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Category Archives: What’s Buzzin’

A Shield-backed Bug (Homaemus aeneifrons)

  • September 25, 2020

One of the more noticeable features of a “true bug” (order Hemiptera) is a triangular piece of the thorax, called the scutellum.... Continue Reading

Red-femured Milkweed Borer (Tetraopes femoratus)

Find a good patch of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and you are likely to spot these boldly colored longhorn beetles. As the name... Continue Reading

European Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa)

Mantis sightings aren’t necessarily common in Missoula, but certainly not unheard of. On this particular afternoon during our bug walk with... Continue Reading

A Backswimmer (Notonecta undulata)

Aptly named, backswimmers swim upside down, propelled by long oarlike legs fringed with hair (setae). Their pale uppersides and dark undersides... Continue Reading

Wooly Aphid (family Aphididae, subfamily Eriosomatinae)

On sunny fall afternoons, it sometimes looks like it is snowing. But it’s not snow …it’s the annual fall swarming of... Continue Reading

One-eyed Sphinx Moth Caterpillar (Smerinthus cerisyi)

These caterpillars spend their larval life fattening up on leaves of poplars, aspens, and willows in forested and riparian habitats. With... Continue Reading

Tachinid Fly in the genus Tachina

Tachinid flies are mostly robust flies with spiny abdomens. Adult tachinid flies prefer sucking up sweet nectar from flowers, but larvae... Continue Reading

Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita)

If you are lucky enough to view these large, agile, and seemingly tireless fliers up close you can really appreciate their... Continue Reading

Hunt’s Bumble Bee (Bombus huntii)

Hunt’s Bumble Bees are one of the first bumbles we see out and about in early spring and they remain on... Continue Reading

Robber Fly (family Asilidae), likely with a Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)

  • September 18, 2020

Green Commas are certainly tough themselves, overwintering as an adult, but they’re no match for a robber fly. Perfectly described in... Continue Reading