What is this? I was told it was Stump F—er
April 25, 2010
What is this? I was told it was Stump F—er
I live in California, this bug was on my floor today, it could fly a little.
Mill Valley, CA

Wasp Moth:  Douglas Fir Pitch Moth???

Hi Jody,
This is actually a moth in the family Sessiidae, the members of which are commonly called Clearwing Moths or Wasp Moths, and they are very effective mimics of wasps.  The larvae bore in the stems, roots and sometimes trunks of host plants, often causing severe damage if the plant’s ability to transport moisture and nutrients is compromised.  The person who supplied you with the colorful edited common name may be able to point you in the direction of the host plant which may help with a species identification.  We believe your moth is in the genus Carmenta based on images posted to BugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group website. Read Full Post →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of spider is this?
April 23, 2010
I was on a uni field trip in the Toomba Nature Refuge/ Great Basalt National Park in Queensland, Australia (April 2010) and I almost walked straight into this guy’s web. The spider was quite big, I’d say a bit smaller than a person’s hand length. The area was grassy eucalypt woodland and it was early in the morning. In the picture the spider has a big parcel in its hands. Not sure what it was, just assumed that it was food. Anyway, his colouring is pretty awesome!
Great Basalt National Park, QLD, Australia

Golden Silk Spider

Hi Esther,
Collectively, Spiders in the genus Nephila are known as Golden Silk Spiders because of the color of the silk they spin.  Australia has several species in the genus Nephila and we believe your spider is Nephila edulis, based on the Brisbane Insect website, which indicates the spider is commonly called the Golden Orb Weaver, a name shared with the OzAnimals website.  On Wikipedia, the Latin meaning of the species name edulis is translated to edible, and there is mention of this spider being roasted and eaten in New Guinea:  “While it is not entirely clear why this particular species is considered edible, it is known that several Nephila species are considered a delicacy in New Guinea, where they are plucked by the legs from their webs and lightly roasted over an open fire.

Sunday Morning Spider
April 25, 2010
Found this little one waiting at my desk this morning. It was sitting on top of the scrap of paper that acts as my things to do list, so I happily put off cleaning my desk and checking my e-mail so we could take some spider glamor shots.
I also found what might be an easier way of searching the site. Rather than going through all the blog postings, you can type the following query into google:
site:www.whatsthatbug.com spider
Replace spider with whatever insect you like, and all the lovely photos on the site with that name appear.
I guess it wasn’t that helpful though, as I still couldn’t identify this one. Oh well, maybe you can help. Thanks!
Portland, OR

Running Crab Spider

Hi Pete,
Our quick web search did not provide a match, so we are posting your unidentified spider in the hope that someone will be able to assist in the identification.  It reminds us a bit of a Lynx Spider, but not enough to provide a match.  Those pedipalps indicate it is probably a male spider, and that supports is diminutive size of less than the diameter of a penny.

Read Full Post →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this cute bug?
April 24, 2010
Hello, I was sitting on my porch when I herd something fall from the tree in my yard. I went over to see what it was and saw this cute bug struggling to get on it’s feet. It was brown, furry and about 2 inches in size. I do a lot of macro photography and I need to identify this bug for my photo site.
Thanks, Heather

Carpenter Bee

Hi Heather,
WE were surprised to see your letter is from Guam, because we were all ready to identify your bee as a male Valley Carpenter Bee, a common species in Southern California that exhibits sexual dimorphism.  Females are black and males are a lovely golden color with green eyes.  We are confident your bee is a Carpenter Bee, and we would bet that it is also a male and that it might be a close relative of the Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, though of that species BugGuide indicates:
Female is black with brassy reflections, perhaps. Male is a striking tawny brown. Apparently, no other Xylocopa are so sexually dimorphic.

What’s this bug?
April 24, 2010
I found two of these eating there way out of an old tree stump. As soon as they ate there way up they sat on the log for awhile drying their wings I presume then flew off. They are a beautiful color of greens and golds.
Groveland, CA

Golden Buprestid

Dear Patti,
Congratulations on witnessing the emergence of two Golden Buprestids, Buprestis aurulenta, from their larval home. Golden Buprestids are in the family Buprestidae, and those family members are collectively called Jewel Beetles or Metallic Borer Beetles.  The larval stage may last many years, and there are records of adults emerging from previously milled lumber long after the trees were cut.  According to our frequent contributor Eric Eaton:  “The record age for one is an adult that emerged from a baseboard(?) in a Canadian building fully 51 years after the building was erected! Why milled lumber forces such an extended life cycle in woodborers is a mystery, at least as far as I know. Normally, the life cycle would be no more than 2-5 years.

thick black spider
April 24, 2010
very slow moving, thick spider with shiny legs but flat black abdomen. joints in legs were white-ish.
henry county, georgia

Cork Lid Trapdoor Spider

Hi Travis,
This awesome spider is a Cork Lid Trapdoor Spider in the genus Ummidia, and there is information available on BugGuide where most of the submissions hail from Georgia.  We believe your specimen is a female because of her more compact legs.  The longer legged males travel in search of females, but females rarely leave their burrows, which makes your sighting a bit unusual.