What is it?
This bad looking critter was hanging upside down on my young pecan tree. The Pecan tree looks like it is not going to make it.
David R. WIlliams
Gainesville, GA

Hi David,
We wrote to Eric Eaton for a positive ID on your fly and here is what he wrote:
“Thankfully it is one I do recognize:-) It is a bee fly in the genus Bombylius, probably B. major, as they are common across the continent. They are parasites of solitary bees. The proboscis is for sipping nectar, not for sucking blood! ” The Audubon Guide claims: “Bee Flies are capable of hovering motionless while waiting for a female bee but can dart quickly in pursuit. They often settle on foliage or bare ground, but are difficult to capture because they are so alert and quick.” At any rate, they are not the cause of your pecan tree not going to make it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Could you help me ID this bug?
Found this bug last week. Thought it was very interesting. Looks like
an alien.

Hi Susan,
We thought this looked like a Pyrgotid Fly, but we wanted to be sure so we checked with Eric Eaton. Here is what he wrote back: “Actually, you are right on! It IS a pyrgotid fly, Pyrgota undulata (might check the spelling of the species name). As larvae, pyrgotids are parasitic on adult May beetles in the genus Phyllophaga. Adult female pyrgotids often are attracted to lights at night, perhaps to assault the May beetles that also fly in. The female fly lands on a flying May beetle and drives an egg in between its exposed abdominal segments. When the egg hatches inside the beetle, the larvae begins eating it alive. Gross, but nice to know something keeps the beetles in check!

What’s this bug?
Hi my name is Trevor. I live in Fallbrook California (northern San Diego ,Southern Cal.) I have seen 2 of these little suckers and they seem very aggressive towards people & other bugs? Just wondering what they were…??? Any help would be appreciated!
thanks for your help,

Hi Trevor,
You have a photo of a Solpugid, commonly known as Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions. They are neither spiders nor scorpions, but related to both. They are aggressive hunters and do not have any venom, so they are harmless to people.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bug indentification
I just recently move to Florida and I have found two of these insects in my apt. what is it…please email me back….I have tried to find it online and i am not having any luck…Thank you so much…
Have No Clue

You have some type of cockroach, probably immature. It is difficult to tell exactly what is going on in your photo. It appears as though the cockroach has endured some type of bodily harm.

Velvet Ant and Unknown Spider
Thistle Down Velvet Ant. I’m not really partial to blondes, but this little lady caught my eye in the parking lot at work in Poway, San Diego County. Don’t worry, I resisted the urge to pet her. I know she packs a painful stinger. I’m also including an unidentified spider. He was about the same size as a full grown green lynx, which are abundant in this area. Possibly another type of lynx?
Love your site,
Bernard Davis

Hi Bernard,
Thank you so much for your great photo of the Thistledown Velvet Ant, also known as the Gray Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla gloriosa. This is a new species for our site. The wingless female does have a painful sting. She wanders about on the ground searching for sand wasp burrows. She lays her eggs there and the young Velvet Ant larva then feasts on both the larval wasp as well as the food source of paralyzed flies the female Sand Wasp provides for her young. Male Velvet Ants fly.

Ed. Note Update: (12/02/2005)
ID corrections, etc. I’ve just discovered your excellent site (directed there by “This is True”), and as a hymenopterist have a few comments: All of the “thistledown velvet ants” shown are actually Dasymutilla nocturna, not Dasymutilla gloriosa. The latter has the erect hairs somewhat sparser and more “untidy”, the body is a reddish brown, not black, and all the hairs are whitish (no black hairs), so the legs look whitish.
I hope these comments are useful.

Update: (04/02/2008) ID for insects
Hey, my name is Will, this is a list of the ID’s for the velvet ant page. image 38. Dasymutilla sackeni hope this helps a bit.