insects
Location: Guinea, West Africa
November 18, 2010 4:13 pm
Photo 1. This is the funniest bug I’ve ever seen. It is NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. It couldn’t fly, but maybe because it was injured. We saw it during dry season.

Handmaiden Moth

Photos 2 and 3. This beetle was also seen during the dry season. Its head is like that of a locust and it had big pinchers. It was flightless.
Signature: Gabriel

Longicorn Beetle

Hi Gabriel,
We believe the moth is one of the Arctiid Moths.  We will try to send the image to an expert in Arctiids named Julian Donahue in the hope that he can provide a species identification.  The Beetle is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  They are commonly called Longicorns.

Longicorn Beetle

More identifications courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Gabriel:
I believe the longicorn is probably Phryneta aurocincta (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Phrynetini). It is widely distributed through west and central Africa.  The moth looks like it could be Amata (=Syntomis) alicia, an Arctiid in the subfamily Ctenuchiinae.  It apparently occurs in north, east and south Africa, but I wasn’t able to confirm that west Africa is also in its range.  It seems the Ctenuchiinae are known as handmaidens in Africa, and Amata alicia has the delightful common name Maid Alice (perhaps also Heady Maiden).  Another possibility could be A. tomasina, which definitely occurs in West Africa and looks quite similar to the posted photo in some illustrations, but overall doesn’t appear to be as close a match. Anyway, I think that is probably the correct genus. Hopefully Julian Donahue can nail it down. Regards.  Karl

Thanks Karl.

Julian Donahue confirms Karl’s identification
November 21, 2010
Daniel,
Appears to be in the genus Amata (placed in Syntomis by Hampson in 1898), close to alicia Butler, 1876–reported from Abyssinia, Somalia, and South Africa. I don’t have the resources at hand to do any better than this (need to see the underside coloration).
A search on Google Images of this name produces photos of similar moths (but beware of misidentifications!), which don’t show as much black at the base of the abdomen.
Julian P. Donahue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gigantic grubs
November 19, 2010
Found these in our compost heap (and no you are right – I do not turn it over nearly often enough…).  I’ve never seen or heard about giant grubs like these – they are placed on a standard sized garden trowel to give you a sense of the scale.  I was honestly a little too grossed out to try to straighten one out to measure it though I know right where to find more if you need me to.
I didn’t destroy them all outright (my 1st impulse) just in case they are beneficial or morph into something gorgeous.  Can you identify them for me?  Location:  Rollingwood, Texas 11/19/10…Thanks as always!  Deb Wilson

ADD a Trowel Full of Grubs

Hi Deb,
We love your photo.  You have a good cellular camera.  We increased the resolution to make your tiny file larger, and it held up nicely.  We hope that by making a reference to a recipe, we could get David Gracer to salivate and entice him into sending in an edibility comment.  Though we are certain they are Scarab Beetles, we are unsure if they are June Beetles or Rhinoceros Beetles.

Thank you!  I do have fun with my camera out in the garden.
I am fairly certain (due to the size) these are rhinoceros or ox beetle grubs.  I’m basing that (though I admit I am lousy at bug ID) on the fact that I unearth June Bug/Beetle grubs out in the soil consistently in these parts.  They are much smaller – about the circumference of a pencil and rarely more than 1/2 inch though in their curled in the ground state, length is a guess.
These grubs were in our compost heap, and were up to 3 1/2 inches long, with a diameter ranging from 3/4 to a full inch or more on the larger tail end side.  Since I was thinking they were ox beetles (and therefore not out there garnering strength and numbers to launch a beetle apocalypse on my garden beds) I simply put them back into the compost heap after I took the photos.
If these grubs are edible (and I say that knowing how a person defines “edible” varies), then a few of them could make a fairly decent meal, depending of course on if you have to remove any parts, if they shrink during preparation, etc.   And now I have to go look at photos of puppies and rainbows because I just totally grossed myself out.
Have a great weekend! /Deb Wilson

Tiny Bug
Location: Missouri
November 19, 2010 4:10 pm
I took this picture about a month ago (10-24-10). I really have no idea what kind of bug it is and would love some help on an ID.
Signature: Nathanael Siders

What's That Bug?????: Damsel Bug we believe

Hi Nathanael,
Daniel had a really rough week and he is baking Sliva Crumble to take to an early turkey dinner.  This is a True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera.  It appears to be predatory and we do not believe it is a Damsel Bug.  We will try searching BugGuide when we have a chance.  Meanwhile, we are starting a spin-off of the original What’s That Bug? and it will be a doppleganger of What’s That Bug? Tagged What’s That Bug?

Well, tell Daniel that I hope he can have a relaxing weekend and Thanksgiving.  I appreciate you guys getting to this so quickly and now that you have given me a direction to go, I will do some searching as well.  I will reply back if I find anything promising.
Nathanael

Update
November 21, 2010
We finally had an opportunity to check out the Damsel Bugs on BugGuide and we believe this individual looks very much like a member of the genus
Nabis that is pictured on Bugguide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug identification.
Location: Diggins, Missouri, under water in a pond.
November 18, 2010 1:39 pm
I was fishing a little while back and caught a rock with a little bug that was living in/on it under the water. It stayed on the rock and didn’t really seem to notice I was holding it, I just ended up taking a picture and putting him back, it looks like a bedbug, I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what it was, it’s ”bugging” me. If you could solve this mystery for me it’d be very appreciated.
Signature: Brad McBandycars

Naiad on a Hook

Hi Brad McBandycars,
You hooked a Naiad, a talent that Ulysses would admire.  A Naiad is the aquatic nymph of a flying insect that is usually associated with water. Your Naiad is a young Dragonfly.  If the Naiads of Dragonflies are similar to other larvae, they probably undergo 5 molts before becoming adults.  The molts are stages known as instars and the adult is called the Imago.  We cannot identify the species of Dragonfly you have hooked.

Unknown Dragonfly Naiad

Halictide in Mostly Blue?
Location: Paulding County Georgia
November 18, 2010 2:56 pm
This is a most enchantingly beautiful insect, I noticed you only have photos of green sweat bees, thought you would like one in blue. Took this photo yesterday. Found it on some pepper plants that I brought into the house a few weeks ago.
Signature: Tweakie Molinari

Cuckoo Wasp

Hi Tweakie,
Thanks so much for your wonderful image of a Sweat Bee.

Dear Mr. Marlos:
You are most welcome!  It had a little stinger which is not visible on the photo.  Love your website thank you so much for all your work.
Tweakie

Correction courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
Chrysidinae not bee!

spider alert
Location: Zagreb (city center), Croatia, Europe
November 19, 2010 9:50 am
hi,
I have this thing living under my outdoor window sill for the past week or so. It’s scary as hell. I’ve never seen this species around here before. It made this yellow ball that can be seen under it. The photo was taken today. The outside temperature goes to near 0°C at night at this time, and it seems to be pretty comfortable with that. Please tell me what it is. Thanks!
Signature: danko

Cross Spider

Hi Danko,
This is a female Cross Spider with her egg sac.  She is a harmless Orbweaver and her species,
Araneus diadematus, has the distinction of being the first spiders sent into space when Anita and Arabella we sent into orbit in 1973 aboard Skylab 3 to see how spiders would spin webs in weightlessness.  You may read about Skylab 3 on the About Chemistry website.  Your spider will probably not survive very much longer, but her eggs will hatch in the spring.

That was super fast!
Thank you!