Small black spider, huge pedipalps
January 19, 2010
Hello. I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out what type of spider this is. I’ve seen two inside my house and one outside. Most notable are the pedipalps (at least I think they’re pedipalps — I’m no expert) that are actually longer than the rest of the spider’s body. Also, it walked very robotically and slow instead of the typical spider “scurry.” It had four pairs of legs.
I wish my photos were better. Both spiders I was able to photograph were already dead. The first photo is a profile view of the spider. The last one is a top view. Thanks for your time.
Cascade foothills of Washington State


Hi Lisa,
We have had a few misidentifications in the past few days, so the possibility exists that we may not be correct. We don’t believe this is a spider, but rather a Harvestman in the suborder Laniatores.  There are some photos on BugGuide that look similar, but alas, your photos don’t  show some of the details we would like to see.


Hi, Daniel,
Thanks so much for responding — and so quickly at that!  After some internet research, I suspected it was some kind of huntsman.  I just got a sweet new camera, so if I see another and can get quality photos, I’ll be sure to submit them.
What’s also interesting is that I’ve seen two tiny pseudoscorpions in my bathroom.
Thanks again!

January 21, 2010
I was looking at the pictures of the arachnid in the “Huntsman, we think” posting and to me it looks a bit more like a whip scorpion or tailless whip scorpion than a huntsman. This could explain the huge pedipalps.
John v.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bug identification
January 19, 2010
Hello! I found this bug on my patio on July 30, 2009 in Swiftwater, PA. I haven’t found anyone who can help me identify it yet. Do you know what it is? He’s pretty cool looking! He was about an inch and a half long (body, that is).
Swiftwater, PA

Purplescent Longhorn Beetle

Hi Susan,
This is sure a handsome beetle.  It is a Purplescent Longhorn in the genus Purpuricenus, which is well represented on BugGuide.  Our choice for the species is Purpuricenus humeralis, which is found in the Eastern states according to BugGuide.

what is this bug?
January 19, 2010
this is a florida find. we have no idea what it is other than a moth.
plaes and thank you

Oakworm Moth newly metamorphosed

This is a newly metamorphosed Oakworm Moth in the genus Anisota.  The wings have not yet expanded to their full size.  Sometimes, this fails to happen and the adult moth will never be capable of flight.  BugGuide has a nearly identical photo, and there is also considerable information on the genus posted to BugGuide.

Oakworm Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Flying At or Wasp?
January 19, 2010
I live in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The other night I woke up and found several large bites on my chest. I was thinking bedbugs but my girlfriend has no bites. Its happened to me several times. The difference is I sleep on top of the covers and she usually is bundled up under. So Im thinking that might rule out bedbugs. Then this morning we found this bug in the bedroom. What is it and can it be the culprit thats biting me? The bites first feel like acid on my skin and stings real bad then they becomes very itchy. Thanks for your help.
Eric Stone
Crown Mountain, St. Thomas, USVI

Stilt Legged Fly, a victim of mistaken identity

Hi Eric,
It is not our mission to demonize our readership, but rather to educate, which is why we are tagging your letter as Unnecessary Carnage.  This is a Harmless Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  It did not bite you, so that culprit is still awaiting identification.  Stilt Legged Flies are noteworthy for the manner in which they wave about their prominently marked front legs as though they were trying to signal something.

Thanks Daniel,
I appreciate the info.  I will let my friends know on Facebook what the fly is and tell them to be kind to it. I will also add a link to my website to yours and let people know that you guys have the answers. Mahalo!
Thanks, Eric Stone

what’s that bug? is it benefitial?
January 19, 2010
I was sawing a bush that is called here (in Hawaii) Holy Coa. suddenly these bugs apeared out of nowhere. Here are 2 photos of them.
Kauai Hawaii USA

Kiawe Round Headed Borer

Dear v.,
We thought your beetle bore an uncanny resemblance to the Mesquite Borer, Placosternus difficilis, a species BugGuide reports from Texas and the “Southern tier of U.S. states, south to Honduras; Cuba, Bahamas.
”  We then did a web search to see if the Mesquite Borer was introduced to Hawaii, and we were immediately led to another BugGuide page of an insect found in Hawaii and placed in the same genus, but with the disclaimer:  “Placosternus crinicornis (Chevrolat)  has been recorded from Hawaii but not P. difficilis.”  We followed that thread and were led to the Insects of Hawaii page on Placosternus crinicornis, the Kiawe or Prosopis Round Headed Borer which is listed as non-native.  It may also be found on an Invasive Species website.  According to Wikipedia, Kiawe or Prosopis limensis is a species of mesquite native to South America.  Since neither the insect nor its host are native to Hawaii, it is fair to say that neither are beneficial to helping to maintain the indigenous biodiversity of Kauai.

Mating Kiawe Round Headed Borers

Pumpkin Bug?
January 19, 2010
My kids spotted this big guy crossing our road yesterday. My mother said my grandmother used to call these pumpkin bugs. Since my grandmother also thought a shot of whiskey cured anything that ails you, I’m not sure I trust her bug identification. We did notice it had two sets of wings and six legs, leading my son to think perhaps it was a beetle. He was about 1.25″ long from head to abdomen. Can you help us identify it? Also can you offer information about handling insects and which ones might bite? We tend to use sticks and leaves to move insects since I’m unsure what might bite when I can’t identify it. Thanks so much for your help!
Atlanta, GA

Acanthocephala declivis: The Pumpkin Bug

Hi Resa,
We are on a mission to prove your whiskey swilling grandmother correct.  This is a Leaf Footed Bug, a name applied to the entire family Coreidae.  Leaf Footed Bugs are also called Big Legged Bugs or Flag Footed Bugs, though the latter name is generally reserved for some tropical species with even more greatly developed tibiae on the hind legs.  The family, according to BugGuide, is also referred to as the Squash Bugs because many of the 88 known North American species are plant pests that feed on members of the squash and melon family.  A pumpkin is a squash, so maybe Pumpkin Bug was a local name for your species, Acanthocephala declivis, which does not have a specific common name according to BugGuideBugGuide cites a University of Florida website with this species identification:  “Humeral angles of pronotum broadly expanded, extending laterally well beyond maximum lateral abdominal margin. Distal dilation of hind tibia broad until apex, then curving in at right angles to tibial shaft. Anterior pronotal lobe with 2 small shining blunt tubercles along midline.
”  Try as we might, we are unable to locate a website that specifically connects Acanthocephala declivis to pumpkins, but we trust the wisdom of the ages, and we truly believe your grandmother must have known something.  Perhaps she grew pumpkins and found Acanthocephala declivis feeding on the plants each year.  Pumpkin Bug is surely much easier to pronounce around the dinner table than Acanthocephala declivis is.  In honor of your grandmother, we are going to unofficially proclaim Acanthocephala declivis the Pumpkin Bug.  Ailing or not, we think you should drink a shot of whiskey to your sagely grandmother today.

Acanthocephala declivis: The Pumpkin Bug

I less than three your site!  I’ll definitely throw one back for my granny tonight!