Red winged Beetle?
May 24, 2010
I am not sure if this is a fly or a beetle as it does have wings, that are red. Can you tell em what this bug is?
Gary
Edmonton Alberta Canada

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Hi Gary,
We spent about twenty minutes browsing the tribes and genera and species of Ground Beetles in the family Carabidae on BugGuide to no avail.  We need assistance in the proper identification of your unknown Ground Beetle.  Our best guess is that it may be in the subfamily Carabinae, also represented on BugGuide.

Correction thanks to Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
Ok, well, maybe that is because it is not a ground beetle :-)  The image, a very nice one, is of a “Scarlet Malachite Beetle” :
http://bugguide.net/node/view/50621
Thanks for sharing, regardless of whether you recognized it!
Eric

Ed. Note: This Scarlet Malachite Beetle represents a new family for us, the Soft Winged Flower Beetles in the family Melyridae, which is profiled on BugGuide which indicates they feed upon:  “chiefly insects but food preferences vary; adults evidently feed on flower-visiting insects and pollen, larvae are primarily predators of other insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this moth?
May 23, 2010
My friend had a pair of two HUGE moths flying against his window when he was in Lincolnshire, England. They seem unusually large for England. We have no idea what kind they were, We assume they would probably be some kind of hawk moth. We have some photos and we thought it might be best to ask you instead of searching google images. x Thankyou
Moth-lover Viola VonGore
Lincolnshire, England

Cockchafer

Dear Viola,
The Cockchafer, Melolontha melolontha, a species of Scarab Beetle, was once much more common in the UK than it is now, probably due to the use of pesticides between the fifties and the seventies.  The AgroAtlas website, the Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries, has some good information on the Cockchafer.  The Cockchafer is sometimes called a Billy Witch.

Cockchafer

May 24, 2010
I just noticed that Lefty and Digitalis have laid eggs on the leaf of the speckled sword plant, and there are still at least 30 fry in the aquarium with them.  I just captured 10 fry in an attempt to remove all remaining fry to the grow out aquarium.
In my second attempt, I caught 29 more small fry, and that appears like it may be all of them, though they are hiding quite well.  All the 39 fry that were captured had fat round bellies, and I watched them eating the spawn.  It must have been an enormous spawning since there are still quite a few eggs remaining.  When I looked at the aquarium this afternoon, things just seemed different.  The fry were not clamoring around the glass with the parents.  They were hanging out in the rear of the aquarium, near where the spawning had occurred.

May 27, 2010
Lefty and Digitalis’ eggs hatched sometime yesterday because they were gone from the leaf when I returned home at about 8:30 PM.  I noticed a small cluster of hatched fry wriggling on another leaf.  This is not a large hatching.  It will be interesting to see if they are raised by the parents, or abandoned for a larger brood.

May 30, 2010
There are about 30 fry wriggling on the leaf of the sword plant where they were moved shortly after hatching.  The parents do not seem interested in moving the fry again.  The photo taken today is hopelessly blurry.

Lefty and Digitalis' Fry: three days after hatching

May 31, 2010
About 50 fry became free swimming today, and they had their first meal of newly hatched brine shrimp.  The parents are protective, and the fry are quickly herded back together if any individuals stray from the school.

Digitalis (left) and Lefty with Fry

By the time I decided to take some photos, the light in the aquarium was very low since this birthing aquarium does not have a light fixture.  The only light is daylight coming from windows on the west side and from the north porch with the awning.  The back of the aquarium has much algae.

Lefty and Fry

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a Florida wolf spider?
May 24, 2010
This spider appeared on our kitchen ceiling as I was innocently cooking dinner. We had found a similar spider the week beforehand in our garage. I am hoping that it’s just a wolf spider since there seems to be a family. Can you identify it?
Kristen
Saint Petersburg, FL

Huntsman Spider

Dear Kristen,
This non-native Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, is also called a Banana Spider because it spread to many parts of the world by stowing away in bunches of bananas.  This species is harmless, and it has naturalized in many warmer climates with ports.  This Huntsman Spider is actually a beneficial species since it is a nocturnal hunter and it feeds on night foraging cockroaches.  Your individual is a male.

A Zillion Mayflies
May 24, 2010
Thought you might enjoy the photo.
This was taken on a family camping trip in 2003 if I remember correctly.
I walked to the bathroom without a flashlight the night they all came out. I thought the crunchy things I kept stepping on were just leaves, until I reached the bathroom, which had lights… That’s the last time I can recall ever running around barefoot in the dark.
DD
Camp in Manistique, MI

Swarming Mayflies

Dear DD,
Thanks for the wonderful photo and field observations.

Swarming Mayflies

Aquarium Comments – Cycling
May 24, 2010
Yes, I know, MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome) has an incredible effect. Anyways, I greatly appreciate you putting information on cycling in your site, most people overlook this essential process.
However, I would like to politely point out that there are many ways to successfully cycle an aquarium without the use of live fish. Here on Fishlore (fishlore.com) we find this rather ineffective, as well as stressful to the fish.
I’m not saying that you didn’t do the right thing. I have to, again, express my gratitude of you placing this entire process on your site, so all other new fishkeepers can read and understand.
For more information on the Nitrogen Cycle and how to cycle an aquarium without using fish, I would recommend this excellent page: http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
In addition, any questions you may have can be answered if you join the forum.
Thank you for hosting this great website, again, and showing off your gorgeous aquarium and fish. Its not every day you see angelfish breeding as much as yours, so I can be sure that you are taking good care of them!
Brian (Elodea on FL)

Thanks for the links Brian.  Cycling our aquaria was quite an ordeal.  Though, in general, we think our skill as a freshwater aquarist is above average, we still have two factors to try to correct.  Algae (hair algae in one aquarium and blue-green and brown algae in the other two) proliferates and the plants are not thriving.  Perhaps fishlore.com will provide us with some assistance.