Subject: scorpion spider
Location: brenthurst brakpan 1451
August 18, 2014 10:59 am
Have you perhaps managed to distinguish whether this spider is poisonous? (Platyoides)
Signature: kind regards binx

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

Dear binx,
We have located numerous online images of Scorpion Spiders, genus
Platyoides, and most sites repeat the same information.  TrekNature has one of the best images, and the standard information regarding Scorpion Spiders is:  “‘Platyoides‘ scorpion spiders is a genus of spiders belonging to the family Trochanteriidae and found in sub-Saharan Africa and its islands, Madagascar, Réunion, Aldabra and the Canary Islands.   The genus is nocturnal in habit and has developed extreme flattening of the body adapted to living in narrow cracks.”  We believe if they were truly dangerous, that would be stated somewhere.  With that said, nearly all spiders have venom which is used to subdue prey, however very few spiders are dangerous to humans.  Spiders that are not dangerous might still bite if carelessly handled or threatened, but the bites generally produce nothing more than local swelling and tenderness that lasts a short time.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange grasshopper?
Location: Greece
August 18, 2014 12:04 pm
I am on holydays in Greece and I found this large insect dead in my kitchen. Initially I thought it was a grasshopper but I noticed that several features do not much. Would you be so kind to tell me what is it?
Signature: Stell Hai

Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica

Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica

Dear Stell,
This Katydid in the family Tettigonidae is in the same order Orthoptera as the Grasshoppers, but they are in different suborders, which explains their superficial resemblance to one another.  We quickly located a pictorial match on FlickR that is identified as
Saga hellenica, and the image was taken in Delphi, Greece in 1986.  We had hoped to find more than just a name, and that proved to be the case when we found the Orthoptera and their Ecology site where it states:  “The species leads a predatory life and eats mostly other insects.”  We also learned:  “Saga hellenica will be endangered in the long term due to the decline in habitats because of cultivation (afforestation, agricultural intensification, solar parks) and overbuilding (industry, tourism).”  The range is listed as:  “Southeastern Europe (Albania, Macedonia, Greece).”  The pointy ovipositor at the end of the abdomen indicates that this individual is a female.  

Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica

Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica

Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica

Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica

 

 

Subject: Leaf-Like Grasshopper?
Location: Yucca Valley, CA 92284
August 18, 2014 11:06 am
Hi B-Man, I just moved to Southern California In April and am originally from Alaska. There are SO many Interesting, Neat-Looking, and just plain BIG Freaking Bugs down here, that I have NEVER seen let alone had the chance to experience living up North. I found this Bug on My Father-In-Law’s GMC Truck. I immidiatley was intrigued. He (or she) looks sort of like a Grasshopper, other than the fact it looks like a perfect leaf. He acts like a grasshopper cuz he hops…But he can fly too. What’s weird is that his head/face looks kind of like a Praying Mantis Head? I know he’s not a P.M. But, his head and eyes sort of remind me of one. Hope you know what this gorgeous guy is, so I can finally end the Questions regarding what it is with my Stubborn Fiance…LoL ;)
Please and Thank You in Advance!!!
Signature: Haley Nadine~

California Angle-Winged Katydid

California Angle-Winged Katydid

Hi Haley,
This Katydid is in the same insect order as a Grasshopper, Orthoptera, which explains its resemblance to a Grasshopper.  We believe this is a California Angle-Winged Katydid,
Microcentrum californicum, based on the similarities to this image from BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Jumping spider
Location: Southwest MI
August 18, 2014 6:20 am
Found this fellow on the sliding patio doors to my deck. I live in the middle of an oak forest so spiders are abundant and I consider them my friends. This was the second time I have seen this particular species and I knew it was a jumper from its behavior. From what I can gather it falls in the Habronattus genus. Can you further identify it or give me any other information on it. Twice, while being photographed, it jumped up onto my camera! Thanks for your wonderful site.
Signature: d.k.dodge

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Dear d.k.dodge,
What a beautiful and expressive face your Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae has.  We apologize, be we can’t say for certain what this species is, but your images are postitively gorgeous and we hope perhaps one of our readers will write in with a comment and identification.  We cannot find any images on BugGuide that have the orange face combined with the chevron pattern on the abdomen.  If you happen to learn more, please let us know. 

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Update:  Platycryptus undatus???
Hi again d.k.dodge,
What do you think of these images of
Platycryptus undatus from BugGuide?  This individual has both the chevron markings on the abdomen, the orange mask, and it is found in Michigan.  Here is another example from BugGuide that shows both abdominal markings and facial coloration.

Thank you so much!  Looks like a match to me.  I love knowing the identity of every living thing I see.
Thanks again!
d.k.dodge

Subject: Shining.. Glowing.. Crawling not jumping
Location: Olathe, KS
August 16, 2014 11:33 am
It’s late summer, I live in North Eastern Kansas and it was midday and I was cutting tall weeds. This guy popped out and appeared to be almost glowing or shining from the yellow in the body, it also appears to have white kinda furry on the body as well, from end of leg to leg it was about 3″
Signature: Holland Temple

Golden Orbweaver

Golden Orbweaver

Dear Holland,
This is a Golden Orbweaver,
Argiope aurantia, and like other members of the Orbweaver family Araneidae, these spiders generally live only a single season.  This appears to be a mature female who probably hatched this spring.  Younger Orbweavers generally pass unnoticed until they reach maturity toward the end of the summer.  Orbweavers rarely leave their webs, and they are rather clumsy if they have to move on the ground.  We suspect you probably inadvertently destroyed this gal’s orb web, causing her to scuttle through the grass.  She will find a new location to spin a web and you will most likely find her in the same location day after day.  Though a large Orbweaver might bite if carelessly handled, they are not aggressive spiders and in the event a bite does occur, there is rarely more than local swelling and some soreness.  The web of a Golden Orbweaver is quite strong, enabling the spiders to snare large flying insects, and we have even posted images in the past of a luckless Hummingbird being eaten by a large Golden Orbweaver.

Subject: Bug
Location: Southampton england UK
August 17, 2014 7:13 pm
My friend found this in her garden and wondered what it was and if it could be eating her fushias
Signature: Liz

Found it i think. An elephant hawk moth caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Liz,
You are correct that this is an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Deilephila elpenor, and according to our research on UK Safari:  “The caterpillars feed on bedstraws, willowherbs and in gardens they feed on fuchsias.”