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Subject: Giant ant in California?
Location: Ventura, CA
March 11, 2015 8:30 pm
I was on a walk at twilight in a neighborhood near orchards and saw this bug on the pavement. I’ve looked at all the California bugs online and cannot ID this one. It was black, armored/glossy, and was about 4 inches long, with the head as large as a good-sized grape. The photos are a little blurry, but those are definitely mandibles, not antennae. This creature looked like something I would see in Central America.
Signature: Rachel

Hoax or new species???

Hoax or new species???

Hi Rachel,
In our opinion, your giant insect looks like something one would find in a novelty store.

I am so embarrassed! I returned to the scene of the sighting and sure enough it was a large plastic bug. Thank you for your time!!
– Rachel

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Molting aquatic life form
Location: Lucas County, Ohio
March 6, 2015 12:37 pm
One of my volunteers found this insect (I think), molting in her collecting tub of vernal pool water in mid-July in NW Ohio. The pool is isolated, nowhere near a creek, pond, or lake. The attached pictures are 20x if I remember correctly (other option is 40x) and were taken in the field. We watched it struggle free of the larval skin under the microscope. The skin shape reminds me of a damselfly nymph. Could this possibly be the pupal form? I’ve tried to count legs of both larvae and the skin, magnify head shape etc, but I am still stumped.
Signature: Eileen

Aquatic Bug

Aquatic Bug

Dear Eileen,
We cannot say for certain what creature this is, but we have some thoughts.  If the tub collected rain water, any insects present would need to have either developed from an egg laid by a flying insect or been transported from another water source on the bodies of a bird or other creature that visited the pool.  This creature reminds us somewhat of an aerial view of a mosquito tumbler, the pupal form.  Most images online are side views, but BugGuide does contain an aerial view that looks similar.  We hope someone more skilled at aquatic identifications can provide some input.

Aquatic Bug

Aquatic Bug

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the reply. This was found in a collecting bucket, about a
quart of water taken from a huge vernal pool that has a wild egg bank
in the bottom of the pool when it is dry. I agree, it does resemble a
top view of a mosquito tumbler. It was definitely squirming out of the
nearby exoskeleton though, and the legs on that shell have spurs on
them – not found on mosquito larvae. It’s always possible that larvae
can get caught up in other exoskeletons as they’re wriggling about,
but in the one picture there are definite legs on the new critter.
Thanks very much for trying. I use this as an example for my
volunteers – there is always something new to be found in a vernal
pool and it can’t always be identified!
Eileen

Aquatic Bug

Aquatic Bug

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unknown bug eggs
Location: Portland, Ct.
December 7, 2014 7:23 pm
for the past few years I have discovered piles (100+) of these tiny bead sized, black, shiny, hard shelled eggs. There only found in my basement. two piles were found in my garage. One was in a drawer of a RubberMaid rolling cart and the other large pile was on a open cabinet shelf piled high in a corner. when I touched the pile they all collapsed as if they were wet at one point. the other piles were in the cellar in a large plastic storage bin and also in my storage bag for my Christmas tree.
I took a picture with a microscope app the magnified 8xs and I will also include a few in my hand for a prospective.
Signature: Susan Popielaski

Seeds, we believe

Seeds, we believe

Dear Susan,
These look more like seeds than bug eggs to us, but we have no explanation regarding why you found them or what they might be.
  Interestingly, we just received another nearly identical identification request from Massachusetts, so we feel compelled to research this more.  Termite Pellets also come to mind, but they look different from Termite Pellets we have seen in the past.

Seeds, we believe

Seeds, we believe

Thanks for replying. We don’t have termites..we did have a ant problem that we eradicated. I’ve done research as well and found that some insects eggs are seed imposters,?
The piles are sort of glued together in a type of thin transparent sac. As soon as you touch them with slight pressure they break free and the tidy pile collapses.
Keep me posted, my FB friends are as curious as I.
Best,
Susan.

Some ants may stockpile seeds, but we believe that is a very remote possibility.

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Subject: Australian Beetle
Location: East Fremantle, Australia
December 3, 2014 3:54 pm
Here’s one that’s quite distinctive — in my eyes it looks like an Aboriginal painting — but I can’t find anything like it on the web.
It’s about 12mm (1/2″) long, without the antennae. The picture was taken on Dec. 3, 2014 (beginning of summer), on an indigenous tree in an urban park rather late in the day (4:20pm).
Signature: Norm Jackson

Beautiful Cockroach Nymph

Beautiful Cockroach Nymph

Dear Norm,
This is not a beetle.  It is a Beautiful Cockroach nymph,
Ellipsidion australe, which we identified on the Insects of Brisbane website, or it is a related species of Cockroach in the genus EllipsidionThis is not a species that infests homes. 

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Subject: beautiful moth
Location: Lanzarote
November 26, 2014 6:00 am
Hi found this on the bed and wondered what tyep of moth it was
Signature: miss

Hawkmoth

Barbury Spurge Hawkmoth

Dear miss,
Before we could even begin to attempt to identify your Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, we needed to first research the location of Lanzarote, which we have learned is in the Canary Islands.
  Once that was established, we quickly identified your Hawkmoth as Hyles tithymali on EnAcademic and then we verified the identification on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic where we learned it has a common name: Barbary Spurge Hawkmoth.  The Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic site states:  “Restricted to the Canary and ?Cape Verde Islands, where it is widespread, occurring from sea-level to 1000m in short-lived but well-defined colonies (Schurian & Grandisch, 1991). Commonest in the drier and warmer parts, such as dry sand dunes, steep-sided valleys (van der Heyden, 1988), and cultivated areas where its main hostplant is most abundant.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Carolina Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider

Subject: species????
Location: Indiana woodland area
October 13, 2014 9:51 am
Whilst in a sword duel this happy not so little chap almost fell on my head…. This immediately stopped all combat as we marveled at this beast. What species is this thing? It was nearly 4″ in diameter.
Signature: Morttis

Dear Morttis,
We were not aware that sword dueling was legal in the United States.  Your Wolf Spider looks like a Carolina Wolf Spider,
Hogna carolinensis, and it looks like a very close visual match to this individual posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination