From the monthly archives: "August 2004"

Hi there.
I will try to get a picture of this creature for you…but untill then.. I will do my best to describe it to you in the hopes you can tell me what it is.
for starters..I live in Maryland (baltimore county) middle northeast md. and this creature has been spotted at work burrowing under the ground in our gardens and taking ever greens in with him/her. it is a large 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch wasp like creature with black wings (that flutter when its on the ground)…shapped like a wasp (redish in color with a heart shaped face and yellow hight lites on its face)…it flys more like a humming tends to hover and dart rather then fly around like a normal bee. it has been seen killing and carrying off katydids and other small-ish insects…they appear to have a huge under ground structure going with many holes comming up in the gardens….that are full of spreading ewes and now Stone crop plants. (use to have bulbs and ewes)..gardens have been untouched for about 30 years and the bee like creatures have been noticed since I planted the stone crop and cut away some of the ewes to reveal the soil. they are again…large wasp like with black wings and redish bodies…and seem to kill other insects. any ideas ? I will take a picture of them tomorrow

Hi Pat,
You have a Great Golden Digger Wasp.

Freaked out by a gigantic Green Grasshopper!
These were taken BEFORE we relocated the yucky thing!
As you can see about 10 minutes later the thing was back in our closed garage!
What is this and is it laying eggs?
Jaymie M In Irvine, CA

Hi Jaymie,
You have sent in photos of a Broad-Winged Katydid, Microcentrum rhombifolium, which will not lay eggs in your garage. They lay eggs on twigs. They are usually not noticed on plants since they are such good leaf mimics.

Hi there, great site!
I took this photo today of a grasshopper on the screen door of my Cancun house. I saw that someone else wrote to you a few weeks back with his own picture which was kind of distant, so I thought you might enjoy a closer shot. I have no idea what kind it is, but apparently they are pretty common this time of year (although I haven’t seen any quite THIS big) and come in brown and green.
Good job with your site, I have it bookmarked!
Grey Todd

Thanks Todd,
We can’t postively identify the species, but Paul can:

mexican grasshopper
(02/05/2005) Hi,
I study entomology at the University of Texas at El Paso and was browsing the web when I came across a picture on your site of a large mexican grasshopper that you didn’t have identified. I caught a specimen of the same genus in Guatemala this last summer. It is actually in the lubber family Romaleidae and the genus is Tropidacris which includes the largest grasshoppers on earth.
Paul Lenhart

What’s this I’m stumped…not quite a lady bug… the head is wrong. Any ideas. Thanks,s

Dear Suzanne,
You do in fact have a member of the Ladybird Beetle Family Coccinellidae. Your specimen is Coleomegilla fuscilabris. The species, which ranges from light yellow to reddish-orange with black markings. It is common on foilage.

I can’t find out what kind of bug this is. My kids and I came across this strange bug today. I have tried to look it up, but can’t find it anywhere. Can you please help identify it? Your help would be gratefully appreciated!
Thank you,
Leslie and kids

Hi Leslie and kids,
We really wish your photos of a Banded Net-Wing, Calopteron reticulatum, were clearer. Though it looks like a moth, this is actually a beetle in the family Lycidae. It is found in moist woods and meadows where it feeds on juices from decaying plant matter.

I can’t tell you what a find you were on the internet. Today, I was photographing insects on milk weed. I found six different insects. These three are not in any of my books. I think it is a leaf hopper but can’t find it in any books or on the internet. They where in Orland Grassland in Orland Park Illinois.Thanks again… you are great!

Hi Suzanne,
It is definitely a Leafhopper. WE thoughth the description of Oncometopia undata fit. It is described, according to Comstock as: “a common species. Its body, head, fore part of the thorax, scutellum, and legs are bright yellow, with circular lines of black on the head, thorax, and scutellum. The fore wings are bluish purple, when fresh, coated with whitish powder. It measures 12 mm. in length. It is said to lay its eggs in grape canes, and to puncture with its beak the stems of the bunches of grapes, cuasing the stems to wither and the bunches to drop off.” We then did a websearch and found a photo on that supported our supposition. Then we found a photo in our Audubon Field Guide that identifies it as Oncometopia nigricans and calls this large leafhopper a Sharpshooter.