DISGUSTING bug
August 11, 2009
I found this bug crawling on my porch. It was so disgusting looking that I had to smash it. After I took the photo, I grabbed a can of poison and drenched it then I threw its mangled body in a raging ant colony I disturbed.
Can you please identify it?
buglover101
northeast us

Giant Vinegaroon

Giant Vinegaroon

Dear buglover101,
The facetiousness of your signature is anything but amusing to us.
This is a Whipscorpion or Giant Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus.  According to BugGuide:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in unable to sting, this creature can spray an acidic mist from a scent gland at the base of the tail when disturbed. The spray is 85% concentrated acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name ‘Vinegaroon.’ The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.” Sadly, this poor individual didn’t stand a chance against the arsenal you threw at it.  In our opinion, this is a textbook example of what we consider to be Unnecessary Carnage.  We are puzzled by the stated location in your email as the Giant Vinegaroon is a southern Arachnid.

A Reader Comments
Vinegaroon, and my big spider
August 14, 2009
I suspect that “buglover101″ was messing with you, with the description of torturing the vinegaroon and throwing it to enraged ants. Especially since you noted that the vinegaroon is a southern arachnid. Anyway, any chance you could help with the big striped spider I sent you last Sunday? I think the pictures are great (you can really see her brown eyes) but I can’t identify her. Thank you for the wonderful website, even if you don’t get to my spider!
Jessica

Hi Jessica,
The thought had crossed our mind that buglover101 was yanking our chain since this does seem to be a bit of an overreaction, but the photo is still a smashed Giant Vinegaroon.  The smashing alone would warrant Unnecessary Carnage and the postmortem corpse defiling is truly over the top.  It reminds us of the defiling of Hector’s corpse in the Iliad, an act perpetrated to raise the hackles of the Trojans.  Perhaps we are just too gullible, but we tend to believe what people write to us.
Since your letter brought up a relevant point that we wanted to post, we went through hundreds of recent emails to track your name and located your previous unread query.  The spider is a Wolf Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I need help with an identification please…
August 11, 2009
Well, my Mom discovered this guy roaming the floor on the bedroom in Santa Fe, NM. It looks vaguely spiderlike, and she’s concerned that it may be something that bites. The abdomen looks like it’s jointed, which I don’t think is spiderlike, but it does seem to have pincers or something along those lines. What has she got here?
Who the heck is this guy?
Santa Fe, NM

Solpugid:  Dead from unknown causes

Solpugid: Dead from unknown causes

This is a Solpugid, a harmless nocturnal predator.  Despite its fierce appearance, the Solpugid has no venom and is no threat to humans or pets, unless your pets are cockroaches or other small creatures.  We hope your mom will seriously consider the benefits of allowing Solpugids to live will afford her in the future.

Swarms of this insect just showed up!
August 11, 2009
Dear Bugman,
These flying insects just showed up in our backyard in South Jersey. The neighbors recently did a lot of landscaping, its early August and has been very hot / humid. They swarm during the morning / early afternoon and then we have no idea where they go? What are they and what can we do about them / will they ruin our vegetable garden? Should I be worried since my dog plays all day in the backyard? The picture is attached, sorry it isn’t super clear.
Sven
Haddonfield, NJ

Digger Wasp:  Campsomeris dubia

Digger Wasp: Campsomeris dubia

Ed Note:  We quickly glanced at Sven’s blurry photo and wrote back with this incorrect ID.
Non-aggressive Cicada Killer

They seem to be much smaller than that and have some slight fuzz (orange-ish) on the lower part…can that still be a cicada killer?

Oops. Our mistake.  Scolia dubia, a Digger Wasp, is also a non-aggressive species and should not be killed unnecessarily, especially since it preys upon Japanese Beetles.  According to BugGuide:  “Food  Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey.  Larvae a parasite of the green June beetle and Japanese beetle.
Life Cycle  Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of the Green June Beetle, Cotinis, and the Japanese Beetle. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”  This species is also called the Blue Winged Wasp.

Thank you so much — you’re on the money — have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Banasa Stink Bug
August 11, 2009
I found this stink bug on my porch in upstate NY (near Albany) in late June. I identified it through bugguide.net as Banasa Dimiata, a species of stink bug. I hadn’t seen this species on your site in a few years, so I thought you might like the picture!
Naomi
Albany, NY

Stink Bug: Banasa dimiata

Stink Bug: Banasa dimiata

Hi Naomi,
Thanks for sending us your excellent photo of Banasa dimiata, a Stink Bug represented on BugGuide.

Luna Moth
August 11, 2009
I found this moth outside my home in Auburn, Alabama. It stayed in the same place for 2 days then disappeared. It is so beautiful that I made it my background on my computer.
Jessica
Auburn, AL

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Jessica,
Thanks for sending us your lovely photo of a lovely Luna Moth.

The UNKILLABLE bug
August 11, 2009
This bug started to appear a few weeks ago, I found the first one on the living room and quickly squashed it. A couple of days later there was another one and killed it too. About a week later AGAIN the same bug (maybe) came back, I even started to think that it was the exactly the same bug I killed before.
Yesterday I killed this bug again and left it in the living room with a Pringles cap on top of it, the insect was moving and it was trapped.
A few minutes later I checked it again and it was gone, it disappeared as my son claims.
I found it again flying like nothing, I believe this bug can seriously take a beating.
I took this picture with a zoom lens because the ceiling is about 20 feet high.
So if you can help me identify this, I dont know if it is dangerous or not, I have killed one with my bare hands.
Thanks.
P.S. Please don’t make my email public.
Father of Two
McAllen, TEXAS

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Father of Two,
You do not want to kill Ensign Wasps.  They will not sting you and they are beneficial since they parasitize the eggs of cockroaches.  Allowing the Ensign Wasps to live will reduce the Cockroaches in your area.  Though the wasp in your image is alive, we want to tag your letter as Unnecessary Carnage because it nearly met with a squashing end like its predecessors.  We do not publicize email addresses, but submitting a letter to our website is done with the understanding that we post content to our site.