what is that bug
Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:56 AM
we just moved into a new home country home which is something i had promised the girls as my 5 year plan and the children love it. as the snow melted they have been discovering nature and ran accross some of these. this cocoon is about as big around as a quarter. and there is one on every bush and tree. the highest i have seen them is about five foot off the ground. teach this city girl and her children something about nature. what is this bug. i hope my picture is good enough.
maria ross
ohio

Preying Mantis Ootheca

Preying Mantis Ootheca

Congratulations on your move Maria,
Though we love our Los Angeles home, having a country home in Ohio, the state of our roots, would be a dream.  This is a Preying Mantis Ootheca.  Come warm weather, about 200 baby Preying Mantids will emerge.  Judging by the number of Ootheca you describe, you should have a healthy adult population in the Fall.  Young Mantids are often difficult to spot in the yard and garden, but flying adults with their large size are usually quite visible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Friday 10 April, 2009, 5:04 PM

Angelfish Spawning 11 April 2009

Angelfish Spawning 10 April 2009

We changed about five gallons of water in our aquarium today and trimmed some of the plants. We had been noticing that our pair of Angelfish had been cleaning various surfaces in the aquarium, including the filter return pipe, leaves, and the glass on the back of the aquarium. That glass has a lush growth of algae on it. We just observed the pair spawning. We took the following photos over about 15 minutes.

Angelfish Spawning 11 April 2009

Angelfish Spawning 10 April 2009. Male posing for camera.

The pair was having a difficult time concentrating on what they were doing while chasing the other fish away. A few eggs dropped and the male appeared to eat them.

Angelfish take a Spawning Break 11 April 2009

Angelfish take a Spawning Break 10 April 2009

That is the female fish on the right in the image where they are taking a break. On some passes, she would deposit upwards of 7 eggs.

Angelfish Spawn 11 April 2009

Angelfish Spawn 10 April 2009

It is now 5:52 PM and it took a bit of time to format and upload these images. The pair seems to have stopped spawning. The female is fanning the eggs while the male is keeping the Rams and Tetras at bay.

Update: Saturday 11 April 2009, 2:05 PM
We just fished a dead Glowlight Tetra from the tank. Yesterday the Glowlights were fine, eating and swimming energetically, but this morning, it was at the surface acting odd. We suspect this was a premature death, either from eating too many worms yesterday, or by being attacked by the Angelfish, which seem to spend a great deal of time aggressively protecting their territory. For the most part, the other fish have learned to keep away. So, here is our fish count:
Angelfish: 2 (Mated pair )plus many fry and eggs, plus two fish boarded at Tropical Imports.
Blue Rams: 6
Glowlight Tetras: 6
Cardinal Tetras: 8
Blue Emperor Tetras: 6
Black Phantom Tetras: 4
Panda Cats: 5

Update: Sunday 12 April 2009, 6:45 pm
The eggs began hatching today about 2 PM, less than 48 hours after being laid. The parents began moving the hatchlings from spawning 2 to the filter return pipe which was inches away from the spawning site. We questioned the wisdom of this location because whenever a hatchling slipped from its location, the water pressure would shoot it across the tank forcing the parents to make a mad dash to retrieve it. We watched several hatchlings get gobbled up by Tetras and decided to intervene earlier this time. Since the hatchlings were in an easy position for us to remove some of them, we went to Petco to buy more airstones, tubing and a two-way valve for the pump. While working in the 10 gallon nursery tank, we decided to remove some water and we realized that the water at the bottom of the tank was much colder since there is no circulation in the tank right now. We lowered the heater to hopefully correct the discrepancy in the temperature and we removed two turkey basters full of hatchlings, putting them in a fry tank with the java fern to cling to. Then we photographed the remaining hatchlings in the community aquarium.

Hatchlings 4 hours old

Hatchlings 4 hours old

We had a few losses from the first batch of fry in the past two days. We believe 5 fry died. There are currently 3 fry that do not look well. They are smaller and don’t have full bellies like their siblings. We hope the changes we made this evening don’t upset the temperature and cause more losses. We also believe that we may have an opportunity in the future before the second spawning become free swimming to remove additional hatchlings, but we don’t want to do it too soon. We think it is better for the parents to care for the youngsters at this point.

Update: Friday 24 April 2009, 2:09 AM
Though there haven’t been any updates, much has happened in the past two weeks.  Both batches of fry are cohabitating in the 10 gallon tank with two java ferns in pots and two airstones.  The largest of the fry, now about 24 days after the eggs were laid, are beginning to change and are starting to look more like angelfish.  They are about a centimeter in length.  We still feed baby brine shrimp, either live or frozen, at least twice a day.  We siphon the water from the bottom of the tank and replace about a gallon of water almost everyday.  Very few fry are dying.  We also have our 50 gallon tank set up.  We picked it up last weekend and filled it with water, flourite gravel and live plants.  On Monday past we added 4 Platies as the cycle fish.  Kurt talked us into getting them instead of the Rummy Nosed Tetras we had our eye on since the Platies are hardier fish.  We are a bit nervous about moving the young Angelfish into the larger tank before we have coaxed them to take dry flake food since we fear they will never find the baby brine shrimp in such a large tank.  This weekend, we will attempt to take some photos of the fry and the new aquarium.

transparent, brown striped, antenna, & 2″ long
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 7:38 PM
I wish I could have more information to share… I am so hoping you can help me! My CAT (thank goodness) caught my attention chasing this large bug on my finished basement carpet. I live in Syracuse NY and have NEVER seen such an insect! I thought it was a centipede, but it doesn’t have that many legs. I am very eager to hear back. THANK YOU so much for reading this.
Tina :-)
sincerely, Tina
Onondaga County, Syracuse, NY

House Centipede becomes Cat Food

House Centipede becomes Cat Food

Hi Tina,
It seems as though your cat has chewed off a few of this harmless, predatory House Centipede’s legs. Though Centipede means 100 legs, the House Centipede only has 30. These shy nocturnal hunters are often found in basements and damp areas of the home.

WHEW! harmless sounds good to me! I guess I don’t have to move after all!
I have to say, I was intrigued with your site for HOURS last night! Your nasty reader award is by by far the best thing I have ever stumbled across! You need to make more web pages aware of such an award! Actually, if you find a way to market that concept, you can make MILLIONS! Some reason, this day and age, the lonely, psychotic people in the world have gained power and have a louder voice over the normal people in the world! Bravo to you to have such an award! If more people took that approach, maybe respect and morals might come back into being “the in thing”
This site has SO much information! Not only did you stop my skin from crawling and calm my nerves from putting my house up for sale due to the creepy bug that my cat discovered….. (actually, to be honest, my cat did indeed find it…. however, the legs missing might have been from me making sure it wasn’t’ going to crawl up my arm once I picked it up…. ….)
Thank you for taking time to have such a fantastic site! I wish you much success in all your endeavors!!!!
Bugs rock, but I like looking at them from afar….
Tina

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats that bug?
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 1:41 PM
Please identify and/or help me identify the insect in the attached image? I’m thinking some sort of beetle?
what are my options?
mecca ca

Inflated Beetle

Inflated Beetle

Hi Gus,
This is a Desert Spider Beetle in the genus Cysteodemus.  We would further identify it as an Inflated Beetle, Cysteodemus armatus.  This species is found in California, Arizona and Nevada in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.  You can see more images and read about the fascinating life cycle on BugGuide which indicates the “Larvae have been found in subterranean nests of solitary bees.”  The Inflated Beetle is a Blister Beetle that gets its common name because of the air space under the fused elytra or wing covers.  This air space is thought to act as insulation in the cold desert nights.

Is it a bug or a russian spy insect?
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 5:28 PM
Dear Bugman,
You’ve helped me once before in identifying a bug, a carpet beetle, in fact. I have a new mystery and I was wondering if you could help me once again. I have attached some photos. I found this critter on my wall outside of my bathroom in the basement of our house. I live in White Rock, British Columbia, not too far from the beach.
He was a little smaller than a dime, but not so small that I would consider him half the size of a dime. He looked as though he was encased in some sort of plastic that had holes in it for his legs and small part of his head to fit through. Once on his back inside the cup, he didn’t appear to be able to right himself (at least, he didn’t try while I was watching). This was taken with my phone camera so the colouring is slightly off, but he was more of a true grey colour, almost even a slightly blue grey colour.
Any idea what this creature could be? Unfortunately, these are the only photos I have of him. I released him outside shortly after taking them.
I anxiously await your response.
Curiously yours,
Cheryl
White Rock, BC
Canada

Tick

Tick

Hi Cheryl,
This is a Tick, and it appears to be engorged with blood.  We suspect it might be an American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis.  There is a photo on BugGuide that closely resembles your specimen, and it was identified as an American Dog Tick after first being mistaken for a Deer Tick.  We would prefer that an Acarologist make the final call as to the species.

iridescent blue flying bug
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM
I found three of these iridescent blue bugs in my back yard. Two were mating and the other had fallen in a bowl of water. They are iredescent blue with the exception of their neck which is red. For size comparison, it is on my finger in the first image. At first I thought they were wasps, but there was no visible stinger and I didn’t get stung when it landed on my finger.
Adriana
Phoenix, Arizona

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Dear Adriana,
We are sad you didn’t provide a photo of the mating pair of Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer moths for our Bug Love page. The Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, has a species name that refers to the iridescence you describe. This species has brightly colored caterpillars that can defoliate grape vines if present in sufficient quantities. BugGuide refers to this moth by the compound word common name Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer. Though they are not Wasp Moths, the species does mimic certain wasps, hence your early confusion.

Daniel,
I’m sorry I didn’t get the picture of them mating for your site. This all
explains why they were in my yard AND what those very pretty, very damaging
caterpillars turn into after they are done devouring my grape vines. I
usually pick them off of the vines each year.
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question and hope you
enjoy the pictures I did provide.
Adriana

Thanks for the followup confirmation Adriana,
We did enjoy your photos, and your letter and one of the images was posted to our site yesterday.

Update: Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM
Here’s your wish come true.
Adriana

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Thanks Adriana,
Our internet connectivity was down, so we were unable to post yesterday.

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating