Subject: A new red insect
Location: Ocean County, New Jersey
July 4, 2016 12:57 pm
Hi,
While checking up on my little garden patch today I noticed a bright red insect (wasp? – photo attached) flying around my zucchini plant, and frequently alighting on its leaves. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it before, and am curious what it might be. Your input would be appreciated.
Signature: George the Curious

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear George the Curious,
This is a Squash Vine Borer, a harmless moth that mimics a stinging wasp quite effectively.  Squash Vine Borers lay eggs on squash and related plants.  The larvae are stem borers that will reduce the yield of plants, and in a worse case scenario, their feeding may result in the plants withering and dying.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red desert spider or insect?
Location: Golden Valley,AZ
July 3, 2016 11:05 pm
We found this in a wash in Golden Valley Arizona. Could you please tell us what it is? It looks like it has eight legs but I’m not positive
Signature: P P

Velvet Mite

Velvet Mite

Dear P P,
Did it rain right before this sighting?  Velvet Mites in the family Trombidiidae often appear in large numbers immediately after a desert rain.

Yes it sure did! Thank you!

Subject: Skinny lime green insect with long legs and black and white antennae
Location: America, Texas
July 4, 2016 12:55 pm
Heya, I’m Daniel I was doing some photography of a blueberry when i came across this bug in my photo, its quite strange and i couldn’t find any pictures or identification of it, so i checked out your website. if possible define the type if possible (it likes blueberries)
Signature: Daniel

Bush Katydid Nymph

Bush Katydid Nymph

Dear Daniel,
This is an immature Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia.  Though they eat leaves from shrubs and other plants, they do not do any lasting damage to the plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green insect
Location: New Jersey
July 4, 2016 5:15 am
I have some type of insect nesting in my house window tracks. Have been seeing them for four years. This is the first time we have seen the actual insect.
Signature: Paula

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest

Dear Paula,
While you are correct that this is a nest, the green insects, which are immature Orthopterans, are not constructing the nest.  This nest was constructed by a Grass Carrying Wasp in the genus
Isodontia, and the female has provisioned the nest with paralyzed Orthopterans, generally Crickets and Katydids, that serve as a fresh food supply for her developing larva which is visible on the far right of your image.  It is a whitish-gray grublike creature.  We frequently receive reports of Grass Carrying Wasps nesting in window tracks.

Daniel,
Thank you! How interesting! I do not know much about the Wasp at all. Is it OK to leave them to keep nesting in the track or will they somehow harm the window/house? I love your website and rely on it frequently for insect identification. Thanks for your quick response.
Paula Truax

Subject: Mediterranean Spurge Hawk Moth Hyles nicaea
Location: From Southern Europe to Central Asia
July 4, 2016 4:23 am
Dear Daniel,
today I’d like to contribute another interesting hawkmoth caterpillar by a slightly older drawing – that of the Mediterranean Spurge Hawkmoth (Hyles nicaea) from southern Europe; though not from the New World, the asian and european species of the genus Hyles probably represent a relatively young neotropic branch of the Macroglossinae subfamily with a miocene transition to the Old World. A few amazing parallels in coloration and behaviour of these species can be noticed – to those of the Dilophonotini from the other continent; the striking colour pattern, physiognomy and habitus make them look very similar to members of the Pseudosphinx and Isognathus kinds (though they are officially not directly connected to them!) – and indeed many of them feed on very poisonous plants, making themselves unpalatable for most birds and other animals. And then, they also show a tendency for some gregarious behaviour in their younger instars… a very unusual characteristic for Old World Sphingidae. — Hyles nicaea is a quite big animal (compared with H. euphorbiae and other members), but its larvae live on poisonous Euphorbiaceae as well; their colour pattern could be associated with that of the orca-whale. The species’ living area is highly split into different biogeographical regions – making it difficult to define their real requirements on climate and landscape… and presenting quite some puzzles; they can be found along mediterranean coasts, or in high altitudes above 2000 m. I could occasionally observe them in the Karst area along the northern Adriatic coast. They pupate under stones or in other shelter, within a few provisional silk files. — Only a few information can be found on larvae of the New World – species (eg. H. annei, H. calida, H. wilsoni), and I didn’t see any picture of their caterpillars so far.
Many Thanks and Wishes for the great site, and a nice Independence day!
Bostjan
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Hornworm:  Hyles nicaea

Hornworm: Hyles nicaea

Dear Bostjan,
Thank you so much for allowing us to publish your latest drawing.  The information you provided is so interesting considering that a North American species,
Hyles lineata, has an edible caterpillar that appears in such large numbers in southwestern desert habitats that Native Americans used them for their highly nutritious qualities.

Subject: I’ve never seen this before
Location: Carbondale Il 62901
July 4, 2016 11:19 am
Hi Bugman,
Great website! I am writing because I saw this bug on my screen door today and I’m curious what it might be. It’s been raining for about 3 days here and when it flew away it kind of floated.
Signature: Ayla

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Ayla,
Don’t let its floating flight fool you.  Like other large Robber Flies, this Hanging Thief in the genus
Diogmites is a formidable predator, easily taking large Wasps or Bees on the wing.  The common name Hanging Thief arises from this group’s preference to feed while hanging from a single leg.

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Wow! Thanks for the quick response and information! Keep up the good work.
Ayla M. Amadio, MA
Research Archaeologist