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

Subject:  Invasive Argentine Ants
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 27, 2016
Dating back to our relocation to Los Angeles in 1980, the editorial staff of What’s That Bug? has been plagued by colonies of invasive Argentine Ants, Iridomyrmex humilis.  If we had the time to devote ourselves to the elimination of one invasive species in California, it would be the Argentine Ant.  They are a pervasive pest species that we have always believed are the same Ants that play such an important role in the magnificent 20th Century novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez when they carry off a newborn baby.  Argentine Ants are most troublesome in the summer, during the hottest days when they enter homes to find water, but swarm around cat food, any sweets or fatty foods left out, or any dead bugs that ended their lives as cat toys.  We believe they are one of the biggest threats to native species wherever they proliferate.  According to Clemson University:  “Argentine ants are not native to the United States.  They were introduced to the US probably on coffee ships from Brazil and Argentina through the port of New Orleans sometime before 1891. They spread rapidly on commercial shipments of plants and other materials.  Now Argentine ants are found throughout most of the southern states and California, with isolated infestations in a few other areas.  Argentine ants have been very successful.  They are common in urban areas and can nest in diverse types of habitats. They can produce large numbers of offspring and survive on a wide variety of food. They often live on friendly terms with other neighboring colonies of the same species, but may eliminate some other ant species.”  Argentine Ants farm Aphids and move them from plant to plant.  We have also found Argentine Ants associated with other pestiferous Hemipterans that secrete honeydew.  We would love to hear any control methods our readers can provide.  Wayne’s Word also has some interesting information, including:  “Best Method Of Argentine Ant Eradication  Place outdoor ant bait stations such as Terro® along major ant trails in your yard. This is probably better than using insecticidal sprays. Smaller, indoor bait stations are also effective placed along ant trails in your home (out of the reach of children and pets). The active ingredients of Terro® is 5.40 percent sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Borax) which is lethal to ants. This salt upsets their digestive system and causes death due to dehydration and starvation. According to Jonathan Hatch (“How to Get Rid of Argentine Ants” ), dehydration and recrystallization of the ‘boric acic’ (borax?) lacerates the digestive system of ants and their larvae. There are many recipes on the Internet that include mixing borax with a sugary solution. Terro bait stations contain this mixture in convenient disposable plastic trays. It is important for the ants to carry the liquid back to their nest. Borax recipes only contain about 5 percent borax so that ants are not killed immediately. One tablespoon of borax in a cup of water is approximately a 5% solution. You must be patient–this treatment may take several days to a week. In fact, you may need to replenish you bait stations! Some websites state that boric acid is a more effective ant insecticide, but this is debatable. Boric acid is made by reacting borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) with an inorganic acid, such as hydrochloric acid (HCl).”

Argentine Ants eat Orbweaver

Argentine Ants eat Orbweaver

WE cannot say for certain if the Argentine Ants played a role in the death of this Orbweaver, but since Orbweavers are somewhat helpless when they are not in their webs, it is possible that this large spider was overcome by marauding Argentine Ants and killed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Looking for identification
Location: Denver, Colorado, in a basement, near a window sill
August 23, 2016 9:25 pm
Hello! I found a spider about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is all black, with a dorsal that is covered in tiny white polka dots. The dorsal is very lumpy. I’ve never seen anything like it and can’t seem to find anything that resembles it online. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great look at its eyes as I was afraid to get too close since I don’t know what it is
Signature: Michaelanne Stuhr

Wolf Spider with Spiderlings

Wolf Spider with Spiderlings

Dear Michaelanne,
The only spiders that care for young in this manner, by carrying them about riding on the abdomen, are harmless Wolf Spiders.  A large Wolf Spider might bite if threatened, and approaching a female with a brood would constitute a threat to her young, but the bite is not considered serious to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: green spider I.D?
Location: Haiti
August 13, 2016 9:29 pm
Hi, this green spider was seen at Thomassin (Haiti) in about 1000 m. of altitude.
I would love to know its name.
thx,
Signature: Philippe

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Dear Philippe,
We hope you are as amused as we are that this spider you found at Thomassin, Haiti is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, but alas, we have not had any luck determining the species.  Crab Spider can be identified because their front two pairs of legs are considerably longer than the remaining two pairs of legs.  Your image also nicely documents the eye arrangement pattern, which can be compared to the eye pattern of the family Thomisidae on BugGuide.

Dear Daniel,
I greatly appreciate your help. Based on the information you gave me I made a couple research on it and I tink its probably a Rejanellus pallescens.
Thank you so much,
Philippe

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: TRACHELAS SPIDER?
Location: Stockton, CA
August 14, 2016 12:21 pm
Can’t find anything quite like this online.
In my house, right next to where I am immobilized with an ankle fracture.
No, I didn’t kill it.
What’s confusing:
1) White pedipalps (or are those eggs or something else?)
2) Marked banding on legs
Signature: Theresa

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Dear Theresa,
This is a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, but we do not know the species.  If you need an exact species name, you can try browsing through the postings on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Two bugs
Location: Wyoming
August 11, 2016 9:48 am
I have two bugs, one that appears to be a spider and one that appears to be a lady bug. The spider looking bug was found in the bathroom and the lady bug was found outside. I live in Wyoming where our climate is cold in the winters which are almost 8 months of the year and warmer summers for the rest of the year. I hope you can help me identify these bugs.
Thank you.
Signature: Liz Hensley

Running Crab Spider

Running Crab Spider

Dear Liz,
We identified your spider as a Running Crab Spider in the genus
Ebo, thanks to BugEric where it states:  “Philodromids are identified rather easily by the fact that their second pair of legs is longest.  The genus Wbo takes this to an extreme, as that second leg is at least twice as long as all the others.  Their “wingspan’ must be the greatest for their size of any spider in North America.  Their body size is small, averaging between two and six millimeters depending on the species, and skewing towards the lower end of that spectrum.”  According to BugGuide:  “The Ebo characteristic trait is the elongated second pair of legs, which can be more than twice as long as the other legs.”  BugGuide recognizes at least two species in the genus in Wyoming, though BugGuide data does not report any.  Your beetle image, which we are not posting, is a Leaf Beetle in the genus Calligrapha.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tarantula
Location: California
August 10, 2016 5:33 pm
My husband was just given this from a teacher who says it was found wild and they thought it was female. At first we were told Chilean Rose Hair but now thinking California Ebony?? Thanks!
Signature: Stephanie Heckman

Tarantula

Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

Dear Stephanie,
Once a wild creature is taken from its habitat and becomes a “pet” and then changes hands, and if a chain of custody cannot be established, it might be difficult to establish actual species identity.  We do not have the necessary skill to identify Tarantulas to the species level, but this does appear to be a female.  Perhaps one of our readers who has more experience with Tarantulas will be able to provide a proper species identity.  As a cautionary lesson to our readers, we would strongly advise folks never to remove Tarantulas from their environment as they are becoming increasing rarer in the wild.  Since they are desirable spiders sold in pet stores, “collectors” frequently remove native species from the wild to sell them, a habit we strongly discourage.

Tarantula

Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination