From the monthly archives: "November 2018"

Subject:  Flying insect – Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Richmond VA
Date: 11/01/2018
Time: 02:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I keep finding these flying insects in my house.  I am concerned if they are dangerous as my cats like to chase them around the house.  I am not sure where they are coming from but would like to know more about them.
How you want your letter signed:  Martin

Northern Paper Wasp

Dear Martin,
This is a Northern Paper Wasp,
Polistes fuscatus, and it is an especially dark individual, much like this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Hypervariable in color and pattern” and “Nests in woodlands and savannas. It is fairly common around human habitations, especially where exposed wood is present and can be used for nest material.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Lifespan is approximately one year, or the time it takes a queen to develop and to mate. Larvae from eggs that are laid during the summer are well fed because of abundant food, and are capable of becoming queens. These eggs hatch before fall and the resulting offspring hibernate during fall and winter. The new queens emerge in the spring to begin nests and lay eggs.”  That causes us to speculate that perhaps the individuals you are finding are queens that are seeking shelter indoors to hibernate due to the approaching cold weather.

Subject:  Desperate for help to I’d bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Croydon under my bed
Date: 11/02/2018
Time: 09:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear bug man I have some plastic boxes under my bed and found these two small bugs under there. I thought both were dead but then one started walking. Opposite my house they cut a large tree down yesterday but it was probably there already. I panicking there bed bugs but I hope it’s not a bug that causes infestation but if it is I need to I’d and sort it.
How you want your letter signed:  Wendy

Carpet Beetle Larva

Dear Wendy,
This is a Carpet Beetle Larva, a common household pest.

Subject:  Please indentify this insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Goa india
Date: 10/31/2018
Time: 12:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug/bee/moth has colour codes like a resistor. Width about 1.5 inch
How you want your letter signed:  Ap

Wasp Moth

Dear Ap,
This is one of the diurnal Tiger Moths in the subtribe Ctenuchina, a group sometimes called Wasp Moths as many are effective wasp mimics.  Though your image has some serious degradation, the colors and markings are defined enough for us to have found what we believe to be a matching image of 
Euchromia elegantissima on FlickR,  though we would not discount that it might be Euchromia polymena.

Subject:  The great pumpkin
Geographic location of the bug:  central NJ
Date: 10/31/2018
Time: 09:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I don’t have a clue, but it’s about as big as the orb-spinning house spider, and orange for halloween! Descended on silk from a tree. Is that an egg sac, or an abdomen?
How you want your letter signed:  LH

Pumpkin Spider

Dear LH,
We don’t know if you are serious about your subject line, but this does appear to be a Pumpkin Spider, which is how the orange color variation of the Marbled Orbweaver,
Araneus marmoreus, is often called.  Though the Pumpkin Spider was already our Bug of the Month for December 2013, we feel that enough time has passed to honor it again, so your submission will be featured as our Bug of the Month for November 2018.  Like other Orbweavers, though there is a possibility that a large individual might inflict a bite, the Marbled Orbweaver is considered harmless.  The large abdomen of this female indicates she might still have to produce an egg sac or two before winter.

Pumpkin Spider

Thanks so much!
I’m interested in what type of webs it spins- the usual big bullseye?
This one was inside for a few days!

Is it possibly a seasonal color variation?
Hi again LH,
Yes, they build a similar orb web.  The color variation is not seasonal, but the spiders mature and become noticeable in the fall.  The hatchling spiders that emerge in the spring are very tiny and easy to overlook.

Subject:  A Golden Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Nashik, Maharashtra, Indian.
Date: 10/30/2018
Time: 11:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I find a Golden Beetle having a plastic thin coating around  itself  please tell me about this bug……
How you want your letter signed:  Bug finder

Tortoise Beetle

Dear Bug finder,
This is a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini, but we are not certain of the species.  Here is a similar looking Tortoise Beetle, but a different species from India that is pictured on FlickR.