From the monthly archives: "June 2011"

what is it
Location: Southern France
June 30, 2011 3:36 pm
saw this bug in the bedroom, would be interested to know what it is.
Signature: Dave

Shieldback Katydid

Hi Dave,
This is a male Shieldback Katydid, and we believe it is in the genus
Ephippiger.  We will try to get additional information.

red bug
Location: Anza, California
June 30, 2011 6:32 am
Photographed this fast little thingy on our property last year. I’ve seen a couple of them before, but they always seem to escape the frame before I can capture more than their tail-end leaving the picture. Any ideas please?
Signature: Karen

Velvet Ant and California Harvester Ants

Hi Karen,
The big gal is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp that packs quite a painful sting.  We believe the red ants are California Harvester Ants,
Pogonomyrmex californicus, which also sting.

Thanks Daniel,
Love the site, by the way.

Prometheus or Tulip Tree Silkmoth?
Location: Clifton, Virginia
June 30, 2011 1:03 pm
Hi! This gorgeous moth was playing around my porch light last night (6/29/2011), and I spent over an hour watching and photgraphing her. I thought at the time that she is a Prometheus (Callosamia promethea), but now Googling has led me to find out that she may be a Tulip-Tree Silkmoth (Callosamia angulifera), which looks very similar. I’m having a tough time deciding which she is, and I’m about all googled out. Help, please? Thanks!
Signature: Ericka

Tuliptree Silkmoth

Hi Ericka,
You did a nice job of sleuthing.  In our opinion, this is a male Tuliptree Silkmoth.  It looks nearly identical to this image on BugGuide.  We are suffering from Google overdose ourselves and we are about to close the office and enjoy the beautiful Southern California day.

Hi Daniel.
Thank you so much for the speedy reply. Good to know! I do have loads of tulip trees in the yard, so that makes sense. I didn’t realize there was another moth species that looks so similar to C. promethea. I will rename my photo files and stop referring to said moth in the feminine.
Have a great evening!

Neon Skimmer? (Libellula croceipennis)
Location: Naperville, IL
June 30, 2011 11:18 am
Hello there!
I captured these images last July(2010) of what I think is a male neon skimmer sitting atop a tomato cage. He certainly lives up to his name. This amazingly beautiful creature sat there for 10 minutes while I snapped all kinds of closeups, barely twitching. Then he flew off. Thank you for hosting this amazing site. I could spend hours perusing it and admiring all the astounding photos. Best regards,
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Western Meadowhawk

Hi Dori,
The Neon Skimmer is a western species, and we disagree with your assessment, but alas, we don’t have an alternative.  Dragonfly identifications are very confusing for us, and we would prefer that someone with more experience identify the species.  We have been looking at possibilities on BugGuide to no avail though we do agree that it is most likely in the Skimmer family Libellulidae, which is very well represented on BugGuide.  Then, as we were about to post, we tried a last ditch effort and did a web search for “red dragonfly Illinois” and we found the Field Museum Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Chicago Region website, and there was your Western Meadowhawk,
Sympetrum semicinctum.  A cross check on BugGuide satisfied us that the identification was correct, but considers the species to be the Band-Winged Meadowhawk.

Western Meadowhawk

Thank you!  Goodness, living in the midst of a large prairie preserve, you’d think I would have jumped on the Meadowhawk genus from the start and noted the geographical un-likelihood of a neon skimmer.  And thank you for the awesome Field Museum link – I’ve never seen it before.  You are wonderful, wonderful!  Regards,

Beetle? Fly? Wasp?
Location: Radcliffe, Lancashire, NW UK.
June 30, 2011 11:18 am
Hi, I have today found an insect and I have no clue what it is. Dimensions are included on one of the pictures. I have performed a search online but can find nothing like it, the closest in terms of shape would be the Snake Fly. 30/06/2011, weather slightly breezy, intermittent clouds/sun and 16 degrees celsius.
Many thanks for your help,
Signature: CPS


Hi Chris,
This is a Parasitoid Wasp known as an Ichneumon.  The closest match on the Bugs and Weeds website is identified as
Ichneumon suspiciosus agg. and this is the information that is provided:  “Like many Ichneumon species, this is a member of an aggregate group of very similar looking species (hence the ‘agg.’ suffix) that cannot be definitively identified without recourse to close microscopic scrutiny.  The yellow and black banded antennae and legs and an overall length of 15mm (excluding antennae) suggests that it might possibly be Ich. suspiciosus – or something similar!  It is an endoparasite of moth larvae. That is, the adult female ichneumon inserts an egg under the skin of a caterpillar and the resultant wasp larva will slowly develop internally within the caterpillar until the caterpillar enters pupation. The parasite will then enter its own pupation and, on completion of its metamorphosis, will be the sole adult insect to emerge.  This will take place in summer or autumn and the emergent adult will hibernate throughout the winter to fly again in spring coincident with the emegence of adult moths and the next generation of their caterpillars.”  UK Safari also has a photo.  Your individual is black and white, but it looks very similar.  We suspect it is a closely related species.  It should be noted that Ichneumons can be very difficult to accurately identify to the species level.  The ISpot website has a very close match that is not identified.

Could you help me identify this bee?
Location: Colorado Springs CO
June 30, 2011 10:34 am
I grow a lot of flowers to attract bees. I was hoping you could identify this one for me.
Signature: ?

European Wool Carder Bee

Dear ?,
You submitted two different species.  One is a Longhorned Bee and the second is the one we are really interested in posting, a European Wool Carder Bee
, Anthidium manicatum.  This introduced species is only represented on our site with two postings from 2006.  According to BugGuide:  “Females collect ‘wool’ from downy plants such as Lamb’s Ears to line their nest cavities” and “Males defend their territory very aggressively not only against other males but also against other flower visitors.”

Thank you for your response. Sorry I miss understood the “how to address the letter. My name is Eva. That is very interesting to see that the European Wool Bee has only been represented on your site so few times. I did submit a photo to the facebook site. Feel free to use the photos if needed. Best wishes, Eva