Big Beetle
Location: Clinton, Beaver County, Western PA
July 25, 2011 8:45 pm
I was driving home from my Mum’s place on the 4th of July and saw what I thought was a mouse or mole or even bat crossing the road ahead of me. I drove over/above them slowly and carefully, then stopped, parked and put on my flashers to go get a better look. What I found was a GIANT BUG! I’d never seen a beetle so big before!
Now, I love bugs, so I was too excited for words! I ran back to my car and got my phone and got the two photos below.
I posted these on Tumblr earlier this month and my bug friends there say I found a broad-necked root borer.
I’m mainly sharing these pictures here because I’ve read so many sad stories on your Unnecessary Carnage page that I wanted to give you a happy story to post.
Sorry for the not-too-great quality of my pictures.
Signature: Toby Oaden

Broad Necked Root Borer

Hi Toby,
Thanks so much for thinking to send in your photo of a Broad Necked Root Borer, our Bug of the Month, and also you kind gesture to give us a happy story to post.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Blue-horned dragon caterpillar
Location: Bas-Congo, DR Congo
July 26, 2011 1:31 am
Dear Mr. Bugman,
My 9 yo daughter and I are interested in knowing more about a cool caterpillar we encountered in the Kisantu Botanical Gardens here in Congo about 120 km west of Kinshasa. We appreciate any help you can give us.
Katy and her dad.

Charaxes Caterpillar

Hi Katy and her dad,
While we are unable to provide you with a species name, we can provide you with the genus for this horned Caterpillar.  It is in the genus
Charaxes, a group of Brush Footed Butterflies found in Africa.  According to the Butterfly Corner website, there are over 180 species of Charaxes.  Members of the genus are also found in India and other parts of Asia where they are known as Pashas or Rajahs.  While this is not your species, you can see the similarities to this Madagascar native, the Green Veined Charaxes on the Online Fieldguide website.

Charaxes Caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
Would you please put me in contact with Katy’s dad regarding the following?
I might be able to provide a specific ID (the Charaxinae are one of my research subjects; it was I, not David Lees, who initially identified the Malagasy Green-veined Charaxes larva for Philip Bowles), but first need a bit more information and hopefully higher res photos.  Thanks very much!
Keith Wolfe


Flat Black Beetle and friends
Location: North East Illinois -Chicago area
July 25, 2011 6:13 pm
Hi Mr. Bugman,
I found this lovely little creature and some of his friends taking a nap with my 5 year old today. I was wondering if you could tell me what type of beetle he is and if I should have any concerns of infestation or disease. If you look at the picture closely you will see tiny little bugs (the size of a grain of sugar), one on the beetle’s back and one in the background. Are these babies or another type of bug? Upon initial examination of the beetle there were 6 or so of these little guys crawling on him. Any information or insight to what these are would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Signature: concerned mom

Clown Beetle and Mite

Dear Concerned Mom,
We identified you beetle as a Clown Beetle in the genus
Hololepta on BugGuide which indicates they are found “under bark of decaying hardwoods,” and “Adults and larvae eat other insects.”  We don’t think you have to worry about your five year old, but the real mystery is how a beetle that is found in rotting wood found its way into the nursery along with some of his friends.  This image from Bugguide shows mites in association with the Clown Beetle, and the commentary indicates that Mites are frequently found with Clown Beetles.  BugGuide indicates that two species are found in the Northeast, and here is the description for differentiating between the two:  “In the northeastern U.S., and in Ontario and Quebec, the two species are H. lucida and H. aequalis. H. lucida has a long striation along the edge of each elytra. In H. aequalis this striation is abortive, starting at the base but extending only 1/4 the length of the elytra or less.

Clown Beetle

Thank you so much for the response and your time!  I appreciate the information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mating Wasps
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
July 25, 2011 6:19 pm
Dear Bugman,
Over the past couple of weeks (beginning mid-July) this guy has been seen flying around the yard and never let me approach closely enough for a photo. Until he became preoccupied… It becomes startled easily, but sits for long periods of time on the mulch in my garden, rarely landing on the plants. It’s about 1.5” long. It resembles some of the spider wasps or wood wasps, but I was a little overwhelmed trying to identify it myself. Thanks!
Signature: DaleShannon

Mating Mydas Flies

Hi Dale,
These mating Mydas Flies,
Mydas clavatus, are excellent wasp mimics.  You may read more about them on bugguide, where it is indicated:  “Mating system in this species unknown. Different Mydas species apparently have different mating systems, including resource-defense polygyny and ‘hilltopping’.”  BugGuide does have at least one image of a mating pair.

Mydas Fly

Location: Israel
July 25, 2011 2:48 am
Can you please tell what is this bug?
Signature: Ziv Peled

Mango Stem Borer

Hi Ziv,
This is not the first report we have received of a Mango Stem Borer,
Batocera rufomaculata, that we have received from Israel.  Here is a posting from 2009.  The Mango Stem Borer is also known as the Fig Borer in Israel, and here is some information from the cabdirect website:  “The fig borer, Batocera rufomaculata, was introduced into Israel, probably from Sri-Lanka, in the early 1950s. Within ten years much of the fig (Ficus carica) plantations had been destroyed by the borer. However, between the early 1960s and the 1980s the borer vanished completely from the scene. It reappeared in the early 1990s. Most reports on its occurrence date from 1997-98. At present, the borer is causing serious damage to fig plantations in the low areas of the north and central areas of Israel.

Location: Applewood, Golden, Colorado
July 25, 2011
Thank you so much for the speedy reply. It really made Hannah’s day!
Here is the drawing that she made to save for her bug journal.
We catch, study and release a lot of Swallow Tail Butterflies in our back yard too (see second pic). Is there a similar trick to determining the sex of that species?
Thanks again,

Two Tailed Swallowtail

Hi again Charley and Hannah,
This is a male Two Tailed Swallowtail,
Papilio multicaudata.  According to bugGuide:  “Upper surface of male forewing with narrow black stripes. Each hindwing has 2 tails.(1) If abdomen is visible, male claspers are obvious as a yellow segment at the tip, beyond the black stripe.  Females often have broader black stripes, and more blue on the upperside.”  The narrower stripes and limited blue indicate that this is a male.