Golden Orb Spider
Location:  Hickroy, NC
September 19, 2010 7:24 pm
Dear Bugman,
A few weeks ago you helped identify a Golden Orb Spider for us. We have enjoyed watching it spin and catch it’s prey. We just came back from a camping trip and went to check the back window for our friend. Her web has changed dramatically and there are 2 large brown sacks (each about the size of a large grape) hanging at the corner of the door frame. Would these possibly be egg sacks from our Golden Orb? Any thoughts?
Signature:  Dlee

Golden Orbweaver Egg Sacs

Dear Dlee,
You are correct.  These Egg Sacs were made by your Golden Orbweaver.  She may have died of natural causes or been eaten, or perhaps she just moved away, which explains why her web is no longer maintained.  The eggs will hatch in the spring, and hundreds of spiderlings will balloon off on the wind to be dispersed throughout the area.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

queen wasp?
Location:  Mansfield, Ohio USA
September 19, 2010 9:48 pm
Found this ”big lady” laying eggs I believe in a log in my backyard (Mansfield, Ohio) Any idea what type of wasp, I assume wasp. Pictures I know aren’t fabulous, though I do have great video. The appendage on the backend she used to deposit her eggs was 6 inches long when fully put out. Was very cool to watch.
Signature:  chris

Giant Ichnuemon Ovipositing

Dear Chris,
Theoretically, a Queen Wasp is a reproductive female that creates a nest or colony that consists of workers.  Solitary Wasps are not considered queens.  Your individual is a Giant Ichneumon, a Parasitoid species that deposits her eggs in wood that has been infested with wood boring larvae a Wood Wasp known as the Pigeon Horntail.  Your Giant Ichneumon does not form a nest or colony, so she is not a queen.  There are several species known as Giant Ichneumons, and it appears that your individual may be
Megarhyssa macrurus.  You can see other examples in our archives as well as on BugGuide.  Though it might seem that the Giant Ichneumon could sting a person, her ovipositor is not multi-purpose, and she is incapable of stinging.

Giant Ichneumon Ovipositing

Apartment with “charm” has charming bugs too!
Location:  Montreal, Quebec, Canada
September 19, 2010 5:22 pm
On a bathmat (rubber with short-hair pile) in my friend’s bathroom, we found this tiny little guy. The sink pipes are about a foot above the mat. The floor beneath is wood, and we could not find any ’friends’, but the creature is so small, and the floor wood so dark and of uneven colouring, we may have missed any lurkers.
The mat is very close to the toilet bowl. My friend lives in an older building ”with charm”, that has already had mice, chipping paint and a leak from the upstairs neighbour’s bathroom. Foot fungus, fruit flies and moth larvae have also made their appearance.
The little bugger moved relatively fast, so was hard to capture even with a higher quality camera and good macro lens. The bathroom’s light source is harsh and concentrated in one spot, so not diffuse at all – halogen, I believe. Sorry for the lack of visual detail, the rest of the shots were too blurry to tell even the vague shape of the insect. But you CAN still see the small spike at the tail end, and the darker head area, as well as the back stripes.
We are located in Montreal, Quebec (Canada), beginning to get cold temperatures before autumn has even hit, so this might be a factor in determining if the insect was perhaps brought out of hiding unseasonably early. To date the insect has not been spotted anywhere else in the apartment, and the bath mat has been bug free, at least to the casual naked eye.
Is my friend facing a menace or is this bug expected under the circumstances?
Signature:  Montreal bugwatch

Carpet Beetle Larva

Dear Montreal bugwatch,
This is a Carpet Beetle Larva and it is not a welcome visitor.  Carpet Beetles will feed on many varieties of organic substances, including wool, silk, feathers, pet fur and sometimes stored foods.  Tell your friend it is nearly impossible to keep all insects from the home, despite the lack of “charm” it may possess.  Regarding the Fruit Flies and Moth Larvae infestations, they were probably not left behind by the previous tenant unless rotting bananas and stale oatmeal were left in the cupboards somewhere, or if they were able to penetrate the walls from the neighbors’ apartments.  Those pests may have been introduced with new food, or due to less than meticulous housekeeping habits.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Biology Project
Location:  Ottawa, Canada
September 19, 2010 2:52 pm
Hello Bugman,
My name is Natascha and im currently in the middle of a biology project, due on the 27th of September. I have to collect 9 bugs in different taxonomic orders. I found a bug and i cannot identify it. I was hoping you could help. Its black with 6 legs. Thanks a bunch.
Signature:  Natascha

Broad Headed Bug

Hi Natascha,
Normally we have a policy about not doing homework for people, but there was something appealing about the tone of your letter, mainly that it was devoid of desperation, you still have ample time before your project is due, and it seems like you have been doing your own research, all speculation on our part, but nonetheless we have decided to assist you.  We believe this to be a Broad Headed Bug in the family Alydidae, and it most closely resembles
Alydus eurinus which is pictured on BugGuide.

big white colorado caterpillar
Location:  fort collins, colorado
September 18, 2010 11:49 am
We found this rather large caterpillar half buried in sand. Both ends of him look like heads, but i believe that his head is the flat end. I couldn’t find him on your website, and we were wondering what he is. He is about three inches long.
Signature:  Thank you, Patrick

Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Patrick,
We have tentatively identified your caterpillar as one of two possible species in the genus
Eumorpha.  BugGuide has a photo that looks nearly identical, and it is identified as the Typhon Sphinx, Eumorpha typhon, but Bill Oehlke’s excellent Sphingidae website does not list the species in Colorado, though it is found in Arizona.  We needed to verify the location of Fort Collins on a map to see how close it is to Arizona, and we discovered is is in the north, not the southwest corner which would more thoroughly support our identification since insects really tend to ignore state and national borders.  The similar looking caterpillar of the Achemon Sphinx, Eumorpha achemon, is found in Colorado according to Bill Oehlke’s Sphingidae of the Americas website, and this species has a greater range.  So, though logic tells us that this must be the caterpillar of the Achemon Sphinx, we cannot totally disregard that it may be the Typhon Sphinx without contacting Bill Oehlke, so we are copying him to get his opinion.

It is Eumorpha achemon which is the only Eumorpha in North America that has the side panels appearing as if they are twisted dough (i.e. segmented but still continuous).
I will ask Patrick for a larger image and permission to post it to a webpage.
Bill Oehlke

September 20, 2010
Yesterday Daniel laid tile on the roof of the Chicken Coop to help waterproof the structure before the winter rains.  This morning there was evidence that a Raccoon paid a visit during the night.

Raccoon Tracks on newly tiled roof

This is the second time a raccoon has entered the chicken run at night, but other than possibly terrifying the sleeping hens, there was no real damage.  Daniel is very happy he took care to construct a secure chicken coop since there was a second nighttime marauder earlier in the evening.  Daniel noticed a skunk skulking around the chicken run at about 9 PM.  The raccoon had also fouled the water that is kept in a bowl in the chicken run.  Amber looked at the dirty water and refused to drink until the bowl was dumped out and filled with fresh water.

Amber eschews raccoon-fouled water

Update:  Dr. Winston Lutz performs surgery on the Fuzzy Bottom Gals
September 20, 2010.  1:56 PM
Retired pediatrician Dr. Winston Lutz operated on all three hens today while Susan Lutz of snapped documentary photos of the procedure.  Winston who hails from Virginia farming country, has experience clipping the wings of chickens, so he wielded the scissors as Daniel caught and held each of the hens.

Amber Gets Clipped

Winston lopped off about three inches from the first five or so flight feathers on the left wing of each of the hens.

Ginger Gets Clipped

They appear nontheworse for their trauma.  They immediately began scratching at the compost pile and feeding on the vestiges of the corn that remained after cutting the kernels off the cobs to make Spanish rice, the Sunday Dinner that was documented photographically for Susan’s website.

Fuzzy Bottom Gals

The Fuzzy Bottom Gals continue to live up to their name as they stick their downy bottoms up in the air while foraging.

Clipped Chicks: Ginger, Amber and Umber