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

Subject:  Some kind of borer beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Napa Valley, California
Date: 04/29/2019
Time: 06:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman —
Hello! This morning I saw this beetle sipping from a tree. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen outside of a zoo, probably about half the size of my index finger. And looks to be pregnant too! Any idea what it could be?
How you want your letter signed:  Christine

Longhorn:  Stenocorus species

Dear Christine,
This is very exciting.
We agree that this appears to be a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and the size you indicated is quite impressive.  We did not recognize this Beetle, and the width of the abdomen at the base of the elytra is considerably wider than the thorax, and the thorax is unusual in its shape.  On a lark, we decided to search Cerambycidae and Napa Valley and we found
Vandykea tuberculata pictured on the Cerambycidae Catalog Search, and it does seem to resemble your individual.  We found a single posting on BugGuide and the common name Serpentine Cypress Long-Horned Beetle and the remark:  “on California’s “Special Animals” List.”  We believe this might be a very rare sighting, and we are seeking assistance from Eric Eaton and Doug Yanega to get their opinions.  We will get back to you on this.  We also have selected this posting to be the Bug of the Month for May 2019, and we really hope our initial research has produced a correct identification so we can research this species more.  If that is a correct identification, according to Nature Serve Explorer:  “Critically Imperiled” and “An extremely rare endemic restricted to serpentine cypresses in the Clear Lake area in Lake County, CA.

Longhorn:  Stenocorus species

Correction Courtesy of Doug Yanega
Hi. This is a large female Stenocorus, either vestitus or nubifer. They
are difficult to distinguish based on photos.
Peace,
Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA

Ed. Note:  Of the two species, BugGuide has information on Stenocorus vestitus which states:  “hosts: Pinaceae (Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Tsuga); adults on flowers”

Wow, thanks so much! It’s always exciting to see new bugs in the spring and summer.
Christine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large ( not huge ) brown moth, two spots
Geographic location of the bug:  Clearwater Florida. West central fla
Date: 03/30/2019
Time: 02:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Large is relative, I suppose.  This was about 1.25 inches long. Doesn’t sound big but it’s a lot larger than any other moth I have seen around here. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Pk

Male Io Moth

Dear Pk,
This is a male Io Moth, one of the smaller of the Giant Silkmoths that are native to North America.  Like many members of the family Saturniidae, Io Moths have large eyespots on the underwings that enable them to frighten predators.  Here is a BugGuide image of an Io Moth with markings similar to your individual.

Thanks!   I wondered if there was more to the wings than it was showing.  Now that you have explained “Underwings” I will be a better moth identifier.  Might even try to intentionally startle a moth to see those eyes.   Thanks a lot!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  March 3, 2019
After posting this submission, we realized we had not yet selected a Bug of the Month for March, and since Red Headed Ash Borers are prone to emerging from firewood indoors while winter weather is still prevalent, we thought it would be an appropriate selection for March 2019

Subject:  Brown and Yellow
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwest Ohio
Date: 02/27/2019
Time: 11:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there Bugman, it’s been a little while! I found this small six legged creature in my bedroom and would like to know what it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Hanna B.

Red Headed Ash Borer

Dear Hanna,
Do you store firewood indoors?  This looks to us like a Red Headed Ash Borer,
Neoclytus acuminatus, or another member of the genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Overwinters in infested tree trunks, probably as pupae; adults emerge in early spring and lay eggs under bark of recently dead trees” and “Larvae are common in downed timber with the bark left on.”  When firewood infested with larvae is brought indoors, the heat causes the adults to emerge early.  Many members of the family Cerambycidae have markings and coloration that mimic stinging insects like like this Paper Wasp.

Thank you!! I have several houseplants and a lot of driftwood. Perhaps it hatched from one of my pieces! It is still buzzing around in my house and it is still too cold to just put it outside, but there are sources of water in my house and if I keep seeing it, when it gets warmer outside I’ll let it out. I got another, much better picture of it as it perched on my kitten skull display(see attached)
Thanks again for the help!

Red Headed Ash Borer

Hi again Hanna,
Thanks for sending a better image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  bug on a lichen
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, Naples FL
Date: 02/01/2019
Time: 09:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch big, just attached to the lichen. I found this about 11 a.m, and it was still there when I came back probably about 1 hr. later, and it showed no signs of life. I’m sure I was the only one who ever saw this, and I did show it to a family.
How you want your letter signed:  Sylvia

Lichen Mimic Mantid

WOW Sylvia,
We have no shortage of images of Lichen Mimic Mantids or Grizzled Mantids on our site and there are even a few that show them perfectly camouflaged against bark or lichens, but we have never seen a Lichen Mimic Mantid image more impressive than yours, not the least characteristic of which is the white color of the Mantid.  This is the whitest individual we could locate on BugGuide and it appears about a zone darker than the individual in your image.  We have never had the pleasure of observing Lichen Mimic Mantids in nature, but our own experience with California Mantids leads us to believe she is going to stay on that white patch where she blends in perfectly.  Like the California Mantis female, the Lichen Mimic Mantid female is flightless, and both are much more likely to remain in the same place if the hunting is good while the winged male is much more mobile, a good attribute since the male seeks out the female.  Though we already selected a Bug of the Month February 2019, since your submission arrived on the first of the month, we have no problem designating it as Bug of the Month February 2019 as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bright Green beetle, dark blue legs and orange head.
Geographic location of the bug:  Mitcham Victoria Australia
Date: 01/30/2019
Time: 11:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify this beetle? I would be very great full if you can.
How you want your letter signed:  Yours truly  Andrea King

Female Golden Stag Beetle

This is a marvelous image of what we believe is a female Golden Stag Beetle, Lamprima aurata, that we identified thanks to the Museums Victoria Collections site where it is described as:  “Body oval and shiny. Colour varies; green, red, blue or purple all over body. Males have larger bodies and larger jaws (mandibles) than females. Body up to 3 cm long, usually 1.5 – 2.5 cm.”   FlickR includes a really beautiful image, and according to Encyclopedia of Life:  ” is relatively common throughout Australia, and fairly variable in coloration, so has been given many names by various authors. Females are smaller than the males, and males have the mandibles enlarged and prolonged forwards. The colour of the males is typically metallic golden green or golden yellow, while females may be blue, blue-green or also dull brown.”  Your inquiry is perfectly timed to be our Bug of the Month for February 2019.

Hi Daniel,
That is marvellous.  Just wondering if I can have my name on it instead of ‘yours truly’ as I didn’t know what was meant by ‘how would you like it signed’.  Also does it cost to register on the site?
Kind regards
Andrea King

Hi Andrea,
There is no charge to register on WTB?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp indoors in winter
Geographic location of the bug:  Grayslake, Northern Illinois
Date: 01/04/2019
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My young cats found this wasp buzzing in the window today. Temps are a bit warmer than normal in the low 40’s, but I thought wasps died off in the winter and never expected to see one in January. Can you help me identify and figure out why (s)he’s in my house? I’m not one to kill things but I don’t want the cats to eat it or get stung either.
Thank you for all of your work!
How you want your letter signed:  Karin

Yellowjacket Queen

Dear Karin,
We believe this is a queen Yellowjacket, probably the Eastern Yellowjacket,
Vespula maculifrons, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Each spring, a female queen begins a new nest that grows over the summer and autumn, but the nest dies over the winter and reproductive female Yellowjacket queens hibernate, beginning new nests in the spring.  We suspect you encountered a hibernating queen.  Since few insects are sighted in northern climes during winter months, we have decided to make this posting our Bug of the Month for January 2019.

Yellowjacket Queen

Yellowjacket Queen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination