bee like creature frightens dog
Yesterday, ur dog Ellie alerted us to this bee-like creature in our backyard. It was frightening enough to throw her into a barking fit. Was she wise in warning us, or is this big guy harmless? (He/she is around 2 inches long..that is the bug not the dog.)
Thank you!
Amy Holloway
Austin, TX

Hi Amy,
This is actually a Robber Fly in the Family Asilidae and it preys on bees. It is harmless to you and your dog, but if you try to pick it up, it will probably bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Denver, CO-Mantis on Rose bush
I was so thrilled to see this little guy on my rose. He’s about 4-5" long and really pretty. I have never seen a mantis in Colorado. Are they here and just hiding from me? My flash went off for this shot, though it was an overcast afternoon and not night.

Hi Beth,
Because Preying Mantis eggs are so readily available as an organic method of pest control, the ranges of these introduced species is constantly expanding. Both the Chinese Mantis and European Mantis have been introduced to this country in the late 1800’s and are now found throughout the continental states. As your photo illustrates, they are masters of camouflage

Huge Fly!
I just discovered your site because I was trying to identify a giant fly that we discovered yesterday in our fireplace. Nice site! Thankfully, this fly was behind the doors of the fireplace. It was in the around 90F yesterday so he didn’t live long in there and I got a chance to photo him today. I don’t keep the flu open, so I’m trying to figure out how he got in there. I do not see any flies on your site that look like this one. Attached are three photos. Hopefully the ‘perspective’ photo gives you an idea of his size.
by the way, I am in New Jersey.

Hi Chris,
Because of the large size and the clubbed antennae, we believe this to be a Mydas Fly in the Family Mydidae. Adults are predatory, feeding on caterpillars, flies, bees and Hemipterans. Though we are 99% sure this is a Mydas Fly, we are checking with Eric Eaton for a second opinion.

Ed. Note: Here is Eric Eaton’s quick response.
“That certainly is a mydas fly! Is the image in black and white? If so, it could be Mydas tibialis, which has no red band like M. clavatus, but has orange legs on a dark brown/black body. Mydas flies seem to be attracted to large, standing, hollow trees, so it might have mistaken the chimney for a tree and flown in. Flues do not close tightly enough to exclude insects is my bet, and so the thing made it all the way to the fireplace. They sure are intimidating, the loud droning buzz alone being quite ominous! Luckily they are harmless to people. Eric ”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ran into this beautiful moth while hiking in the S.F. Bay Area. I have been unable to identify it. Can you help me? Thanks,

Hi Dale,
This isn’t a moth but a Common Buckeye Butterfly, Junonia coenia. Larval foods include monkey flowers and snapdragons.

Is this a “Banded Alder Beetle”?
I took this photo while backpacking in the East Fork of the San Gabriel river of southern california 2 weekends ago (7/30/05 to be exact). After some web searching, it appears to be the “Banded Alder Beetle” although the marking aren’t exactly the same. Also, this particular area exhibited much forest devastation due this past winter’s record rainfall and storm damage so i’m figuring they’re feeding on the “dead alders”… Do you agree?
Brent Mann

Hi Brent,
There is always some degree of individual variation in the markings within a species. This is a Banded Alder Borer, Rosalia funebris, and the markings are very similar to the photograph in our copy of Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin. The larvae feed on dead wood of a variety of hardwood trees including alder and ash as well as occasionally eucalyptus and live oak. They are also sometimes attracted to paint fumes. Your theory is possible.

Bug I.D.
Greetings. Eye-balled this 1.75" long critter on the banks of Penn Cove on Whidbey Island in the north Puget Sound of western Washington. Been looking all over the Internet, as probably most of your other correspondents have, to no avail. Your wisdom on the identity of this beautiful beetle would be graciously accepted and most appreciated.

Hi NwShetz,
This is our second Banded Alder Borer photo today.