Currently viewing the tag: "bug love"

Subject:  Scorpion tail bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin, Tx
Date: 06/17/2019
Time: 11:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This 4 inch long bug has been sticking around our entrance for a few days. I never saw it move but after 3 days it changed its position.
Looks creepy with that weired scorpion-like thing coming out of its tail.
Thanks for helping to identify the species.
How you want your letter signed:  Andreas

Mating Muskmare

Dear Andreas,
This is a mating Muskmare, a Two Striped Walkingstick.  The tail you mentioned is actually the smaller male insect riding the back of his much larger mate.  Featured Creatures has a wealth of information on this species, including:  “this species is capable of squirting a strong-smelling defensive spray that is painfully irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.”

Thanks a lot for your help here, Daniel!
After I submitted my pictures I went back to do more investigation as the number of legs didn’t match bug or spider. After the 10th look I also discovered that is actually a mating couple. Guess I need more practicing 😉
Cheers from Austin
Andreas Stark

Subject:  Black beetles
Geographic location of the bug:  Denver City , Texas
Date: 06/16/2019
Time: 08:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!!! We have had an explosion of these beetles. Never seen them here before.
How you want your letter signed:  Bugs aren’t scary

Desert Stink Beetle

These appear to be Desert Stink Beetles in the genus Eleodes, possibly Eleodes fusiformis which is pictured on BugGuide.  Desert Stink Beetles are sometimes called Acrobat Beetles or Circus Beetles because they have a habit of sticking their abdomens in the air when threatened, and they appear to be standing on their heads.  The group image you submitted appears to document mating activity.

Mating Desert Stink Beetles

Subject:  Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Plymouth Meeting Pa
Date: 05/08/2019
Time: 01:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a crane fly?  If so what kind of crane fly is this? Are they agricultural pests?  They were found mating on my aronia.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned Gardener

Mating Tiger Craneflies

Dear Concerned Gardener,
We believe these are mating Tiger Crane Flies in the genus
Nephrotoma, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania:  “Although individual adults have a relatively short life span of 10 to 15 days, the flight period for each species can last from 25-30 days. The main functions of the adult stage are mating and egg-laying. Feeding is less important, and probably water is the most pressing need.”  That said, adults are benign for the gardener, except that they provide food for insect eating birds and other predators that often benefit the garden.  The larvae are probably a greater concern since they feed, but according to the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania:  “The larvae are found in a wide variety of habitats, varying from strictly aquatic to terrestrial, even relatively dry soil. Their habitats include fresh water in fast-flowing streams, marshes, springs, meadows, seeps, tree holes, algal growth or mosses on rock faces near water, organic mud and decaying vegetable debris along the shores of streams and ponds, accumulated decomposed leaves and rotting wood on the forest floor, and occasionally soil in lawn and pastures. … Larvae are the growth stage and the majority of crane fly larvae are scavengers feeding on decomposing plant material and the associated microorganisms. Larvae of some aquatic species are predators on other small invertebrates, and several are herbivores on algae, moss or herbaceous plants.”   There are also many nice images of Tiger Crane Flies on iNaturalist.

Mating Tiger Crane Flies

Subject:  Dragonflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Hungary
Date: 03/05/2019
Time: 10:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am giving a talk on Monday and would like to include the attached photographs but have been unable to identify the species as I have found most of the websites unhelpful.
You have been very helpful in the past and I would much appreciate your assistance.
How you want your letter signed:  William Smiton

Mating Dragonflies

Dear William,
Are you from Hungary or did you take these gorgeous images while on holiday?  Do you speak Hungarian?  Which sites did you not find helpful?  We did a web search for the order Odonata and Hungary and quickly found szitakotok, a site dedicated to Hungarian Dragonflies.  The site is difficult to navigate, and it loads slowly, but it seems quite comprehensive.  Did you check that site?


Your third image reminds us of the North American Common Whitetail, so we decided to see if there were any members on szitakotok from the genus Plathemis, but there are not.  Perhaps one of our readers who is adept at Dragonfly identification will provide input.  Perhaps if you have not yet checked szitakotok, you will have luck self-identifying.  Please let us know if you determine any identities.


I’m from Northern Ireland and took the photos on a birdwatching trip. I’ve tried various websites including the one you recommend but it doesn’t identify the dragonflies in the photographs. Daniel has been very helpful in the past so hope to hear from him.

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Rock, Melbourne
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 04:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think these are Endoxyla cinereus, and I assume they are mating? Some students of mine found these in the school playground – absolutely fascinated. The CSIRO page still doesn’t show it as present in Victoria, so perhaps it is something else?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew P

Mating Wood Moths

Dear Andrew,
We agree that these are mating Wood Moths in the family Cossidae, but we cannot confirm the exact species with any certainty.  We often have trouble differentiating members of this family, and we also confuse members of this family with the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths in the family Hepialidae, which are pictured on Butterfly House.  While we would not rule out that this might be
Endoxyla cinereus, which is pictured on Butterfly House, we can state that it really resembles the individual we posted earlier today that we believe is a Wattle Goat Moth, Endoxyla encalypti.

Mating Wood Moths

Subject:  Mystery bug in great numbers
Geographic location of the bug:  Houston, TX
Date: 10/21/2018
Time: 02:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These mystery bugs have been found in great numbers in our backyard and behind our fence in a wetland. They don’t fly but crawl all over the place and only appeared after Hurricane Harvey flooded our whole area very badly for an extended time.
The chickens won’t eat them at all, unfortunately. I can’t find them anywhere on the web. Not sure if we should try to eradicate them or if they are harmless.
How you want your letter signed:  KK Rush

Bordered Plant Bugs

Dear KK Rush,
These appear to be Bordered Plant Bugs,
Largus bipustulatus, which are pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “ground-dwelling or associated with the vegetative parts of forbs, shrubs and trees.”

Thank you so much! I swear I dug around all through the ‘net.
I sure wish the chickens would eat them.