Subject: Beetle with some tag-alongs in Bay Area California
Location: Palo Alto, California
January 12, 2017 5:54 pm
Hi,
I stumbled on this site while trying to identify a beetle that wandered into our apartment a few days ago on a cold, rainy evening. It’s black and shiny, and at first I thought it had some moss on its back, so I put it in a jar to look at it closer and show my 2-year-old son who loves bugs and beetles. The next morning I discovered all of the little brown dots were not moss, and were indeed animals which were crawling all over the beetle! I put a leaf in which seems to be satisfying both the beetle and the tag-alongs (aphids?).
Needless to say, I’m curious what beetle this is and why it’d be carrying around dozens of smaller bugs.
Signature: Beetle Dad

Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Beetle Dad,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Most Burying Beetles are black with orange markings, so we believe your all black individual is the Black Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus nigrita based on images posted to BugGuide where the range is listed as”Pacific US states & so. BC.”  The small creatures are Phoretic Mites which use the more mobile Burying Beetle for transportation. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

January 12, 2017
From Our Facebook Fans Regarding Angry Reader #12

Jeff Lanterman
January 12 at 10:56am
Did he think that was funny? Sometimes I don’t understand people.

Sean Gaukroger
January 12 at 12:59pm
Huh? Today’s Sphinx moth brought to you by the letter “F”?

Lisa Phillips
January 12 at 2:54pm
Thank you for the identification & sorry this person is rude. I myself look forward to your posts. Keep up your fascinating work 🐛

Heather Christensen
January 12 at 3:49pm
We love your posts! I have not yet submitted any critters needing identification, but my son and I always keep our eye out. This guy is a clown, and definitely deserves the coveted “Nasty Reader” title. Keep up the great work, we love you guys. 🐌🐛🐜🐝🐞🕷🦂

An angry reader gives us the finger

Subject: Los Cabo’s Mexico bug
Location: Los Cabos, Mexico
January 11, 2017 11:31 pm
Hi- we are visiting a Cabo resort on the water in January 2017. Returned to our hotel room to find a new companion on our wall. Quite beautiful and impressively large, the length of its body alone is about the diameter of a half dollar coin. Took the photo attached. It reminds of shield bugs we used to see in the midwestern US. We are assuming it is harmless and are allowing it to enjoy its spot on the wall. Are we correct to assume we have no reason to be concerned about its being nearby? We would love to know its proper identification. Thanks so much.
Signature: Pat and David RWC CA

Longicorn

Dear Pat and David,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  Members of this family are not considered dangerous, but they do have powerful mandibles and they might deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled.  We have a posting in our archives, also from Baja, that appears to be the same species, and we tentatively identified it as
Acanthoderes giesberti.  We will contact Arthur Evans, a beetle specialist, to see if he can provide a species identification.

Ed Note:  Arthur Evans referred our question to Steve Lingafelter who provided the following identification.  Here is the BugGuide page on the genus Lagocheirus.

Hi all,
This is Lagocheirus sp. (probably araneiformis ypsilon).
Cheers,
Steve

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: F^©%ed up bug
Location: Brisbane
January 10, 2017 8:42 pm
Its got 6 legs, the bottom half is yellow with orange stripes on the side the top half is black, the legs are orange and black, the entanas are orange, looks like a stinger at the front, moves slow asf,
Signature: By tellin me what the fck this

Common Assassin Bug

We would urge you to handle this Common Assassin Bug, Pristhesancus plagipennis, which we identified on the Brisbane Insect site, with extreme caution.  Though it is not a dangerous species, it can deliver a painful bite.

Ed. Note:  Despite the signature, this is NOT an inside job

Subject: Angry moth in northern Nevada
Location: Northern Nevada
January 10, 2017 3:56 pm
Hey asshole, if you spent as much time crafting mocking replies to your so-called “””nasty readers””” as you do researching what species the bugs are, you wouldn’t HAVE any angry clients. Take my email adress OFF my submission, I dont need more spam. I dont care what your “terms and conditions” are.
Signature: Daniel Marlos

Lettered Sphinx Moth: Deidamia inscriptum

Dear Trashface, AKA Daniel Marlos impersonator,
We were so stunned by your virulent letter with its inflammatory image that there is no question in our mind that you deserve the Nasty Reader tag, and we strongly suspect that you are deliberately vying for that coveted award.  Your efforts have paid off.  Your assessment that we spend much more time researching submissions to our site than we do “crafting mocking replies” to our “so-called “”nasty readers””” is absolutely correct.  Since your letter is only the 12th Nasty Reader we have tagged in our 15 years of running What’s That Bug?, a site currently with  23,437 unique postings, only .051% of our responses were to readers deemed by us to be nasty.  We don’t believe we have that many angry readers, and we can deal with those odds as we learned long ago that “you can’t please all the people all the time.”
That stated, we are ready to get down to identifying your Sphinx Moth from the family Sphingidae, and trust us when we say we spent a great deal more time with that task than we did crafting our first paragraph in response to you.  We could not locate your moth in the Sphingidae of Nevada, the Sphingidae of California, nor the Sphingidae of Idaho pages of Bill Oehlke’s awesome Sphingidae of the Americas site.  At that point we contacted Lepidopterist Julian Donahue who confirmed the family Sphingidae, but neither he nor Eric Eaton were able to provide a species name.  We wrote to Bill Oehlke and he provided us with the correct identification.

Bill Oehlke identifies Deidamia inscriptum
Daniel,
It is Deidamia inscriptum. I have not seen any previous reports from Nevada, but it is known for sure from eastern Texas all the way to the east coast so it may well be in Nevada and just hasn’t been documented there before. It is also possible that it was inadvertently imported into Nevada as a pupa in soil at base of some potted plant that was transported across state lines. Maybe a storm with high winds brought it to Nevada. Maybe it is a hoax. You could just indicate it is Deidamia inscriptum which is not native to Nevada. Do you have a more precise location in Nevada?
The Sphingidae are strong fliers and can get energy from flower nectar or fermenting fruit, so it might even have flown there, but it appears to be a fresh specimen, so my guess is it is a wrong location or an accidental import. Maybe it came in the soil as pupa in a potted Christmas plant.
Hope you had a great holiday season and have a great new year. Time flies.
Bill

Thanks to Bill Oehlke’s identification, we were able to locate the Lettered Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas site, and we learned that it “flies from New Hampshire south to northern Florida and southern Alabama (Houston County (JS)); west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The specimen type locality is Indiana. It also flies in southern Ontario and is occasionally seen in southern Quebec” and “In Greek literature, Deidamia was one of Lycomedes’ daughters, and she bore a son, Neoptolemus, for Achilles.  The species name ‘inscriptum’ MAY ? have been chosen for the parallel ‘lines’ on the forewings, suggesting lines of script.”   Now that we have determined that you are in fact among the minute percentage of our readership that might be considered “angry clients” that we refer to as Nasty Readers, and that the identity of your moth is Deidamia inscriptum, the mystery remaining for us is how did it stray so far from its typical range?  Bill Oehlke has offered some plausible reasons, and we don’t want to discount that you may have been trying to stump us as well as to taunt us, and that perhaps this image was taken someplace other than Nevada.  We will most likely never know.  Congratulations again on being awarded with our 12th Nasty Reader designation.
P.S.  We will not be posting your “email adress” as we do NOT post email addresses, so we are not responsible for your spam.

Trashface writes back and fesses up to internet plagiarism as well as being angry and a poor writer
First of all, you need to grow a thicker skin if you get offended by mean emails.
And secondly, don’t be a smart-ass. You know very well that I meant to say “if you spent as much time identifying bugs as you do crafting mocking replies…etc.”
But clearly wits aren’t your forte. A cleverer person than you would’ve realized that I just Google image searched “bug on middle finger” to find an offensive yet hilariously topical picture to send to you. I stole the pic from Flickr, which you probably think is deplorable too. Congrats on wasting time identifying a bug that I didn’t even take a photo of.
Bugger off, bug man

Ed. Note:  Far be it from us to assume what our readers mean to write when they send in inquiries.  We take their writing for face value and we do not correct their errors.  We had no luck locating the FlickR posting where this image was allegedly pilfered as we want to request permission from the actual photographer to keep it on our site.

From Our Facebook Fans:

Jeff Lanterman
January 12 at 10:56am
Did he think that was funny? Sometimes I don’t understand people.

Sean Gaukroger
January 12 at 12:59pm
Huh? Today’s Sphinx moth brought to you by the letter “F”?

Lisa Phillips
January 12 at 2:54pm
Thank you for the identification & sorry this person is rude. I myself look forward to your posts. Keep up your fascinating work 🐛

Heather Christensen
January 12 at 3:49pm
We love your posts! I have not yet submitted any critters needing identification, but my son and I always keep our eye out. This guy is a clown, and definitely deserves the coveted “Nasty Reader” title. Keep up the great work, we love you guys. 🐌🐛🐜🐝🐞🕷🦂

Nasty Reader Award #12: Lettered Sphinx … in Nevada!!!

Subject: Beautiful Beatle from South Africa
Location: White River, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
January 11, 2017 7:34 am
Hi there!
I came accross a beautiful bug in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in the Lowveld. It is quite large and has a velvety feel over the wings with three orange and three white spots on each wing. It also has a snout that protrudes from its face. I found it close to the Lichi tree at my office in December which was bearing fruit. Do you maybe from the photograph attached know what type of beetle this is?
Signature: Regards, Pava

Orange Spotted Fruit Chafer

Dear Pava,
We confirmed the identification of this Orange Spotted Fruit Chafer,
Mecynorrhina passerinii, thanks to this image posted to iSpot.  According to iNaturalist:  “These beetles feed on sap of the Bridelia micrantha” and “This species can be found in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.”  The “horn” on your individual indicates it is a male.  We have an image of a female Orange Spotted Fruit Chafer in our archives.