Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.

Subject:  What is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Texas
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 10:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this on its back and decided to spray it as it looks mean! It has a long needle-like nose and long thin wings, only two though.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Russell

Green Eyed Robber Fly

Dang Russell.  That is one large Robber Fly.
We are quite confident you encountered the Green Eyed Robber Fly,
Microstylum morosum, and according to Zoo Safari USA: “Very little is known about this species, but it is the largest of the Robber Flies in North America.”  Here is a BugGuide image.  You might want to contact your local natural history museum to see if they want the specimen.

Subject:  What is this insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Christchurch New Zealand
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 08:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m unsure what this is, at first I thought it was a blowfly so I swatted it and then I noticed the yellow colouring on its back and was worried it may be a bee of some sort
How you want your letter signed:  Isaac Thomas

Three Lined Hover Fly

Dear Isaac,
This is a harmless Three Lined Hoverfly,
Helophilus seelandicus.  According to Landcare Research:  “Attracts attention because of its noisy flight.  Important pollinator of flowers.  Larvae are rat tailed maggots which live in liquid containing rotting plants or animals.”

Subject:  Beetle identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 12:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this beetle? Found it in my house. Wondering if this is what killed one of my trees! Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Oklahoma Beetle

Ocellated Tiger Beetle

This harmless, predatory Tiger Beetle did not kill your tree.  We believe we have correctly identified it as an Ocellated Tiger Beetle thanks to this Gossamer Tapestry image and this BugGuide image.  We will be tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage in an effort to educate the public that every insect encountered is not a threat.

Cara on Facebook Asks:  Why do people kill first, then ask questions?!

Subject:  Large beetle in W. Montana
Geographic location of the bug:  Outside Missoula, MT
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 12:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m very sorry to have to send you a “carnage” picture as my first submission but am very curious what kind of insect this is. It was stepped on by someone ahead of us on the trail in early June and is nearly two inches in length.
How you want your letter signed:  Dylan

Western Sculptured Pine Borer

Dear Dylan,
We much prefer images of living Western Sculptured Pine Borers than crushed ones.  We are always amazed that people who claim to enjoy outdoor activities can have so little regard for life.  Here is a BugGuide posting for reference.

Subject:  Beetle identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Perth- western australia
Date: 09/01/2018
Time: 02:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Bug was found in lawn when removing african beetles.
Is over 6mm in length.
Wondering what the beetle is and if it is destructive to plants or harmful to pets
How you want your letter signed:  Regards, Daniel Jones

Devil’s Coach Horse

Dear Daniel,
Because of its red head, this is an amazing looking Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, and we identified it as
Creophilus erythrocephalus, commonly called a Devil’s Coach Horse, thanks to images on Wild South Australia.  According to Museums Victoria:  “Devil’s Coach Horses eat maggots (fly larvae) and are usually found living in rotting animal carcasses.”  While that might seem unsavory, we would consider them beneficial as they help to control Fly populations.  The species is also pictured on Atlas of Living Australia.  The common name Devil’s Coach Horse is also used with a European species of Rove Beetle that has naturalized in North America.  This Devil’s Coach Horse does not look like it died of natural causes, so we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Devil’s Coach Horse

Subject:  Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Orleans
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 06:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy in my apartment, tried to get him to an open window but got spooked when he flew at me. I looked up other wasps in the area but none of them seemed quite right.
How you want your letter signed:  Hbb

Great Golden Digger Wasp Carnage

Dear Hbb,
The Great Golden Digger Wasp is not an aggressive species, and what you mistook for aggression was likely it desperately trying to get back outside.