Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fungus tarantula
Location: santa lucia, ecuador
December 23, 2012 6:49 pm
One of the most interesting finds in the cloud forest of Ecuador was a tarantula covered in an orange fungus. He looks better decorated than some of my neighbors lawns!
Signature: polymersn

Fungus Riddled Tarantula

Dear polymersn,
Our website has numerous photos of Spiders covered in Fungus and Fungus also attacks flies and other insects, including this Lady Bug.  See BugGuide for some Fungus photos.  Your photo brings up countless questions and is fertile ground for allowing our vivid imaginations to run amok.  We wonder if this Tarantula was attacked by a fungus infection while it was still alive or if it died and was then consumed by the fungus.  We wonder if the former scenario was true, if the initial infection was something that might have affected the behavior of the Tarantula.  We hope you didn’t transport jungle fungus spores back to your home.  Some of this paranoia might have been fueled by an early childhood viewing of “Matango–Attack of the Mushroom People” though with all the biotourism currently en vogue, people are tramping organisms all over the planet at rates much faster than an natural range expansion would permit.  Thanks for sending us your awesome documentation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange mushroom like growths in my lawn… bug nests?
Location: Plano, Texas
December 10, 2012 6:06 pm
Can anyone help me identify this?? We have a couple of these in our front lawn. They’re about the size and shape of an average mushroom and they are about as fragile as mushrooms, but on the inside they are made of porous brown water resistant dirt. (I shot one with the hose and it burst into dust, but didn’t become mud!) I’m not sure if it’s a plant. I thought it might be a bug nest of some kind, but I’ve never seen any bugs come in or out of them. What is it??? What should I do with it??
Signature: ~ Dave


Hi Dave,
This is a Mushroom.  It may have been filled with spores.  If you have never seen these Mushrooms before and you had some recent landscaping, you might have introduced the spores in dirt or mulch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Woodland spider identification help
Location: Woods, in rock crevice, Andover, MA
November 29, 2012 7:58 pm
I know you are really busy during the holidays, but I thought I would send the email and hope you catch this post. I was photographing mushrooms and inadvertently took a photo of this beautiful spider. I was hoping you could tell me what it is. I thought it was a type of wolf spider but the markings didn’t fit.
Thank you and Happy Holidays.
Signature: Roberta

What’s That Spider???

Hi Roberta,
Thank you for your kind holiday greeting.  The eye pattern of spiders (See bugGuide) is one of the best means of classifying and identifying them, but alas, your photo does not show the spider’s face.  Nonetheless, we think this is a gorgeous photo and we are posting it.  Perhaps one of our readers can tell us “What’s That Spider?”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mysterious Cellar Spiders Covered in White
Location: Castine, Maine
September 4, 2012 3:55 pm
I have read a few of the comments concerning the mysterious spiders apparently covered with a white frosty-looking substance. I have seen these in Maine, and am cleaning a few pictures of them off of my desktop. The ones I saw were definitely dead, as I could touch them with a stick with no reaction.
Signature: Andrew

Fungus-Ridden Spider

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your first-hand observations and photographs of this Fungus-Ridden Spider phenomenon.  One of our most frequently commented upon postings has sparked a debate on whether these spiders are dead or alive.  We maintain it is a fungus infection and it is possible that some of the spiders might not have completely expired, but they are not long for this world.  We believe the fungus might attack the spiders while alive, but death shortly follows.

Fungus-Ridden Spiders in the basement!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: odd growth at base of tree
Location: Missouri
July 30, 2012 10:48 pm
I’ve noticed strange small round (pea-sized) white ”cells”, attached to each other in flat ”communities”. They are growing/collecting at the base of a ornamental white crab apple tree (only 2 years old). They are scatterd atop the mulch. Our average daytime temps have been 98-105 degrees for all of July. This area gets watered every other day for about an hour. The leaves of the tree don’t let a lot of water fall down onto the area where these are growing. Some ”cells” look like they have dried up.
Signature: Tobi’s Mom

Birds Nest Fungus

Dear Tobi’s Mom,
This phenomenon is not insect related.  This is a cluster of Birds Nest Fungus.  See Wayne’s World for an explanation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

August 26, 2011
Location:  Elyria Canyon Park, Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, California
Several of the Indian Milkweed Plants growing wild in Elyria Canyon Park have serious Milkweed Aphid infestations, and one especially hard hit group of plants is also covered in black Sooty Mold.  See the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resourceswebsite for more information on Sooty Mold.

Indian Milkweed with Sooty Mold

Convergent Lady Beetles, Hippodamia convergens,  have begun to feed off of the Milkweed Aphids, though it seems there are far too many Aphids for the few Lady Beetles that were observed.  Learn how to identify the Convergent Lady Beetle on BugGuide and read more about the benefits of the native Convergent Lady Beetle on the San Francisco State University Department of Geographywebsite.

Convergent Lady Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination