Currently viewing the tag: "The Big 5"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fifteen years in Sd first time seeing this!
Location: San Diego
June 3, 2015 7:19 pm
Found this rad insect crawling around the ground in my backyard in san diego ca. Any idea?
Signature: Ink only.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ink Only,
This is a Tarantula Hawk.  Unless you are extremely fond of intense pain, like what might result from multiple stabbings with an inking needle, you should handle this Tarantula Hawk with caution as they are reported to have one of the most painful insect stings known to man.  Their venom is strong enough to paralyze a Tarantula.
  We will be postdating your submission to go live on our site while we are away from the office in June.

Claire Kooyman, Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: California
August 3, 2014 12:18 pm
Located this one in Vacaville ca
Signature: Ma

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ma,
You have encountered a Tarantula Hawk, a member of several possible genera of Spider Wasps that prey upon Tarantulas, not to eat, but to provide food for the larval wasps.  Tarantula Hawks are not aggressive, but they are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: is this a spider or an ant?
Location: Covington, ga
September 15, 2013 1:48 pm
my husband says ant, I say spider
Signature: felicia

Cow Killer

Cow Killer

Hi Felicia,
This is neither a spider nor an ant, so neither of you is correct, however, if points are awarded for closeness, your husband would be the winner.  This is a Cow Killer,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, and it is a flightless female wasp in the family Mutilidae.  Ants and Wasps are classified in the same order, Hymenoptera, and the common name of the members of the family Mutilidae is Velvet Ant, so your husband has the proximity of the order as well as the common name of the family.  Cow Killers get their common name because of the alleged pain of the sting they deliver.  It is said to be painful enough to kill a cow, however, a cow would not directly die from the sting.  We have heard that stung cows will sometimes run, and it is possible they might run into a ditch where they might break their necks or run into a road where they might get hit by a truck.  At any rate, you should not try to handle a Cow Killer, which we have included in our Big 5 tag.

Hi Daniel
Thank you! I did some research after I emailed you and found out what it was. I have a child who is completing a “bug project” and seemingly we are finding all types of bugs. I am exited about bugs, I feel as if I should have become an entomologist :o)
Thanks you for your labor of love, your response is very much appreciated!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Winged Ant?
Location: El Cajon, CA 92021
September 1, 2011 11:23 am
It looked like a giant ant. It was approximately 2 inches long with a green body that was segmented like an ant and it had brown wings.
The climate when I saw the bug was over cast and cool. It was between 8-9 am. Between 62-70 degrees. It’s generally very hot in this area of San Diego but it’s a very mild morning. It was in the grass and then on a tree (palm).
Hope you can figure it out and let me know because I’m facsinated to know…
Signature: Thanks!

Tarantula Hawk

We really wish we had seen this magnificent Tarantula Hawk, Numero Uno on our Big 5 list of Bugs that really know how to defend themselves around silly humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Drugged Bark Scorpions?
Location: Arizona
August 19, 2011 2:54 pm
We had our house bug-bombed for crickets about a month ago. Since then we’ve had 2 bark scorpions turn up that aren’t dead but don’t act like normal scorpions. I found one on the floor and another one a few weeks later on my stove as I was going to wipe up after a meal. In both cases the scorpion lay limp and looking dead until touched. When I clamped them with the tongs they put up a good fight, stinging and all. But neither tried to run or even moved at all when there was motion near them. The guy on the stove had been under a paper towel and when it was lifted he didn’t even run.
It’s my understanding that bug poison doesn’t kill scorpions but it seems like it’s doing something to them. Or am I wrong? I’ve only seen one other bark scorpion before and it ran all over the place when it was outed. I thought they were all like that. What’s your take?
Signature: Cyn

Bark Scorpion

Hi Cyn,
We are sorry, but we really don’t know much about the content of the poisons used in bug bombs, nor their effect on Scorpions.  A month seems like quite some time to pass between the bug bombing and the effects on this Bark Scorpion.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

terribel painful sting
Location: woodland hill, california
July 26, 2011 9:49 pm
everywhere this year – been here 15 years and never seen this bug
black body – does not fly – looks like a white clover flower –
terribly painful sting
Signature: cheers

Velvet Ant

Dear cheers,
We do not want to even attempt a species identification from such a blurry image, but we can tell that this is a Velvet Ant, and you are correct, they are reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps, and may have bright orange and red coloration with black markings.  Under no circumstances should Velvet Ants be handled with bare hands.  A sting is sure to follow.

YES IT WAS INDEED A WHITE FURRY VELVET ANTS – THERE SEEM TO BE MANY AROUND THIS YEAR – ANY IDEA WHY NOW?

Conditions were right.  Unseasonal rains may have contributed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination