Big Insect in Mexico

Tarantula Hawk

Big Insect in Mexico
Location: Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico
December 26, 2010 3:08 pm
We were staying on the 11th floor in a condo in Mazatlan when we were watching T.V. and it sounded like a small plane flew into the room. Big bug scared the family. It has some similarities to a hornet, but don’t know?
Signature: TobyZ

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Toby,
We believe this is a Tarantula Hawk, a Spider Wasp in the genus
Pepsis.  Most of the members of the genus have metallic blue-black bodies and bright orange wings, but there are a few species with black wings including Pepsis mexicana.  BugGuide has several images of Pepsis mexicana, including one that has a nice series of comments. Over the years, we have gotten many photos of insects and arachnids with very unusual choices of objects included for scale, but this is the first time a gallon of milk has been used to illustrate the size of a creature.

Tarantula Hawk

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats for supper?
Location: Coal Creek, Queens County, New Brunswick
December 9, 2010 5:24 pm
Hi, I found a Goldenrod Crab Spider on a lilac bush with another bug clasped in its jaws. Is the Goldenrod’s prey a Hummingbird Moth? If so do you know what species it is?
Signature: Christophe

Crab Spider eats Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Christophe,
We went back through some old mail today to try to answer a few questions we did not respond to this past month and we came across you awesome photograph.  We are guessing that this photo was taken some time before it was submitted because lilacs bloom in the spring.  The Crab Spider has captured a much larger Clearwing Moth in the genus
Hemaris, and we believe it is the Hummingbird Clearing, Hemaris thysbe.  You can compare your image to the photographs posted on the Sphingidae of the Americas Website.

Pink Bug
Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
December 23, 2010 9:13 am
Hi!!! I took these pics months ago, but i have no idea of what bug this could be!!! I’m thinking it might be a pink katydid but i’m not sure at all!! I’m sorry for the quality of the images!!!
Signature: Mac

Unknown Katydid

Dear Mac,
This is a Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, and there is a really good chance that it is a Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae.  We will try to get a definitive identification from Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki.  Many typically green Katydids have pink or brown morphs and this particular specimen blending in so nicely with the pink blossom might explain how this unusual coloration may contribute to the survival of certain individuals.

Unknown Katydid

Piotr Naskrecki responds
February 9, 2011
Hi Daniel,
… The pink Brazilian katydid is a young nymph of a phaneropterine katydid, but it is too young to be identified based on the photos.
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Here is a picture of a huge bug in Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica
December 25, 2010 11:45 am
Any idea what it is?
Signature: BUG MAN

Giant Grasshopper

In its native habitat of Central and South America, this Giant Grasshopper, Tropidacris dux, is commonly called a Giant Brown Cricket though it is really a Grasshopper.  It is frequently mistaken for a bird in flight.  We can’t help but wonder how old this image is since it is a scanned medium format photographic image as opposed to a digitally captured original.

Thank you. This was actually taken very recently. I believe with an iPhone. A filter or digital treatment may have been applied. Thank you for your help!

Thanks for the clarification on the original photographic file.  We are intrigued with the way that traditional photography is mimicked, or better, counterfeited, through the use of special post production applications.  We first became aware of this fetishization of the image with post production in videos that allow for adding dust and scratches to capture the feel of nostalgic film since video does not scratch or contain dust.

small scorpion looking bug
Location: wisconsin usa
December 25, 2010 9:58 pm
found this bug on the wall in my infant childs room. is there any danger? thanks
Signature: josh kwiatkowski


Hi Josh,
The harmless Pseudoscorpion if often found in the home where it will prey upon small insects and other arthropods.  Since the Pseudoscorpion lacks venom, it is perfectly harmless and you have no cause for alarm.

AZ ant
Location: Tortilla Creek, Superstition Mtns, AZ
December 26, 2010 1:06 am
I photographed this ant on 12-25-2010 in the Superstition Mtns (~2,500’). I could not identify it in the Kaufman insect guide, so I bow in your general direction if you can make an identification.
Signature: Pat Livecchi

Major Worker Carpenter Ant

Hi Pat,
Your ant looks very much like several images of Carpenter Ants posted to BugGuide, including this image of
Camponotus nearcticus from Texas, however, we are reluctant to try to provide an actual species or even subgenus identification.  According to BugGuide, Ants in the genus Camponotus “are often called ‘carpenter ants’ because many species nest in dry or moist rotten wood, and some may nest in wooden houses, sheds, etc. However, in the East, C. americanus and C. castaneus nest in soil, and in the West, perhaps the majority of species (but usually not those in the subgenera Camponotus and Myrmentoma) nest in soil.”  These large headed individuals belong to the caste of major workers according to a comment posted on BugGuide.  The University of Missouri Extension website has a nice diagram of the various castes of Carpenter Ants.