From the monthly archives: "June 2011"

A bee, perhaps?
Location: Upper Styria, Austria
June 30, 2011 6:55 am
Dear Bugman, I came across this eyecatching creature June 9 along the Enns River between Wörschach and Niederhofen, Austria. The weather was overcast and cold, hovering right around 60˚F, but I had the feeling that if it had been warmer, this little fella would have been buzzing from flower to flower. Do you have an identification for it? Thanks in advance!
Signature: N. Fritz

Bee Chafer

Dear N. Fritz,
We believe we have correctly identified this Scarab Beetle as a Bee Chafer,
Trichius rosaceus or Trichius fasciatus, based on Rob Coleman’s photos on ISpot.  The Global Species website has some very similar photos.  The harmless Bee Chafer probably derives some benefit from mimicking a stinging bee.

Thanks, Daniel!  Is it the first bee chafer to be featured on What’s that Bug?  If so, I’m very honored!  Condolences on Lefty, but I’m glad to hear his legacy will live on.

Thanks.  We do not turn up any matches on our site for Trichius, so this is probably a genus first on our site, however we do have some similar North American species.


Do you know the name of this insect?
Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
June 30, 2011 9:51 am
Dear bugman,
I found this insect in my garden on my sunflower leaves. It was in the evening and the temperature was kind of cool. I found it in June.
Signature: LIss

Candystriped Leafhopper

Hi Liss,
Sadly, though it is quite beautiful, the Candystriped Leafhopper,
Graphocephala coccinea, is not considered to be a beneficial insect in gardens.  The Urban Wildlife Guide is a nice source of information on the species.

Unknown Bug
Location: Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn NY
June 30, 2011 8:01 am
Hello –
I found this bug last night in Brooklyn Heights NYC. Looks like something I’ve seen before but bigger.
Signature: Dwight H Simmons

Grapevine Beetle

Hi Dwight,
This large scarab is a Grapevine Beetle,
Pelidnota punctata, and you may see additional photos and read information in our archives as well as on BugGuide.

greenish grey bug eating butterfly weed
Location: Georgetown, TX USA
June 30, 2011 9:06 am
I have / had a very nice butterfly weed plant that has become infested with these dusty greenish grey bugs that have stripped the leaves and flowers off of about 75% of the plant – I have not seen this bug before nor can I find it anywhere on the internet – please help if you can.
Signature: Melissa

Ashgray Blister Beetle

Dear Melissa,
We believe we have correctly identified your beetle as an Ashgray Blister Beetle,
Epicauta fabricii, based on photos and information posted to BugGuide.  We don’t know what your butterfly weed is, but here is what BugGuide indicates are the foods for the Ashgray Blister Beetle:  “Adult hosts: commonly on Leguminosae, including alfalfa, Baptisia, bean, pea, and sweetclover; sometimes attacks potato and glandless cotton.”  On the BugGuide Family page for Blister Beetles, it is indicated that “Larvae are parasitoids. … Epicauta (and other genera) larvae prey on eggs of grasshoppers.”  Insect populations do not remain consistent from year to year.  Some years see a surge in populations, and it can generally be associated with a plentiful food supply.  We can only speculate that perhaps last year there was a plentiful population of Grasshoppers, and that the eggs they produced allowed for a high survival rate among Blister Beetles.  Plants that are defoliated by insects generally survive and new leaves are produced by the plant to replace the lost leaves.  We would also caution you to handle Blister Beetles carefully as the beetles can produce a substance, cantharidin that is a blistering agent should it come into contact with the skin.

Ashgray Blister Beetle

Thank you so much! – Yes we had tons of grasshoppers last year and have them again this year so I know what to look out for – too bad for the adults because I would like them to eat all the grasshoppers they can but I want to try and save my butterfly weed!
Thanks again!

Jumping spider feeding on a cicada
Location: cheney kansas
June 29, 2011 11:52 pm
Was mowing one day and saw a cicada drying it’s wings on a Walnut tree.
I returned a couple hours later to check up on the cicada and found a jumping spider feeding on the cicada.
Signature: Chris Harris

Bold Jumper eats Cicada

Hi Chris,
We are very impressed with both your photograph and what it documents.  We believe the spider is most likely a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax, and based on the information on BugGuide, it is a highly variable species, though BugGuide does indicate:  “The majority of audax specimens are black with three white spots.”  There are also some excellent images and information on this Cirrus Image website.  Alas, your photos do not provide a clear dorsal view of the abdomen, so only one white spot is visible.  We have so much room to speculate upon how this Bold Jumper managed to capture a Cicada many times its size.  We wish you hadn’t cropped the photo.  It appears that this might be a newly metamorphosed Cicada.  The Cicada is lighter in color when it first metamorphoses.  Also, insects are much more vulnerable immediately following molting and the metamorphosis process.  The exoskeleton will not have properly hardened immediately after metamorphosis and the Cicada is incapable of flying until after its wings and exoskeleton harden.  That would be the window of opportunity for a proficient hunter like the Bold Jumper to tackle a significantly larger prey than it would normally be able to take.  Thanks for sending us your photos.

Bold Jumper

Male Pondhawk of some type?
Location: Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden, NC
June 27, 2011 2:23 pm
Greetings! My husband took this extreme closeup of what looks to be a male Eastern Pondhawk, except that the ’back’ is black. Is it a different version of a Pondhawk maybe? It was taken June 26, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Raleigh NC – there is a small goldfish pond with native plants where it probably lives & breeds.
Love your site! Take care…
Signature: looks but does not touch

Blue Dasher or Not??

We sometimes have a difficult time correctly identifying Dragonflies.  We cannot say for certain that it is an Eastern Pondhawk based on the variations presented on BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm the identity of this beautiful Dragonfly.

Correction: Blue Dasher
June 30, 2011 11:38 am
I am by no means an expert, but I suspect the male dragonfly whose id you’re unsure about is a male Blue Dasher. The light-colored face, darker thorax (possibly with stripes that can’t be seen from this angle), and the smoky coloration on the wings distinguish it. I believe the obelisking posture is very common among Blue Dashers as well (though many dragonflies do it).
This photo from Bugguide looks like a good match.
Signature: Susan B.

Thanks Susan,
We agree that the Blue Dasher,
Pachydiplax longipennis, seems like a much likelier identification.