North Carolina Insect Photos

Photographs by Will Cook, mostly taken in North Carolina.

Recommended insect ID books

Coleoptera - Beetles

Diptera - Flies

Lepidoptera - Butterflies & Moths

Odonata - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Other Insects

Blattodea (Cockroaches)
Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta sp.) - Carroll Co., VA 6/17/06
Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta sp.) - Durham, NC 7/27/06. Male (females are wingless).
Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta sp.) - Orange Co., NC 8/24/08

Ephemeroptera (Mayflies)
Giant Mayfly (Hexagenia limbata) - Carroll Co., VA 7/22/06
Mayfly sp. 9470 - Montgomery Co., VA 7/13/07
Mayfly sp. 140458 - Carroll Co., VA 5/10/09
Mayfly sp. 150829 - Grayson Co., VA 5/30/09
Mayfly sp. 160032 - Grayson Co., VA 5/30/09
Mayfly sp. 1290100 - Uwharrie River, Montgomery Co., NC 4/17/2011

Hemiptera (Bugs)
Beech Blight Aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) (Aphididae) - Durham Co., NC 10/6/2012
Woolly Alder Aphid (Prociphilus tessellatus) (Aphididae) - Madison Co., NC 4/9/2012
Otiocerus degeeri (Planthopper) (Derbidae)
Metcalfa pruinosa (Citrus Flatid Planthopper) (Flatidae) - Durham, NC
Toad Bug 1200836 (Hemiptera: Gelastocoridae) - Durham Co., NC 8/23/09
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii) (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae)
Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae)
Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) - Orange Co., NC 5/26/07
Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)
Ambush Bugs (Phymatinae) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)
Assassin bug 2050 - Wake Co., NC 6/4/05
Assassin bug 6437 - Clay Co., NC 5/12/06
Assassin bug 2542 - Bladen Co., NC 10/6/06. Bizarrely camouflaged.
Assassin bug 1230432 - Greensboro, NC 5/15/10
bug 8161 - Moore Co., NC 7/1/07
bug 0262 - Orange Co., NC 7/20/07
leaffootedbug 0237 - Orange Co., NC 7/20/07
bug 0305 - Durham, NC 9/9/07
bug 40406 - Orange Co., NC 4/12/08
bugs 60404 - Haywood Co., NC 5/10/08
leaf-footed bugs 70375 - Robeson Co., NC 5/29/08
bug 90890 - Carroll Co., VA 9/6/08
bug 90996 - Carroll Co., VA 9/7/08
bug 1170744 - Durham Co., NC 6/21/09
bug 1280689 - Carroll Co., VA 4/10/11
bug 1300938 - Durham, NC 6/16/11
bug 1300173 - Chatham Co., NC 5/8/11
bug 1090226 - Madison Co., NC 7/28/2012
bug 1100173 - Durham Co., NC 9/9/2012
bug 1100181 - Durham Co., NC 9/9/2012
bug 1130587 - Umstead State Park, Wake Co., NC 7/24/2013

Homoptera (Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids, and Allies)
Periodical Cicada (Magicicada septendecim)
Dog-Day Cicada (Tibicen sp.) - the heralds of summer
hopper 80921 - Durham, NC 8/11/08
hopper 90201 - Orange Co., NC 8/24/08
hopper 90226 - Orange Co., NC 8/24/08. Same individual as 90201.
hopper 90268 - Orange Co., NC 8/24/08
hopper 90751 - Durham, NC 9/2/08
hopper 100998 - Durham, NC 9/30/08
hopper 9378 - Durham, NC 7/11/07
hopper 9392 - Durham, NC 7/11/07
hopper 9394 - Durham, NC 7/11/07
hopper 9399 - Durham, NC 7/11/07
hopper 9457 - Durham, NC 7/12/07. Cottony-tailed nymphal hopper.
hopper 1170715 - Durham Co., NC 5/21/09. Cottony-tailed nymphal hoppers.
hopper 1300936 - Durham, NC 6/16/11
hopper 1290958 - Orange Co., NC 5/7/2011
hopper 1090515 - Durham, NC 8/4/12
hopper 1130639 - Durham, NC 7/24/13
hopper 1140897 - Durham, NC 9/19/13

Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps, and Sawflies)
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) (Apidae) - Durham, NC 5/14/09
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) (Apidae) - Durham, NC 7/12/09
Bumble Bee (Bombus sp.) (Apidae) - Durham Co., NC 6/21/2009
Elm Sawfly (Cimbex americana) (Cimbicidae) - Clay Co., NC 5/21/05
Sawfly (Cimbex sp.) (Cimbicidae) - Botetourt County, VA 4/18/05
Sawfly sp. 1130528.jpg (Cimbicidae) - Umstead State Park, Wake Co., NC 7/24/2013
Sawfly sp. 1130529.jpg (Cimbicidae) - Umstead State Park, Wake Co., NC 7/24/2013
Callirhytis quercusgemmaria (Cynipidae) wasp galls with "nectaring" ants - Durham Co., NC 4/11/09
Red-headed Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion lecontei) - (Diprionidae - Conifer Sawflies) - Orange Co., NC 9/4/2012
Ants (Formicidae) on wasp galls - same photo as above - Durham Co., NC 4/11/09
Red ants (Formica pallidefulva) (Formicidae) - Durham Co., NC 4/13/03. A colony of these ants was flooded out at the Flat River
impoundment near Falls Lake. Instead of walking over to dry land as the water rose, they climbed up grass
stalks and got trapped! There were dozens of ant balls like this in the area.
Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) (Formicidae) - Chatham Co., NC 9/20/08
Asian Needle Ant (Brachyponera chinensis) (Formicidae) - winged female - Durham Co., NC 8/23/2013.
Asian Needle Ant (Brachyponera chinensis) (Formicidae) - winged female - Durham Co., NC 8/23/2013.
Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion sp.) 7697 (Ichneumonidae) - Carroll Co., VA 6/17/06
Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion sp.) 9019 (Ichneumonidae) - Carroll Co., VA 7/3/06
Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion sp.) 0910 (Ichneumonidae) - Carroll Co., VA 8/12/06
Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion sp.) 2188 (Ichneumonidae) - Carroll Co., VA 9/22/06
Ichneumon Wasp sp. 1008 (Ichneumonidae) - Durham, NC 8/19/06
Ichneumon Wasp sp. 40301 (Ichneumonidae) - Durham, NC 4/10/08
Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa atrata) (Ichneumonidae) - Madison Co., NC 4/9/2012. Leucospis affinis (Leucospididae), female - Carroll Co., VA 7/22/06. Parasitic on Megachilid bees.
Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) - Chatham Co., NC 5/18/05.
Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) - Orange Co., NC 4/12/08.
Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) - Orange Co., NC 4/12/08.
Southern Yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa) (Vespidae) - Durham, NC 8/19/06
Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria) nest (Vespidae) - Carroll Co., VA 8/3/08
Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria) (Vespidae) - Carroll Co., VA 8/16/08
Baldfaced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nest (Vespidae) - Alleghany Co., NC 9/23/07
Polistes sp. 80495 (Vespidae) - Carroll Co., VA 8/2/08
Red Wasp (Polistes rubiginosus) (Vespidae) - Durham Co., NC 8/24/2013
Wasp sp. 1777 - Carroll Co., VA 9/3/06
Wasp sp. 2505 - Durham, NC 10/1/06
Wasp sp. 2876 - Carroll Co., VA 10/16/06
Wasp sp. 3686 - Durham, NC 3/7/07
Wasp sp. 5871 - Clay Co., NC 5/20/07. Amazingly long ovipositor!
Wasp sp. 7073 - Durham, NC 6/5/07
Wasp sp. 9095 - Carroll Co., VA 7/6/07
Yellowjacket sp. 1080598 - Carroll Co., VA 7/15/12
Wasp sp. 1040091 - Durham, NC 3/19/08
Wasp sp. 50435 - Granville Co., NC 4/27/08
Wasp sp. 90929 - Carroll Co., VA 9/6/08
Wasp sp. 1180229 - Durham, NC 8/23/09
Wasp sp. 1200865 - Orange Co., NC 8/23/09
metallic bee sp. - Durham Co., NC 9/13/09
metallic bee sp. - same individual - Durham Co., NC 9/13/09
Wasp sp. 1090616 - Durham, NC 8/12/2012. Yellowjacket sp. 1160182 - Durham, NC 1/4/14
Yellowjacket sp. 1160454 - Durham, NC 3/29/14

Mantodea (Mantids)
Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)
Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) - Carroll Co., VA 9/23/06

Mecoptera (Scorpionflies and Allies)
Scorpionfly (Panorpa sp.) (Mecoptera: Panorpidae) - Clay Co., NC 5/13/06

Megaloptera (Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies)
Eastern Dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus), female (Corydalidae) - Montgomery Co., VA 7/13/07
Gray Fishfly (Neohermes angusticollis) - Durham, NC 6/2/2009.
Dark Fishfly (Nigronia serricornis) - Grayson Co., VA 5/30/2009
Fishfly sp. 70658 (Corydalidae) - Durham, NC 6/5/08
Fishfly sp. 70694 (Corydalidae) - Alleghany Co., NC 6/14/08
Dobsonfly sp. 70694 (Corydalidae) - Madison Co., NC 7/27/2012

Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies)
Beaded Lacewing (Lomamyia sp.) (Neuroptera: Berothidae) - Durham, NC 6/28/06. Bizarre!
Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla rufilabris) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) - Durham, NC
Mantisfly (Dicromantispa sp.) (Neuroptera: Mantispidae) - Durham, NC 8/19/06
Green Mantidfly (Zeugomantispa minuta) (Neuroptera: Mantispidae)
Mantisfly (Neuroptera: Mantispidae) - Carroll Co., VA 7/18/13
Mantisfly (Neuroptera: Mantispidae) - Carroll Co., VA 7/18/13
Antlion (Myrmeleon sp.) (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae), adult - Moore Co., NC 6/18/05
Antlion (Myrmeleon immaculatus) (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae), adult - Carroll Co., VA 7/24/10
Lacewing, sp. 3208 - Carroll Co., VA 8/13/05
Lacewing, sp. 90114 - Orange Co., NC 8/24/08
Lacewing eggs - Durham, NC 7/8/09
Lacewing eggs - Granville Co., NC 5/25/09

Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Katydids and Crickets)
Short-winged Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus brevipennis) - Durham Co., NC 8/23/2013
Nubile Short-wing Grasshopper (Melanoplus nubilis) - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Two-Spotted Tree Cricket (Neoxabea bipunctata) - adult female, Carroll Co., VA 9/3/06
Red-headed Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum erythrocephalum) - Durham Co., NC 8/29/10
Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum) - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Spotted-winged Grasshopper (Orphulella pelidna) - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Orange-winged Grasshopper (Pardalophora phoenicoptera) - Scotland Co., NC 4/13/02.
Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) - Alleghany Co., NC 9/22/07. The sound of late summer nights. Female ovipositing in the base of a tree trunk.
Rusty Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca rubiginosa) - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) - Harnett Co., NC 8/18/05
Boll's Grasshopper (Spharagemon bolli) - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Camel/cave cricket sp. 2374 - Carroll Co., VA 9/23/06
Orthoptera sp. 9955 - Carroll Co., VA 7/14/07
Orthoptera sp. 00133 - Durham, NC 9/8/07
Orthoptera sp. 70343 - Robeson Co., NC 5/29/08.
Orthoptera sp. 80404 - Carroll Co., VA 8/2/08
Grasshopper sp. 80592 - Carroll Co., VA 8/2/08
Orthoptera sp. 90986 - Carroll Co., VA 9/6/08
Camel cricket sp. 80668 - Durham, NC 8/4/08
Grasshopper sp. 100866 - Carteret Co., NC 9/28/08
Katydid sp. 110099 - Carroll Co., VA 10/4/08
Grasshopper sp. 110829 - Scotland Co., NC 11/1/08
Cricket sp. 120492 - Dare Co., NC 11/9/08
Cricket sp. 120494 - Dare Co., NC 11/9/08
Grasshopper sp. 1210974 - Scotland Co., NC 10/4/09
Katydid sp. 1210424 - Carroll Co., VA 9/7/09
Grasshopper sp. 1200835 - Durham Co., NC 8/23/09
Grasshopper sp. 1200839 - Durham Co., NC 8/23/09
Grasshopper sp. 1200940 - Orange Co., NC 8/23/09
Grasshopper sp. 1200948 - Orange Co., NC 8/23/09
Katydid sp. 1200946 - Orange Co., NC 8/23/09
Grasshopper sp. 1230012 - Scotland Co., NC 4/18/10
Katydid sp. 1270711 - Orange Co., NC 9/12/10
Grasshopper sp. 1080574 - Carroll Co., VA 7/15/12
Grasshopper sp. 1200839 - Durham, NC 7/25/2012
Orthoptera sp. 1130066 - Carroll Co., VA 7/18/13
Orthoptera sp. 1130389 - Carroll Co., VA 7/19/13
Orthoptera sp. 1130815 - Durham, NC 8/12/2013

Phasmatodea (Walkingsticks)
Northern Walking Stick (Diapheromera femorata), male (Phasmatodea: Heteronemiidae) - Carroll Co., VA 7/23/05

Plecoptera (Stoneflies)
Stonefly 7761 (Perlidae?) - Carroll Co., VA 6/17/06
Stonefly 8876 - Carroll Co., VA 7/5/07
Stonefly 8892 - Carroll Co., VA 7/5/07
Stonefly 9280 - Carroll Co., VA 7/8/07
Stonefly 170163 - Carroll Co., VA 6/13/09
Stonefly 1130059 - Carroll Co., VA 7/18/13

Psocoptera (Barklice and Booklice)
Psocoptera sp. 9028 - Carroll Co., VA 7/3/06

Trichoptera (Caddisflies)
Lepdiostoma sp. (Lepidostomatidae) - Carroll Co., VA 9/23/06. Very small and dark.
Pycnopsyche gentilis? (Limnephilidae), male - Carroll Co., VA 9/23/05
Giant Red Sedge (Pycnopsyche scabripennis) (Limnephilidae), male - Carroll Co., VA 9/3/06
Caddisfly sp. 8477 - Carroll Co., VA 7/1/06. Large.
Chimarra sp.? (Philopotamidae) - Carroll Co., VA 6/17/06. Very small and dark.
Caddisfly 9085 - Carroll Co., VA 7/6/07
Caddisfly 9419 - Durham, NC 7/12/07
Caddisfly 1060811 - Durham, NC 5/16/08
Caddisfly sp. 1050185 - Carroll Co., VA 4/25/08
Caddisfly sp. 110044 - Carroll Co., VA 10/4/08
Caddisfly sp. 140425 - Carroll Co., VA 5/10/09. Small and dark.
Caddisfly sp. 1180115 - Carroll Co., VA 7/3/09
Caddisfly sp. 1240301 - Carroll Co., VA 6/6/10
Caddisfly sp. 1130164 - Carroll Co., VA 7/18/13
Caddisfly sp. 1150193 - Columbus Co., NC 9/28/2013
Caddisfly sp. 1130581 - Umstead State Park, Wake Co., NC 7/24/2013

Unidentified Insects
Scale insect 8375 - Alleghany Co., NC 7/1/06
Insect 2115 - Carroll Co., VA 9/22/06
Insect 3653 - Durham, NC 1/28/07. Tiny and dark.
Insect 3674 - Durham, NC 3/7/07. Tiny and dark. May be same species as 3653.
Insect 4188 - Durham, NC 3/24/07. Tiny. Similar to 3653 and 3674.
Insect 8149 - Durham, NC 6/28/07. Tiny.
Insect 8155 - Durham, NC 6/28/07. Minute, perhaps a 2 mm wingspan.
Insect 8837 - Carroll Co., VA 7/5/07
Insect 70651 - Durham, NC 6/4/08. Minute.
Insect 160260 - Carroll Co., VA 5/30/2009
Insect 1230792 - Greensboro, NC 5/15/10
Insect 1080137 - Watauga Co., NC 7/1/12

 

Recommended Insect Books:

Though web sites are helpful, it's easier to learn how to identify insects by studying good books. Here are a few to get you started.

Field Guides

A Field Guide to Insects (Peterson Field Guides)
by Donald J. Borror and Richard E. White (1998)

Perhaps the best general field guide to the insects of North America. Great illustrations and scientifically accurate text.

Insects (Golden Guide)
by Herbert S. Zim and Clarence Cottam (2001)

The venerable Golden Guide is great starting point for kids.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders
by Lorus and Margery Milne (1980)

The first field guide I ever owned; my sister gave this to me when I was 14, helping spur my interest in nature. Out of date, but still worth having on hand.

National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America
by Arthur V. Evans and Craig Tufts (2007)

A newer guide with great photos to help identify the most common species.

Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs
by Whitney Cranshaw (2004)

Great photographic guide for the gardener.

Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman (2007)

I don't have this one, but it looks great.

The Songs of Insects
by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger (2007)

This CD of insect songs, with acompanying book featuring gorgeous large photographs, is excellent for identifying common daytime buzzing insects and mysterious chirps in the night.


Insect Biology

Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
by Charles A. Triplehorn and Norman F. Johnson (2004)

This college textbook is fantastic for serious entomologists.


Comments? Questions? E-mail me at cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.