better picture of mysterious fly
Can you help identify this fly?
I have a fly in my home with bright yellow stripes across it’s back like a yellow jacket it also has a stinger attached to her rear end I took some pictures of it with the digital camera. Or at least I believe she is a fly, she has the head and wings of the other three house flies in the house just not the same body. Not the best but I can take more she’s just been sitting there looking at me all day in the exact same spot. I don’t know if this is of interest to you or not but three regular house flies that flew in with her, two as you can see from one of the pictures I have attached keep attacking her head. The other one I think was breeding with her. Can you help identify this one? For now since I am not sure what she is I’m just leaving her alone. Besides she’s been so patient with me trying to get a good picture of her shes just sat there and posed. Seems to be as fascinated with me as I am with her. If you need more pictures i can try and get more maybe use a chair if she is still here. When my husband got home last night he said he had seen one before but doesn’t know what it is. she’s back sitting in the exact same spot almost not moving again. I think that’s strange behavior for a fly. My husband also said they look like flies but he believes they are some sort of bee. I don’t think I told you where I live either it’s Riverside, CA. Also she is just a little over half the size to 3/4 the size of the house flies that will not leave her alone.
Thanks! Diana

Hi Diana,
Your photo is of a Hover Fly from the Family Syrphidae. They are called Hover Flies because of the way they can hover in the air above flowers. They are sometimes called Flower Flies because they eat nectar from flowers. Their coloration which mimics bees and wasps is thought to be protective. Your fly is harmless and will not sting you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

He’s pretty fancy
But what is he?
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you

Hi Jo-Ann,
You have a photo of a type of Shield Bug or Stink Bug from the Family Pentatomidae. Sorry I can’t tell you the exact species.

Ed. Note: Jo-Ann later wrote back to us that she located her Two Spotted Stink Bug, Perillus bioculatus, on this website. The species has two color variations, light and dark, and is one of the predatory Stink Bugs which feeds on the dreaded insect pest, the Colorado Potato Beetle.

What is this caterpillar?
I emailed earlier this month and not long after your site went down for a while so I don’t know if it went through. We found the caterpillar wandering on the ground and although he resembles the Heterocampa that someone sent from MO, ours is quite a shocking shade of hot pink. We are in Hempstead, TX. in the middle of the Post Oak belt. The caterpillar has formed a chrysalis and we will wait and see if it transforms. But I would really like to know what we are looking for.
Thanks in advance,
Joy Sebastian-Hall

Hi Joy,
Yes, you have a caterpillar from the genus Heterocampa. Somewhere I remember reading that they change color just before pupating. There is much color variation in the green, brown and pink range. The moths are a grey color.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange Cocoons
Hi, Bugman,
We have two unusual cocoons around our house in central Florida. They are dark, spikey, and about 2 or 3 inches in length. What kind of critter can we expect to emerge from them?

Hi Curious,
You have a type of Bagworm, probably Thyridopteryx sphemeraeformis. This is a type of moth that often infests conifers like arborvitae. The caterpillars form the protective bag and never leaves it. It then pupates in the bag. The female is flightless and remains in the bag after emerging, and the male which has wings searches her out to mate.

I saw this bug
Hi there, I am originally from Argentina but I live in Texas now. Today I found this bug that in Argentina we call "vinchuca" and transmit a disease called "chagas" is a very bad disease. Someone told me that is a inoffensive beetle but it looks like the vinchuca (or kissing bug). The picture is not very good because I was scared. Can you tell me what it is?
Thank you

Hi Adriana,
We also have a Kissing Bug that transmits Chagas Disease, but your photo looks like a Wheel Bug, one of the Assassin Bugs. It is difficult to be certain based on your photo, but the distinguishing feature is the coglike “wheel” on the thorax. Wheel Bugs are related to Kissing Bugs, and both are true bugs, or Hemipterans. Wheel Bugs are not known to be disease vectors, but they can bite painfully if mishandled. They are beneficial since they destroy many garden pests.