytra or wing covers.

Thank you! I was so confused!!! I can easily identity most bugs but this one gave me a time! Thanks again! 🙂

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Metallic Green Bee or Sweat Bee
Location: Toronto Canada
June 16, 2016 9:39 am
I have had a nest in my garden for about 6 years (it is a no dig zone). Thought I would share a photo with you. Great site! Have an awesome summer.
Signature: Scott Morrow

Metallic Green Sweat Bee and Nest

Metallic Green Sweat Bee and Nest

Dear Scott,
We love your image of a Metallic Sweat Bee hovering near her nest so much we are going to feature it this month.  According to BugGuide, Sweat Bees in the family Halictidae are:  “typically ground-nesters, with nests formed in clay soil, sandy banks of streams, etc. Most species are polylectic (collecting pollen from a variety of unrelated plants).”  We also want to commend you on your “no dig zone” which will protect the young that are developing in the nest.  We wish more of our readers were as sensitive to the environment as you are.

Wow…i am honoured!!
There is a ‘but’ though…I have been seeing small red and black bees landing on the nest site. To the best of my research they may be trying to attack the nest of the green bees (cleptoparasites I think they were called). I don’t like to alter how real life happens but I love my green bees…any suggestions?
Scott

Hi Scott
We are sorry to hear about your disappointment.  We are hoping you are able to provide an image of the “mall red and black bees.”  They sound like they might be members of the genus
Sphecodes, based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Cleptoparasites, usually of other Halictinae.”

My apologies if it came across as being disappointed. I am very happy in fact.
I will try to get a picture but they are quite small and fast to fly away.
Thanks again.
Scott

Hi Scott,
Sometimes electronic communication leads to misunderstandings.  We interpreted your love for your green bees to mean you were disappointed that they were being Cleptoparasitized by the black and red relatives.  On a positive note, we doubt that all of the Green Sweat Bee young will be lost.  We eagerly await a potential image of the Cleptoparasite.

Update:  June 24, 2016
Hi Daniel
This is the best I managed to get. The Green Bee guard is blurred but can be seen in the centre of the photo.
Even though I love my Green Bees I will not harm or harass the red ones as this is what nature does.
Be well and have a great buggy summer.
Scott

Cleptoparasite Bee

Cleptoparasitic Cuckoo Bee

Hi Scott,
Thanks so much for the update.  We are confident that the red bee is a Sweat Bee in the genus
Sphecodes which is well represented on BugGuide, though we would not entirely rule out that it might be a Cuckoo Bee, Holcopasites calliopsidis, based on the images posted to Beautiful North American Bees.  That would take far more skill than our editorial staff possesses, though according to BugGuide it is a diminutive “5-6 mm”.  We will contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion.  While we feel for your affection for the Metallic Green Sweat Bees, we do not believe the presence of the red cleptoparasitic  Bees will decimate the population of the green bees.  Nature has a way of balancing out populations, and when food is plentiful, populations flourish.  Your “no dig zone” is diversifying in its inhabitants.  To add further information on cleptoparasitism, we turn to BugGuide where it defines:  “cleptoparasite (also kleptoparasite) noun – an organism that lives off of another by stealing its food, rather than feeding on it directly. (In some cases this may result in the death of a host, for example, if the larvae of the host are thereby denied food.”

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Daniel:
The cleptoparasite is a Nomada sp. cuckoo bee.  The host bee is Agapostemon virescens, by the way.  Never seen a turret on their nest entrance that was so tall!  Nomada is a genus in the family Apidae (formerly Anthophoridae).
Eric

Ed. Note:  When we first responded to the Cleptoparasite response, we suspected we might be dealing with a Cuckoo Bee and we prepared a response with BugGuide quotes including “Wasp-like, often red or red and black and often with yellow integumental markings” and “cleptoparasites of various bees, primarily Andrena but also Agapostemon and Eucera (Synhalonia) (these are usually larger than the Andrena cleptoparasites). (J.S. Ascher, 23.iv.2008)  males mimic the specific odors of the host females and patrol the host nest site.”  We were going to console Scott with the information that his Green Sweat Bees were most likely being scoped out by male Cuckoo Bees who had not net mated with a female, the real cleptoparasite.  Next time we will trust our first impression.

 

Subject: what is this bug ?
Location: valencia Spain
June 17, 2016 6:38 am
I found this morning on pepples in our garden …it is dead….it measures 5 cms.. its has a black body , prominent yellow markings on body and yellow head long brown wings and very hairy black legs… we live in Spain… any ideas??
Many thanks
Signature: Mandy

Mammoth Wasp

Mammoth Wasp

Dear Mandy,
This gorgeous creature is a Mammoth Wasp,
Scolia flavifrons, and in our opinion, they are much prettier alive than dead.

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Virginia
June 17, 2016 1:38 pm
Hi,
Do you know what type of bug this is? I saw it on my sidewalk. Thank you!
Signature: Concerned

Decapitated Head of a Tile Horned Prionus

Decapitated Head of a Tile Horned Prionus

Dear Concerned,
This is the disembodied head of a Tile Horned Prionus, a large beetle with a very nutritious body.  We suspect a bird or other predator ate the body and left the unappetizing head for you to discover on the sidewalk.  Here is an image of an intact male Tile Horned Prionus.