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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The Curious World of Bugs finally came!!!
Location:  Georgia
October 5, 2010 5:53 pm
Our copy of The Curious World of Bugs came today! My daughter and I started reading it right away and I am having trouble prying it out of her little hands now!
Signature: Happy as 2 bugs in a rug!

Young Fan

Dear Happy as 2 bugs in a rug,
We are thrilled to hear that you are enjoying Daniel’s book, though your signature may be giving chills to  some of our readership who have recently been informed that they have Carpet Beetle Larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Glossy Red and black spider from Papua highlands
Location:  Tembagapura, Papua, Indonesia
October 2, 2010 10:08 pm
We see these small spiders with a red cephalothorax and upper half of legs and glossy black abdomen and lower half of legs around the house here in the highlands (2500 meters) in Papua, Indonesia. Any ideas what they are?
Signature:  Kevin

Red and Black Spider from Indonesia

Dear Kevin,
This is one awesome looking spider.  We want to GUESS that this might be a Cobweb Spider in the family Theridiidae, the same family that includes such black and red poisonous spiders as the Black Widow from North America and the Red Back Spider from Australia.  Red and Black are codified warning colors in the insect and bug* worlds, and that warning is generally poison.  We hope our readership will come to our rescue with the name of this begloved she-beauty.

* Ed. Note: Bugs are loosely defined as “Thing That Crawl” in Daniel’s new book The Curious World of Bugs.

Spider from Papua

Hi Daniel,
Thanks – I think you steered me in the right direction.  I’m going to guess this is in the Nicodamidae family which was split out of the family Theridiidae (according to what I can find on some Aussie web sites) about 15 years ago.  The Australian Red and Black spider (not to be confused with the Red Back) looks almost identical to mine and is a member of this family.
This one has a body length of 8mm, and from what I can tell looking at pictures would appear to be a female.

Thanks for writing back Kevin.  As you did not provide a link, we searched and found the family Nicodamidae on the Spiders of Australia website and there were photos of Nicodamus peregrinus, which looks very close to your specimen.  The webpage indicates Nicodamus peregrinus can be found in Eastern Australia, and that “The family Nicodamidae consist of nine genera with 29 descibed species, all living in Australia, one in New Guinea and one in New-Zealand.”  The Esperance Fauna website also devotes nice coverage to the family Nicodamidae.

Sorry for not including the links – yes, those were the sites I found most helpful also.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

October 11, 2010
This morning Daniel did two additional radio interviews with WOCM-FM “Bulldog and the Rude Awakening” in Ocean City MD, and WLW-AM “Jim Scott Show” in Cincinnati OH.  If they are local shows for you, be sure to tune in.  Last week Daniel had an interview with IRN-USA Radio Network in order to provide sound bytes for national news broadcasts.

October 1, 2010
Yesterday Daniel was interviewed for The Osgood File about The Curious World of Bugs, though it is uncertain exactly when in the coming weeks the interview will be played on syndicated Westwood One CBS radio.  In Los Angeles, The Osgood File can be heard on KNX 1070 and you can check your local affiliate using the Westwood One station finder for the Osgood File program.  Stay tuned for more details.

Hitting Shelves October 5

You can preorder the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an Independent Bookseller now!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

September 27, 2010
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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

… and the surprise is that the inside cover was done the way I requested it.
September 15, 2010

Rear Frontispiece

You can preorder the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an Independent Bookseller now!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

The publicist at Penguin/Perigee requested that Daniel make a video to stir up interest in radio and television appearances prior to the release of The Curious World of Bugs.  Here is a simple home video of Daniel in the tomato patch:

Though a Tomato Bug, which is Grandma Nanowsky’s name for either a Tomato Hornworm or a Tobacco Hornworm, could not be located at the time the video was shot, there is nonetheless some helpful information contained in the video on these large green caterpillars that feed on the leaves of tomato and related plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination