Currently viewing the tag: "mysteries"
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Subject: What is this?
Location: England, uk
April 10, 2015 5:52 am
Just wondering what this is and if it’s harmless? Thank you
Signature: Kelly

Flightless Fly

What’s This Australian Soldier Fly doing in England???

Dear Kelly,
For now, we are calling this by the oxymoronic name of flightless Fly.  We are certain it is in the order Diptera, but beyond that, we cannot say at this time.  It does not appear to be the flightless Crane Fly Epidapus venaticus that we found pictured on the Earth Life Web Fly Page as the antennae are quite different from the linked drawing.
  We are going to seek some other opinions.

Chen Young provides some information
Hi Daniel,
Your doubt has its merit, this is not a crane fly and I don’t know off hand who she is.  I will need to ask my colleague about this one.  Could you provide me with the information as where this lady is from?  Please double check with your source, my friend does not believe that this fly has an European origin.
Thanks,
Chen

Hi Daniel,
My colleague Dr. Martin Hauser from California Department of Food and Agriculture has identified your wingless fly as a primitive soldier fly Boreoides subulatus  (family  Stratiomyidae) from Australia, and they are found only in Australia.  Perhaps your source did not understand the importance of locality of the bugs when come to identification.
I have done a little more checking around and noticed that you had a webpage about this wingless fly.  They might look slight different but I think it is caused by the camera angle and lighting effect.
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2010/04/03/mystery-of-the-month-mating-flies-from-australia/
Thanks,
Chen

Thanks so much for the response Chen.  We will try to get some verification from Kelly regarding the location of the sighting, and also if anyone in the area recently returned from Australia.

Eric Eaton Concurs
Gentlemen:
I looked this up online myself and came to the same conclusion as Martin Hauser, but did not reply because of the locality being the UK rather than Australia.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

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Subject: unknown bug eggs
Location: Portland, Ct.
December 7, 2014 7:23 pm
for the past few years I have discovered piles (100+) of these tiny bead sized, black, shiny, hard shelled eggs. There only found in my basement. two piles were found in my garage. One was in a drawer of a RubberMaid rolling cart and the other large pile was on a open cabinet shelf piled high in a corner. when I touched the pile they all collapsed as if they were wet at one point. the other piles were in the cellar in a large plastic storage bin and also in my storage bag for my Christmas tree.
I took a picture with a microscope app the magnified 8xs and I will also include a few in my hand for a prospective.
Signature: Susan Popielaski

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Dear Susan,
These look more like seeds than bug eggs to us, but we have no explanation regarding why you found them or what they might be.
  Interestingly, we just received another nearly identical identification request from Massachusetts, so we feel compelled to research this more.  Termite Pellets also come to mind, but they look different from Termite Pellets we have seen in the past.

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Thanks for replying. We don’t have termites..we did have a ant problem that we eradicated. I’ve done research as well and found that some insects eggs are seed imposters,?
The piles are sort of glued together in a type of thin transparent sac. As soon as you touch them with slight pressure they break free and the tidy pile collapses.
Keep me posted, my FB friends are as curious as I.
Best,
Susan.

Some ants may stockpile seeds, but we believe that is a very remote possibility.

Update:  April 12, 2015
Thanks to a comment from Teri, we believe this is a Rodent’s stash of Pokeweed seeds which are pictured on the Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide.

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Subject: What is This Thing?
Location: Michigan
October 4, 2014 8:47 am
Found in Michigan, autumn weather.
Signature: JPF

Tailless Whipscorpion allegedly found in Michigan

HOAX:  Tailless Whipscorpion allegedly found in Michigan

Dear JPF,
We would like additional information.  Did you find this creature?  Was the photograph taken by you?  If the photograph was not taken by you, from where did it come?  We are inquiring because we believe this image is part of a hoax, though it is not entirely impossible that a Tailless Whipscorpion in the order Amblypygi might have been found in Michigan since global travel is now quite routine and this Tailless Whipscorpion might have stowed away in a suitcase.  According to BugGuide, Tailless Whipscorpions have only been reported from Arizona, Texas and Florida in North America, though we imagine they might also be found in other southern states.
  Tailless Whipscorpions are found throughout Central and South America and they are also found in warm, Old World countries.

It’s a hoax.  My neighbor said they found it, but I found the exact same image online associate with a “cave spider”.

Thanks for the confirmation that you have been “Hoaxed” by your neighbor.

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Subject: stumped…
Location: mojave desert, southern california
September 7, 2014 4:59 pm
I just bought some land in southern California about 5 miles outside of Boron. We were returning from working the land and I stopped to pee…saw this perfectly circular hole in the ground surrounded by pebbles and stuff that seemed to be cemented together. The hole itself was about an inch across and seemed to be coated with very dense web down it’s sides. The cemented pebbles and such looked like it would be hard to the touch but it was flexible. I took some pictures and though maybe whatever lived there would pop out but nothing showed. Is this an abandoned trapdoor spider lair or what? I am curious!!
Signature: John Roush

What made the hole???

What made the hole???

Hi John,
We have to use reverse elimination here, and we know it is not a Crayfish hole, and we don’t believe it to be a Trapdoor Spider hole or a Wolf Spider hole.
  WE are going to post it and classify it as an unsolved Mystery.

What's That Hole???

What’s That Hole???

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Subject: scary hybrid looking bug
Location: Western Oklahoma USA
August 18, 2014 5:57 pm
My assistant found this bug in her dog’s water dish.
Signature: Beth Tones

Grasshopper Lure???

Grasshopper Lure???

Hi Beth,
This “thing” looks Orthopteran, like a Grasshopper, however it is missing its jumping legs.  Though it is somewhat realistic, it does not look like any species of Grasshopper we are familiar with, and we are entertaining the possibility that it is a lifelike fishing lure not unlike the many examples pictured on the Realistic Fishing Lures and Fly Tying page of Graham Owen’s Gallery.

Grasshopper or Fishing Lure???

Grasshopper or Fishing Lure???

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Subject: Is this a wood wasp?
Location: North Yorkshire England
August 6, 2014 2:25 pm
Hi I was at work today putting up a fence when I felt a pain in my leg. I looked and was not sure what it was I knocked it away and in doing so unfortunately killed the insect. It had however stung me and it is incredibly painful even now 10 hours later. I am from the north east of England and have never seen such a creature please help me identify it!
Signature: James Rowe

Great Wood Wasp

Great Wood Wasp

Dear James,
This is indeed a Great Wood Wasp, and we are quite surprised to learn of your experience.  According to UK Safari:  “The female (above) has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, and this is often mistaken for a stinging organ. In fact it’s an ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs in the trunks of coniferous trees. Despite their appearance, these insects are quite harmless.”  Knowing that and also knowing that the female lays her eggs beneath the surface of the bark of a tree, we believe it is entirely possible that this Great Wood Wasp mistook your leg for a conifer, and tried to lay eggs.  Do you use pine scented soap?  We do not believe she was trying to sting you.  It is also possible that she used her powerful mandibles to nibble at your leg.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your speedy and informative response. This is indeed very likely as I was at the time building a fence using pine timber and it is very possible that the timber would have come into contact with my leg. There is in all 5 “sting” marks on my leg so it is possible that she has had a nibble. It is rather swollen and painful. What could this be? It does feel like a general bee/wasp sting. Could she have laid her eggs?
Many Thanks,
James Rowe

Hi again James,
This is quite perplexing and contrary to all we have read, so we are tagging this posting as a mystery.  We suppose if you were jabbed with her ovipositor accidentally, it is also possible that she deposited eggs.  Unless you have a wooden leg, you shouldn’t have much to worry about, however, as we are not medical doctors, should any irritation persist, you might want to seek medical attention.

Eric Eaton Concurs
Daniel:
I would concur with your assessment, except I doubt she would have laid eggs.  After five attempts she may have concluded “this is not a tree.”  In any event, I agree he should seek medical attention if symptoms persist or get worse.
Eric

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