Location: North America, Minnesota
August 9, 2011 12:13 am
I am wondering what this lil critter is! Found him on my car about half way to my destination, he was on my windshield an I am glad he didn’t fly off so i could snap a pic!
Signature: Rye-Guy

Common Conehead

Dear Rye-Guy,
Your Katydid is known as a Common Conehead in the genus
Neocolocephalus, and BugGuide has this to say about its feeding habits:  “Adults feed mostly on seeds of grasses, sometimes sedges. Nymphs feed on grass flowers, developing seeds.”  BugGuide also notes that it may bite if handled, but it is worth mentioning that this is not a venomous species and it is most likely that the bite will not even draw blood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big red ant
Location: Wichita, Kansas, USA
August 9, 2011 11:31 am
I have seen a few of these big red ants in my finished basement in Kansas lately. It has been a record-setting hot summer, so we have spent a lot of time in the cooler basement. I live on the outskirts of Wichita, with a wheat field adjoining our property.
The first time I saw one of these, I squished it with my finger. Actually, I thought I killed it, but I didn’t. I picked it up after stunning it, I guess, and it bit (or stung) me. Then I tried again with something hard, and it made quite a crunch.
Today, my children caught one in a plastic baggie, so I have been trying to identify it.
My first thought after internet searching was a velvet ant, but it is not that fuzzy and the stripe on the ant does not match the pictures I have found.
It is about 1/2” long. The other one might have been slightly bigger. The main color is an orangish red or rust red. There is a definite white stripe, with black at the end of the last body segment.
Can you identify it for me?
(Sorry about the picture quality, but I didn’t want to let it out of the baggie.) The orange lines are 1/8” on a ruler.
Signature: Nancy

Velvet Ant

Hi Nancy,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp, and the sting is reported to be quite painful.  Not all Velvet Ants are as fuzzy as the commonly pictured Cow Killer.  We will eventually try to identify the species.  It resembles
Dasymutilla nigripes which is pictured on BugGuide

Thank you. I believe you are correct. That photo matches much better. And the sting did hurt a lot. My finger was sore for about 20 minutes, I would guess.
Nancy Reeves

little bugs in my bed and cupboard.
Location: West Virginia
August 9, 2011 1:07 pm
My wife and I found these tiny brown beetle looking bugs in our bed and cupboard. Their body is in two sections, head then body. They also bite.
Signature: willyp

Drugstore Beetles

Hi willyp,
These appear to be Drugstore Beetles to us.  Drugstore Beetles are generically and unscientifically categorized on our site with other small but unrelated insects that infest stored foods in the pantry.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on prescription drugs, flours, dry mixes, breads, cookies, spices, chocolates and other sweets, plus a variety of “non-food” items (see Remarks section below)  adults do not feed … Larval non-food material includes wool, hair, leather, horn, and museum specimens. Larvae have been known to bore into books, wooden objects, and, in some cases, tin or aluminum foil and lead sheets.”  You can start by checking the pantry for food items that are infested.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

geometric pattern swallowtail
Location: Eau Claire, Wi.
August 8, 2011 8:13 pm
I know now that this is a black swallowtail. But LOOK at the pattern on this baby! My eye was drawn to it as soon as I stepped outside. Never have I seen one of these before. It was very big too. Spotted and photographed in Eau Claire Wi. on Aug 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm.
Signature: gail from Wisconsin

Giant Swallowtail

Hi Gail,
This is a Giant Swallowtail, not a Black Swallowtail.  It is reported to be the largest North American butterfly.

Hoping this is not a bedbug.
Location: Living Room Couch
August 9, 2011 4:02 am
With all the rage about bedbug, it has got be worried. I found this little critter on the living room couch. Sorry for the blurry photo – bad camera. Six legged little critter, with two antenna. Not really flat, the back of the bug is a bit raised (like the bee’s stinger) with wood like swirled patterns.
Signature: Worried in the Northwest

Blurry Bug

Dear Worried in the Northwest,
Despite the blurriness of the image, we do not believe this is a Bed Bug, though it certainly defies proper identification.  It appears to be some sort of a Hemipteran, which includes True Bugs and Aphids as well as Bed Bugs.  Any camera that can produce a 7 x 9.3 inch image at 300 dpi is not really a bad camera.  Perhaps it has a macro setting that will provide better close up images.

Eight Spotted Skimmer in the Hood
Location: Portland, Oregon
August 9, 2011 3:04 pm
Fantastic site, thank you for your labor of love!
My good friend and top sleuther, Davey identified this as an eight-spotted skimmer. I took this photo 8/7/11 on my patio in Portland, OR. I live right in the city, within two miles of the Mt. Tabor reservoir, so woods and water are nearby. This guy (or lady?) didn’t flinch at all even with my camera up in its face. It merely turned its head and smiled.
Signature: Vicki B.

Eight Spotted Skimmer

Hi Vicki,
Thank you for sending in your photo of an Eight Spotted Skimmer,
Libellula forensis, a species that is so distinctive it is unlikely to be confused with other Dragonflies, which we often have difficulty identifying.