Specific recluse
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 10:56 PM
Hi, I found this presumed reclusa spider in my house in Tucson, AZ. I know browns aren’t thought to be native here, but this is the fourth one I’ve found. This is the second one inside the house, and the other two were in the garage and back porch. Would this be a desert recluse, an arizona recluse, a brown recluse, or another species??
Thanks,
Clay
Tucson, Arizona

Recluse Spider

Male Southern House Spider

Hi Clay,
We too are unsure exactly which species of Recluse Spider in the genus Loxosceles you have photographed.  Exact identification may take a spider expert and may require actual examination of the specimen.  BugGuide posts a map with species distribution, and it seems Loxosceles apachea, Loxosceles arizonica, Loxosceles deserta, Loxosceles kaiba and Loxosceles sabina can all be found in Arizona, but there are no photographs identifying the differences between the species.  Both
Loxosceles apachea and Loxosceles arizonica have ranges near the Tucson area. BugGuide also indicates of the Loxosceles:  “Brown spiders will not bite unless provoked. Little is known about the venom and bite of the lesser-known species of brown spiders. ‘Although there are suspected variations in virulence among the species, all Loxosceles spiders should be considered potentially capable of producing dermonecrosis to some extent.’ (Arachnids Submitted as Suspected Brown Recluse Spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae): Loxosceles Spiders Are Virtually Restricted to Their Known Distributions but Are Perceived to Exist Throughout the United States by Rick Vetter). Loxosceles venom is cytotoxic to humans. “

Update with Correction:  July 23, 2012
Thanks to a comment, we have corrected this posting.  This is actually a male Southern House Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis.  See BugGuide for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mexican honey wasp
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 1:56 PM
i am in southern mexico. these wasps make honey. they do not sting, i know this because my worker moved the hive with his bare hand and not one “ouch” or “chinga” as they say here.
wikipedia shows a different type, with yellow bands and say they sting. are these the same?
mark grossman
Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexican Honey Wasps

Mexican Honey Wasps

Hi Mark,
The information we have been able to locate online, including on the Texan Entomology page and on  BugGuide, identifies the Mexican Honey Wasp as Brachygastra mellifica.  According to BugGuide, the Mexican Honey Wasp is :  “Eusocial, that is, completely social, with worker and reproductive castes.  More than one queen per hive, and there are females present with ovaries intermediate in size between workers and queens. Form large colonies by swarming (coordinated groups of queens and workers). Store honey, but do not cap cells, as do bees. Nests are perennial, built in low trees, with as many as 50,000 cells. Remarks One of the very few insects other than bees to produce and store honey.”  It is possible this is a color variation, a subspecies, or a different species in the same genus.

Mexican Honey Wasps

Mexican Honey Wasps

sci-fi insect monster
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM
We just found this bug in the southeastern part of Brazil, just outside of Sao Paulo city. It was about five inches long (including those huge pincers). It entered the house late at night flying around, and looked like it had two sets of wings. It can bend the top part of its body backwards to use those pincers. Can you tell us what it is?
Creeped out in Brazil
Juquitiba, SP, Brazil

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Creeped Out,
This is a male Dobsonfly.  Though those mandibles look quite formidable, he is actually quite harmless.  The female Dobsonfly has much less impressive mandibles, yet she can and will bite a hapless human, but since she has no venom, she too is harmless.  We have read that the male Dobsonfly uses his pincers in the mating process, and we eagerly long for proof of this in a photograph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A silver back spider with brown and black stripes on legs, white markings on bottom.
Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 7:49 PM
Found this one on my steps in my backyard. I live in North Park, San Diego, CA. My backyard is a bug haven, it’s a canyon. My housemate wanted to kill it, but I punched him and let it free in the tree.
Toby Gersalia
San Diego, CA

Silver Garden Spider

Silver Garden Spider

Hi Toby,
Here at What’s That Bug?, we promote the peaceful cohabitation between insects (and their relatives) and the human species.  One of our methods of education includes the Unnecessary Carnage section of our website where we post the unfortunate victims of a lack of tolerance.  While we are thrilled to hear that this lovely Silver Garden Spider, Argiope argentata, is now safely living in a tree, we are somewhat nonplussed that the intervention led to an incident of domestic violence.  We hope your housemate isn’t too badly bruised and that you two have reconciled.  Perhaps together you can peruse our Unnecessary Carnage section and hopefully your future household will be one where your own appreciation of the “lower beasts” is shared.  The Silver Garden Spider is harmless, though if carelessly handled, it may bite.  The bite, though not dangerous, may produce a slight swelling and irritation in sensitive individuals.

Black insect with fuzzy redish orange abdomen
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM
Found in Peoria, Arizona in November. A solid looking 1 1/4 inch long and maybe a 1/2 inch wide insect, deep black with a vibrant redish-orange fuzzy abdomen. No wings & very busy walking around looking for something. If you were going to draw this critter, you would use a sharpie due to its solid features.
The Nicoloffs
Peoria, AZ (out in the desert)

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Nicoloffs,
This is a Velvet Ant, one of a colorful group of wasps in the family Mutillidae. Male Velvet Ants have wings, but females are flightless and resemble colorful hairy ants. Only the female is capable of stinging, and the sting of several species is quite painful. We believe, based on images posted to
BugGuide that your Velvet Ant is Dasymutilla magnifica, but the photo is so blurry, it is impossible to be certain.

I really want to know what type of moth this is
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 7:06 AM
Hello, I got these picture in Costa Rica, in mid/early March. This guy was found near La Fortuna waterfall. He is about as big as two hands side-by-side (maybe female hands, not big male hands). In the full on picture, the green parts of the wing is accually see through, and the green is from the leaves in behind the moth.
Thanks for your help!
Samantha
Thank You!
Costa Rica

Rothschildia oriziba oriziba

Rothschildia oriziba oriziba

Hi Samantha,
We knew your Giant Silk Moth was in the genus Rothschildia, a genus with many similar looking species that range from Texas through Argentina.  We researched Costa Rican species on Bill Oehlke’s excellent private World’s Largest Saturniidae Site and had four species to choose from.  We believe your moth is a female Rothschildia oriziba oriziba.