Currently viewing the tag: "bug of the month"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What the hell is it??
Geographic location of the bug:  Bassenthwaite Cumbria England
Date: 07/01/2018
Time: 12:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me with what the hell this is!!
How you want your letter signed:  Gail.

Giant Horse Fly

Dear Gail,
Congratulations on being chosen Bug of the Month for July 2018 with your query of this Giant Horse Fly, in the genus
Tabanus.    You are the third identification request we have received this week, and we quickly linked to a Huffington Post posting.  We cannot tell due to the camera angle if this is a male or female Giant Horse Fly.  Males in the genus have compound eyes that nearly touch one another while the eyes of the female have a space between them.  Only the female Giant Horse Fly will bite as the male does not feed on blood which is necessary for the female to lay viable eggs.  That blood generally comes from livestock including horses and cattle, but when livestock or other large mammals are not available, the opportunistic Horse Flies might bite humans, but try to remember after viewing the images on that Huffington Post article that most encounters between humans and Horse Flies do not end with bites.  The Gadfly that tormented Io in Greek mythology was most likely a Giant Horse Fly as Wikipedia confirms.  Long ago, the mythological Io was also the inspiration for the name of the lovely North American Io Moth as was consistent with the pattern set with 18th Century taxonomists like Linnaeus and Fabricius.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mantis?
Geographic location of the bug:  Corpus Christi, Texas
Date: 05/29/2018
Time: 11:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! Can you help me identify this flying bug? I THINK it only has 4 legs, so it’s not REALLY an insect, is it? It was on a friend’s porch last week.
How you want your letter signed:  B. McCray

Mantispid

Dear B. McCray,
Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions.  Both Mantids and Mantispids are predators that have adapted to using raptorial front legs for capturing prey.  We believe your individual is 
Dicromantispa interrupta based on this BugGuide image.

One quick question, tho – I know this isn’t a “praying” mantis – but I see “mantis” in the title “Mantispid” – so, are they related?
Thank you!!!
B. McCray
We repeat:  “Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions.”
Isn’t it odd, then for the word “mantis” to be part of the official word of what it is? It just seems confusing. 
But thanks!
Common names are often descriptive, and the resemblance between true Mantids and this Mantispid is being acknowledged in the name.  P.S.  Your submission is Bug of the Month for June 2018.
Oooo, that’s cool!! I just moved out into the Tecas Hill Country, wo we have a LOT of odd looking bugs I may ask you about.
Is that okay?

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What bugs are these
Geographic location of the bug:  Bellevue ohio
Date: 04/30/2018
Time: 04:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was cleaning out a small section of dirt near my house spring time and lifted a rock and noticed these bugs. I’m not sure what they are and would appreciate the help identifying them.
How you want your letter signed:  Zack

Citronella Ants

Dear Zack,
We began our research on the Ohioline page Ants In and Around the Home and we found a reference to Larger Yellow Ants and no scientific name with the following information: “These ants are often mistaken for winged termites since the winged adults swarm through cracks in basement walls or floors, crawl around, and are attracted to lights. They live in the soil next to the building foundation, under basement floors, in concrete voids or in rotting wood, and feed on honeydew of subterranean aphids and mealybugs, which live on the roots of shrubs planted near residences. Winged forms are dark brown or blackish-brown with brownish, somewhat clouded wings and bodies measuring 3/8 to 1/4 inch long to the wing tips. Workers are pale yellowish-brown, about 5/32 to 3/16 inch long. They cluster around cracks and crevices and, when crushed, give off a strong odor, smelling like “citronella” or a certain kind of toilet soap. They are smooth, shiny, quite hairy, have 12-segmented antennae, one node petiole (long, pointed segment), small eyes on the head, uneven thorax profile, and the anal opening at the end of the abdomen is circular surrounded by a fringe of hairs. Workers stay underground during the day and forage at night.”  Then on BugGuide we found Lemon Ants or Citronella Ants from the genus
Lasius (subgenus Acanthomyops) and we believe that is a correct identification for your sighting.  We have selected your submission as our Bug of the Month for May 2018.

Citronella Ants

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug identified – Ichneumon wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  California – Yolo County
Date: 04/02/2018
Time: 10:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.” -Darwin
I recently asked about this insect I found in my laundry room. I thought it some type of crane fly at first, but the head was very different, no proboscis. Thought it pretty awesome that Darwin had mentioned it in a letter, makes me happy that he and I shared curiosity over the same insect.
How you want your letter signed:  TobyG

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear TobyG,
You are correct that this is an Ichnuemon, more specifically a Short Tailed Ichneumon in the genus
Ophion based on this BugGuide image, and not a Crane Fly.  Though most Ichneumons cannot sting humans, it is our understanding that this particular genus is capable of stinging, and we suspect that the reports we have received of stinging Crane Flies are actually Ichneumons.  We will be featuring you submission as our Bug of the Month for April 2018.

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Short Tailed Ichneumon

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Orange/yellow Millipede with green legs?
Geographic location of the bug:  Alamo, CA
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 10:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in our neighborhood creek after a rain with my 3 year old. Despite tireless google image searching I cannot find a millipede or centipede anywhere that looks like this!
How you want your letter signed:  Bri “mom” Schrader

Millipede

Dear Bri “mom” Schrader,
It appears that this individual has two pairs of legs per body segment, which means it is a Millipede.  Centipedes have a single pair of legs per body segment.  If you found it in the creek, if might be drowned and dead, which may have changed its coloration.  We searched the internet for California Millipedes and we found this interesting article on Myrmecos Blog that profiles a glow in the dark Millipede species,
Motyxia sequoiae, and that states:  “One nocturnal genus in this family, Motyxia, known only from California, does not display conspicuous coloration.  These millipedes do something even more remarkable—they produce a green bioluminescent glow at a dominant wavelength of 500 nm by way of a biological source of light in their exoskeleton.  Scientists have speculated that the emitted light could be a sexual signal to attract mates, or an aposematic warning glow to announce the presence of a cyanide-based chemical defense.”  There are also images on Anotheca so we are relatively confident we have identified your species.  We will be featuring your submission as our Bug of the Month for March 2018.

Thank you for your response! My husband sent my picture, but he got the story a little wrong. My daughter found it under a log near the creek in our yard. It was very much alive. Threw me for a loop. Have never seen a millipede that color!
Thanks again! So cool to know what it is!
Brilynn Schrader

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cicada/planthopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Muyil, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Date: 01/30/2018
Time: 10:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This cool looking small cicada or very large planthopper was about an inch long.
How you want your letter signed:  Ben

Planthopper

Dear Ben,
We are declaring your awesome images of a Mexican Planthopper as our Bug of the Month for February 2018, but the winter day is so glorious in Los Angeles we must go outdoors, procrastinating any actual research into its identity for later.

Planthopper

Ah, my 15 minutes of fame.
Looking forward to learning more.
Thanks,
Ben

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination