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

Subject:  What’s this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri
Date: 10/01/2017
Time: 03:49 PM EDT
This guy is on my step. He’s awesome! I would like to know more about him though. Can you help?
How you want your letter signed:  Lacy

Giant Crane Fly

Dear Lacy,
We love your enthusiasm.  This is a harmless Giant Crane Fly,
Tipula abdominalis, and according to BugGuide “adults fly from May to October” and “two generations per year (usually May/June and September/October).”  Your high quality image and your perfect timing has resulted in us naming the Giant Crane Fly our Bug of the Month for October 2017.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metallic Green Sweat Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Powhatan, VA
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 10:40 AM EDT
I have lived in this area for many years and never noticed this type of bee. My fiance’ planted an African Blue Basil plant that is flourishing and it had a couple dozen of these bees all over it for several days. Quickly identified it through your site. Now I’m hooked on looking up the bugs we have around here. Thank you for the work you do putting this site together.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Talbert – Powhatan, VA

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Mike,
We were hoping we would find a gorgeous image of an insect we have never featured as Bug of the Month this morning, and your submission is perfect.  Your enthusiasm over sighting this Metallic Green Sweat Bee is refreshing, and your image makes a gorgeous Bug of the Month for September, 2017.  Metallic Green Sweat Bees seem to be attracted to purple flowers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Moth in New Mexico
Location: Roswell, NM Chavez County
July 30, 2017 10:56 am
Hi Bugman,
My daughter and I found this beautiful moth at the base of a trashcan at a gas station in Roswell, NM. It just goes to show you can find beautiful things in the most unlikely places. We picked it up and took it a ways down the road and released in some trees. I have experience with silk moths, but this one had a proboscis. I was thinking a type of sphinx moth, but the body didn’t look right. Anyway, Google has let me down and I need help. Thanks for taking a look!
Signature: Trina W
Trina Woodall
Photographer/Owner
TripleDogDare Photography
www.TripleDogDarePhotography.com

Female Northern Giant Flag Moth

Dear Trina,
We are especially happy we wrote back to you to notify you there were no images.  Though we immediately recognized this as a Tiger Moth, we needed to identify the species and we found the Northern Giant Flag Moth,
Dysschema howardi, pictured on the Moth Photographers Group, and we verified its identity on BugGuide were we learned that only females have orange underwings, meaning your individual is a female.  We also learned on BugGuide that this is the only member of the genus found north of Mexico:  “1 sp. n. of Mex. (a second sp. may have strayed once from Mexico).   There are some 90(!) species of Dysschema, mostly in South America.”  The species is also pictured on the Butterflies and Moths of North America site.  Though we have a single posting of the caterpillar of the Northern Giant Flag Moth, your submission is the only image we have in our archives of an adult.

Female Northern Giant Flag Moth

Ed. Note:  This is one of the most beautiful North American moths that has ever been submitted to our site.  It is so incredibly delicate in pattern that we could not resist making it the Bug of the Month for August 2017.  According to BugGuide:  “‘Flag Moth’ is a common name coined for the subfamily Pericopinae by Hogue (1993).”  So, in a feeble attempt on the part of our editorial staff to explain the common name, this would be the northernmost ranging species in a genus in the Flag Moth subfamily Pericopinae recognized by Charles L. Hogue.

OMG! How exciting!!! I felt like there was something special about this moth. It’s funny, I seem to have interesting bug experiences when I travel here. Several years ago, I submitted a picture of a Hercules beetle with my son’s Hot Wheels car. We had found the poor fellow in a grocery store parking lot where local kids were poking it with a stick. I’ve been enjoying your site ever since. Thanks for the honor, I’m pleased I was able to submit something interesting!

Trina Woodall

Wow Trina,
That was ten years ago.  We did not have the Bug Humanitarian Award tag at that time, but we need to retroactively tag that Grant’s Hercules Beetle sighting with the award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of insect is this?
Location: Northwest Ohio, U.S.A
June 29, 2017 6:32 pm
Dear bugman,
I happened to notice this strange critter while at work today. I work at a greenhouse with flowers and vegetables. Unfortunately I could only get one picture of it before it flew away, rapidly. It has a shiny segmented body and a small, waspish head. The long orange “tail” also appeared segmented, and quite fuzzy. I have looked and found nothing like it on the internet. Please help? Thank you!
Signature: Hanna B.

Clematis Borer

Dear Hanna,
Your description of this insect as “waspish” is spot on because this is a wasp-mimicking Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae, and we eventually identified it on BugGuide as a Clematis Borer,
Alcathoe caudata.  The binomial species name is thus defined on BugGuide: “Caudata from Latin caud, meaning ‘tailed.’ Adult males have a long tail-like appendage on the abdomen. ”  Your individual is a yellow-tailed male.  We have no other images of identified male Clematis Borers on our site, but we do have several images of female Clematis BorersBugGuide also states:  “Larva bore into the roots of Clematis and Ribes species.”  According to Las Pilitas Nursery, the genus Ribes includes gooseberries and currants and Clematis is a popular flowering vine used in landscaping in Youngstown, Ohio.  It is the end of the month and we are selecting your submission as the Bug of the Month for July 2017 because we are so thrilled to now have both sexes of the Clematis Borer in our archives.

Thank you so much! I’m glad that it “bugged” me enough to ask! Happy that I have also provided a useful photo, albeit a slightly blurry one!
Hanna B.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unknown Sphinx moth
Location: Carrboro ,NC
May 31, 2017 8:53 pm
Found this large Sphinx moth on my front porch last night in Carrboro NC. My best thoughts were it might be a Rustic Sphinx moth.
Signature: Mary S

Carpenterworm Moth

Dear Mary,
Though it resembles a Sphinx Moth, this is actually a Carpenterworm Moth,
Prionoxystus robiniae, in the family Cossidae, which we verified by matching your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae bore in wood of living deciduous trees: locust, oak, chestnut, poplar, willow, maple, and ash.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Large, might be mistaken for a sphinx moth. ”  We will be featuring your posting as our Bug of the Month for June 2017.

Carpenterworm Moth

Wow, Thanks! I wasn’t even thinking of any moth outside of a sphinx…this girl was big! Thanks so much Daniel.
Mary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an ichneumon wasp?
Location: Austin, TX
April 30, 2017 8:49 am
What is this bug? Finding them inside the house this spring trying to get out…hanging around the windows…do they sting/bite? Any house structure damage concerns?
Signature: Stephen

Grass Carrying Wasp

Dear Stephen,
Based on BugGuide images, we are pretty confident that this is a Grass Carrying Wasp,
Isodontia mexicana.  According to BugGuide:  “Taken from the Internet Reference below (Penn State): The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks. In Pennsylvania, Isodontia mexicana typically produce two generations per year.  Remarks These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  We have many more images in our archives of the nests of Grass Carrying Wasps because they are so frequently found in window tracks.  Solitary wasps are generally not aggressive, and rarely sting humans, though that possibility does exist.  Since they are harmless, and since it appears one individual in the images you attached might be dead from unnatural causes, we are tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage.  Because Grass Carrying Wasps are emerging from nests formed in window tracks now that spring has arrived, and because we suspect other homemakers might be experiencing similar sightings, we are tagging this posting as the Bug of the Month for May 2017.

Grass Carrying Wasp

Update:  Grass Carrying Wasps reported from France
Subject: Grass carrying wasp
July 25, 2017 5:29 am
Looking at your excellent site, I think you may have resolved two mysteries for me.
We have noticed recently a number of ‘grass carrying wasps’ around our dining table on the terrace. They have been disappearing into the metal frame taking their blades of grass with them. However, without taking the table apart we have been unable to tack where they are going.
I assumed them to be carrying the grass for nesting material and your site confirms this.
What you may have also answered is the reason why over the past couple of weeks, we have been finding a number small, bright green crickets on the chairs and the terrace around the table. Anything from 1 to about a dozen or so at any one time.
We assumed them to be dead but your item on the  g.c.w. suggest that may not in fact be the case.
If I may ask a question – we live in the south-west of France which is a long way from you folks. Can you confirm if these wasps are the same i.mexicana as you have or another entirely different insect altogether.
Many thanks for creating and maintaining the website. I use it often.
Have a nice day y’all.
Robin
PS – If I can get a decent photograph I will send it to you.
Signature: Robin Nichols

Dear Robin,
We sometimes have a hard time with French sightings as there are not many comprehensive insect websites devoted to French species, however, folks in the UK seem to really like their bugs.  According to the Bee Keepers Garden:  ” A new to Britain wasp,
Isodontia mexicana (de Saussure), known as the Grass-carrying wasp, has been discovered at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. …  Researcher David Notton of the Natural History Museum said the wasp is pretty docile and a solitary species, so does not form large nests. ‘It’s quite unlike the better known and aggressive yellow/black social wasps with which people may be familiar.  We don’t know how it got to the UK, and although it’s a non-native invasive species there’s no evidence to suggest it’s a threat to UK fauna.'”  Since the Grass Carrying Wasp has been reported in the UK, it might have also been introduced to France.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Isodontia mexicana, the grass-carrying wasp, is one of the thread-waisted wasps belonging to the family Sphecidae. It is native to North America, found east of the Rockies and through Central America, but has recently been introduced into France, where its population is slowly spreading through Europe.” 

Good morning Daniel,
Many thanks for your reply regarding the grass carrying wasp. I have since looked on the internet for information regarding the existence of the insect in France.
According to a (French) Wikipedia entry the wasp arrived in southern France sometime during the 1960’s, since which time it has spread throughout the Midi region (effectively the southern half of France) and is now present in Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Helped, it is believed, by the long, countrywide heatwave in 2003, it managed to traverse the Massif Central into more northerly parts of France and is gradually spreading further north – presumably as global temperatures rise. I
As you say, it has now also been found in the UK.
Kind regards
Robin

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination