Blue Wasp
Hello bugman, I took a pic of a blue wasp that was stuck in the window. Do you know what it is? I am from Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada.
Thanks
Kathy

Hi Kathy,
You have a beautiful Cuckoo Wasp, Family Chrysididae. These small wasps are usually metallic blue or green in color. They get their common name because, like the Cuckoo bird, the wasp is parasitic. According to Hogue “it lays its eggs in the nests of bees and other wasps. The larva kills the rightful occupant of the nest and develops on the provisions left in the cell by the nestbuilder.”

Update (07/29/2007) Believe you have a misidentification on a previous i.d.
Daniel: In looking for pictures of a cuckoo wasp (for which I have a nice pic I could send although you already have several), one of your identifications looks misidentified. If you look at the the pictures from Timothy and Tarik — which I believe you have identified correctly — you’ll see a generally rough looking ‘back’, and the thorax sections are not sharply separated. Also, the legs are skinny, the antennae are short, and the center of the abdomen is more bulbous than the rest. In contrast, if you look at the photo from Kathy, the back is smooth, the thorax is sharply segmented, the ‘thigh’ of the front leg is ‘muscular’ looking, the antennae are quite long, and the abdomen is fairly similar in thickness throughout its length. Not to mention that the overall color is more brilliantly blue, less green than the other photos. A check of other images on the internet shows a much closer resemblance to the blue wasp, “Aporus hirsutus”. The best example of this is found at: http://bugguide.net/node/view /31105/bgimage In particular, note the beefy upper front leg, long antennae, and other consistencies with Kathy’s image.
Oops! While I believe you still have a misidentification, another glance at the Blue Wasp photos show that this is not the correct i.d., either. I just noticed that there are two smaller photos below the larger one on the bugguide.net page, and the rear legs are cricket-like, which is clearly not the case in Kathy’s photo. I am now thinking that it at the least looks more like “Augochlorella striata” than something in the Chrysididae family. See: http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu /insects/newslides/025066011001 apo.jpg But the smoother, more segmented back in Kathy’s photo doesn’t agree, along with the bluer color. So, I don’t think that it is any of the bugs you or I mentioned, and thus remains unidentified. Curious to hear your opinion.
Mark

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Colorful grasshopper?
I saw this bug in Seligman, Arizona, while travelling through. It was about 5 cm long and very colorful. I’d love to know what it is…
Lynda

Hi Lynda,
We inquired from one of the entomologists who assist us and Eric Eaton wrote back: “It is actually an adult of the lubber grasshopper, or "homesteader," Brachystola magna. Cool! I have yet to see a live one myself. Thanks for sharing. You might post this to BugGuide, as I don’t think they have an image yet.”
I then did some additional research and found out they range from Minnesota to Arizona and Mexico, north to Montana. They eat vegetation and dead insects, and their bodies retain moisture. You should submit your photo to BugGuide.

4 bug pix, ID for spider?
Hi!
Sent some of these earlier, but got an error message so I’m trying again. First one is a caterpillar found on my passion flower vine, second one is a katydid in the basil. third is a spider (orb weaver?), the last is my favorite spider picture, great green and brown coloring. Can you ID the last one? Thanks! Love your site, found it when I was trying to ID a scary
bug which turned out to be a Jerusalem cricket.
Donna B.
San Diego

Hi Donna,
Your caterpillar is a Gulf Fritallary, Agraulis vanillae, which feeds on the passion flower. The adult butterfly is a pretty orange with silver spots. It is not a true fritallary.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black and orange in Virginia
I found this crawling across the blacktop at my house. I’ve been led to believe bright colors indicate poison, but, after reading your website, I have found that isn’t necessarily true. I saw some awful scary looking harmless spiders. Do you know what this is?
Sue

Hi Sue,
Sorry I can’t give you an exact species, but your orb weaver is harmless. We hope it is still alive.

Sadly, we accidentally deleted the original letter from J. Gavin at the Flamingo Condominiums in some Spanish speaking country that accompanied this image of a Giant Crab Spider. J found this spider in the lobby. We are not sure of the exact species, but we do know that Giant Crab Spiders do not spin webs and are often welcome in tropical homes because they eat roaches.

4 bug pix, ID for spider?
Hi!
Sent some of these earlier, but got an error message so I’m trying again. First one is a caterpillar found on my passion flower vine, second one is a katydid in the basil. third is a spider (orb weaver?), the last is my favorite spider picture, great green and brown coloring. Can you ID the last one? Thanks! Love your site, found it when I was trying to ID a scary
bug which turned out to be a Jerusalem cricket.
Donna B.
San Diego

Hi Donna,
Thanks for the Katydid photo.