Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Mystery Bug

Me: Is it dead?
Lee: Yes
Me: Are you sure?
Lee: Yes, I found it in the pool. It's dead.
Me: Okay. Looks like a wasp of some sort. I've never seen one before. It's huge. It's not a Cicada Killer. It looks like it could put a serious hurt on someone.
Me again: Are you sure it's dead?
Lee: Honey, legs curled, not moving. It's dead.


Well Mr. Buggy, lets take your measurements.
Looks like if you were alive and relaxed, you'd be nearly two inches long. You are most definitely not a Cicada Killer. Let's look you up on my favorite bug id website, Bugguide.net
.....................................................................several hours later.....................................................................still no ID on Mr. Buggy.

I gave up for the night. Pearl came in to my office to work on my computer.
Mind you, she used to love bugs. She knows an awful lot more about them than I do.

Pearl: Mom, what's this big bug on your desk?
Me: I don't know. I've looked at hundreds of pictures of wasps, but can't figure it out.
Pearl: (pokes Mr. Buggy) Scccccrrreeeechhhhh!! Mom, it's still alive!!!
Me: No it's not.
Pearl: Mom, it's most definitely alive! Get a cup! Get a cup!
Me: (after some investigation and getting a cup to move resurrected bug outside) Wow, you're right. And to think I held it in my hand. Dad's in trouble!

Once Pearl's breathing returned to normal and we took several pictures, she tells me that Mr. Jesus Buggy isn't a wasp, but looks like he belongs in the fly family.

We left Mr. Jesus Buggy outdoors. He was clearly not doing well, as he was in the exact same spot the next morning. I took the opportunity to get some better pictures.
I then spent some more time on BugGuide.
Sure enough, my giant bug is a Mydas Fly.

Turns out the reason I've never seen one is that adults don't live very long. They are considered to be a beneficial insect, but only in the larval stage. Their young burrow about in the soil and eat other soil dwelling insect larvae---namely, grub worms.
Mr. Jesus Buggy was gone this morning. Sometimes it just takes a while to get all the pool water out of your ears before you can move on.
Wait, flies don't have ears.
Either way, my mystery bug was ID'd and all is right in my world again.
I hate unsolved mysteries.







6 comments:

  1. Everything is bigger in Texas!

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  2. Warren, you are so very right. :)
    Turns out you have a Mydas Fly species in West "by God" Virginia. http://bugguide.net/node/view/121884/bgimage

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  3. OMGoodness! I'd be having the heebie jeebies just thinking I'd held said bug while he/she was in a temporary coma! I hate bugs and snakes!

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  4. I am okay with bugs, but yours seemed a little creepy. Wonder why he was acting "dead" then came back to life. Love the name you gave it, sure fits. :)

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  5. Bugguide.net! Who knew? Thanks!

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