Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug??
Location: New Zealand
February 8, 2016 2:23 am
Sorry, my partner got a little freaked out and the bug got swatted 😕
Have never seen anything like this before in NZ!
Almost like a cross between a fly and a dragon fly!
Signature: Kim

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Dear Kim,
We are feeling sad that the first Dobsonfly image we have received from New Zealand has to be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  We found an image on FlickR that is identified as
Archichauliodes diversus, and we found another image on Hidden New Zealand Photographaphy where it states:  “New Zealand only has one Dobson fly species, They are also known as toe-bitters, due to their larva having large jaws and their tendency to bite :).”  We suspect the common name of the larva is Toe-Biter, and that is a very commonly used name for the North American Giant Water Bug despite North America having its own species of Dobsonflies.  iNaturalist states:  “Archichauliodes diversus is an insect in the subfamily Corydalinae – the Dobsonflies. In its larval form It is commonly known by the name toe-biter, and its Maori name is puene. The species is native to New Zealand. Although there are other species of Dobsonfly in other parts of the world including Asia, Australia (Archichauliodes guttiferus) and South America, Archichauliodes diversus is the only species of Dobsonfly in New Zealand. The Dobsonfly larva is the largest species of freshwater insect found in fresh water and the only family representatives in New Zealand.”  The site also states:  “The biggest threat to dobsonflies is human intervention,[14] by removing over hanging bush and trees from the waterways. This has a significant negative impact as it is a critical part in the life cycle of the Dobsonfly.[10] The Dobsonfly is only found in good quality water. Any pollution could do serious damage to not only the Dobsonfly but also other species that could be potential food source.”  Csiro has some good information on Australian Dobsonflies.  Though its larva is called a Toe-Biter (or Toe-bitter), they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Adult Dobsonflies might also bite if carelessly handled, but they do not pose any threat to humans.  We hope that should you happen to encounter another individual in the future, you will allow it to survive and that you will provide us with an image of a living Dobsonfly.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for that information, I will definitely make sure next time my partner doesn’t get to it first.
We live on a golf course so hopefully I will encounter another one and I will definitely take a pic for you 😊
Kind regards,
Kim

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scary looking
Location: South Western PA
January 10, 2016 1:18 am
found this in my dining room today. Looked like it was covered in sand or something. Exterminated for lack of knowledge of it. What is it?
Signature: -PA Matt

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

Dear PA Matt,
Though it is highly likely that a Masked Hunter like the one you found might bite if it is carelessly handled, it is nonetheless considered to be a beneficial predator.  Masked Hunters are frequently found in the home, and the common name is due to the fact that the sticky exoskeleton causes debris to stick, effectively masking the insect and helping it to blend in among its surroundings.  Another common name is Masked Bed Bug Hunter, and this predator has no problem feeding on Bed Bugs and other unwanted household pests.  Hopefully that information will cause you to be more tolerant in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Memphis, TN
December 12, 2015 6:03 pm
Hello,
I found this guy crawling on me. I live in Memphis, TN. It was on me yesterday (December 11, 2015). The weather is unusually warm her right now. It looks like some sort of wasp-like bug, but I have never seen one with this coloring.
Thanks,
Signature: Vera

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Dear Vera,
This is a parasitic relative of wasps from the family Ichneumonidae, and based on the black and white antennae, we believe it may be in the genus
Cryptanura which can be found on BugGuide.  Ichenumons are considered harmless to humans as most members of the family do not sting.  In our effort to educate the public about insects, we have created an Unnecessary Carnage tag and we hope any future encounters you have with this harmless beneficial insect will not result in a similar outcome.

Thank you Daniel! Hopefully the next time I encounter one, it won’t be in my shirt. 😊

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hematophagous insect Brazil
Location: Rio de Janeiro
November 29, 2015 3:06 am
Dear bugman, a friend of mine in Brazil is quite desperate because of an insect that at night bite her causing massive allergic reactions. She would like to know what insect it is and how to repellent it.
It look like an unt with wings or a black wasp. The wings have a yellowish tone. I am attaching some pictures.
Thank you very much
Signature: Dr Mirko P.

Possibly Flying Ant

Possibly Flying Ant

Dear Dr. Mirko P.,
There is not enough detail in any of the attached images to make an identification beyond the insect order Hymenoptera, which includes both ants and wasps.  Many people are allergic to stings from Hymenopterans. We are certain of two things.  One is that no ants or wasps are hematophagous or blood-sucking insects.  The other is that the individual in your image appears to have met an untimely end, prompting us to tag this as Unnecessary Carnage, though we understand that someone who is bitten or stung by a creature would want it identified if there is a “massive allergic reaction” associated with the bite or sting, and that possession of the actual creature might be the only way to secure an identification.  It is also possible that the sting, because that is what we are suspecting happened, occurred after swatting an ant or wasp that landed on your friend.  Swatting may be a natural reaction, but that is also a really good reason to prompt a bite or sting from a spider or insect.  The best way to remove the unwanted critter is to blow it off.  We would suggest your local Natural History Museum as a good place to have the actual specimen identified.  There is some difficultly in your acting as the middle man in this identification request.  We are also curious if the individual Hymenopteran pictured is the actual culprit.  You stated your friend was bitten at night.  Many true hematophagous insects bite at night, including Bed Bugs and Kissing Bugs.  Kissing Bugs found in Brazil are known to spread Chagas Disease.

Dear Daniel,
This is what my friend told me.
She is positive that this insect is biting/stinging her.
She admitted that she’s not sure about the insect drinking her blood, but she was assuming so.
The reaction is almost immediate with little or no delay after the biting/stinging.
She is also positive that is not a Chagas Disease and I tend to trust her judgement.
I suggested her to visit a doctor to control the allergic reaction.
She told me that for weeks she had hundreds of these insects invading her house at sundown.
She fixed mosquito mesh on her house windows and doors but they were crawling in by the roof she suspects.
She assure me that the biting/stinging was not provoked by her killing but it was the other way around and that if there was any carnage she was the victim not the executioner.
She told me that a couple of days ago there has been a drastic reduction in temperature and it started to rain. This stopped the invasion.
Now, can it be that these insects were  swarming, perhaps to find a mate or a nesting site in a particular “good” season?
Best,
Mirko

Thanks for the update Mirko,
All ants and many wasps are social creatures, and based on the new information, we surmise that this is either an ant alate, the reproductive winged males and females that swarm and start new colonies, or a worker wasp, the sterile females that tend to the queen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Lancaster pa
November 25, 2015 9:16 pm
I found this in my living room. I think it may have been hiding in some wood that we brought in for our fireplace. Now I am freaking out here! :-)
Signature: Pam

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Pam,
This is a beneficial, predatory Wheel Bug, not a Kissing Bug.  We have received at least six urgent request to identify suspected Kissing Bugs in the past two days which leads us to believe there is some news story currently circulating.  Are you able to provide us any information on why you suspected a Kissing Bug?

Dear Daniel,
Thank  you so much for your prompt reply! I have grandchildren and I am very concerned because they play in our living room frequently!
Yes, there is news articles on line how they are spotted in Pennsylvania! I also saw the pictures of the wheel bug, but I did not see the helmet type of spine sticking up on this one’s head.
I will try and forward the segment that I saw on Facebook to you. It was on Fox news. Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer this!  It is very much appreciated!

The initial picture shown in this article did not look like the bug in my house, but another pic did! I literally had just found the bug the day before and killed it!I have spent a lot of hours looking at pictures as well and it’s very confusing! I guess that’s why I should leave it up to the experts LOL! Thank you again! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pam

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Hi Again Pam,
The Kissing Bug in the FOX image you forwarded is an immature Kissing Bug, which may explain part of the confusion.  Sometimes immature True Bugs change in shape and color as they mature and grow wings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Corte Madera , California
November 20, 2015 4:58 am
Found this crawling on floor inside home. No others found as of yet. About as long as adult thumb.
Signature: Jackie Wilkinson

Potato Bug Carnage

Potato Bug Carnage

Dear Jackie,
Clearly you can stand your ground against Potato Bugs which are harmless, subterranean dwellers that become more active in California with the winter rains.  We try to promote tolerance of the lower beasts and we hope next time a Potato Bug wanders indoors, you consider relocation over squashing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination