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: Flying Scorpion? Panorpa nuptialis?
Location: Fort Collins, CO
August 22, 2014 2:30 pm
I found this yesterday in an old pot.
Live in Fort Collins, CO.
I am afraid I killed it, even though it bothered me to do so, but it looked somewhat dangerous!
Have never seen anything like this! A friend in Mexico sent me news of Panorpa nuptialis… “flying scorpion” but I am not sure it is enough similar…
Ideas?
Signature: mes

American Pelecinid

American Pelecinid

Dear mes,
This is an American Pelecinid,
Pelecinus polyturator, the only member of its family in the continental United States.  This parasitic wasp uses its long abdomen to deposit eggs underground in the proximity of Scarab Beetle Grubs which the larval wasps eat.  American Pelecinids are not known to sting, but whenever we write that an insect is harmless, or not aggressive, someone writes in to dispute us.  In our opinion, this beneficial insect was killed unnecessarily, and we are tagging the posting as Unnecessary Carnage and we hope that you will be understanding if you encounter another American Pelecinid.  This is most definitely not a Scorpionfly, which is how Panorpa nuptialis is classified.

THANK YOU for this post, and for the education.
I am generally not squeamish around insects (having lived 17 years of my adult life in Mexico) and I sincerely regret falling into the “ew” category with this American Pelecinid. I was feeling mother bear I think…
Thank you so much for the identification which I will post around to try to atone for having lost this one!
Thanks for the good work you do
Mes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: El Paso, Texas – blocks away from the Rio Grande River
August 16, 2014 2:31 am
I live in the southwest. El Paso, Texas to be exact. i was walking up to my house which is very dark at night, i was dressed very lightly and immediately felt a web all over the front of my body. It was very thick. the thickest that i have ever felt in my life, more thick than that of a black widow. i quickly started pulling the web off of me which was very thick and sticky, was very worried it was a black widow which is very common in el paso. i used the light of my phone to light up a gourd vine that i walked under to find a large gray spider that i have never seen before. unfortunately i have elder people and children that would be walking through there shortly so i had no choice but to pray the spider which was the last thing that i wanted to do :( i am worried that this spider is dangerous. please can you identify this spider for me. it was larger than a black widow and had a huge web taller then me. i am 5-11.
Signature: Nathan D

Orbweaver Carnage

Orbweaver Carnage

Dear Nathan,
We are awed that you chose to “pray” in an effort to dispatch this harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  See BugGuide for more information on these beneficial spiders.  Orbweavers build orb-shaped webs and a member of this family was the inspiration for the classic children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web”.
  Orbweavers are rarely found outside of their webs, and they tend to build webs in the same locations day after day.  Orbweavers snare many harmful insects in their webs, and noctural species undoubtedly kill numerous mosquitoes which we believe you will agree is a positive attribute.  Try to educate your visitors about the presence of Orbweavers on your property and let them know that these are harmless and beneficial spiders.  For the record, Black Widows do not spin such organized webs and they do not spin out in the open.  Because we believe this harmless Orbweaver was unnecessarily killed, albeit with prayer, we are tagging this as Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What insect is this?
Location: East Coast- Balt, Md
August 13, 2014 12:45 am
Found this suck roaming my kitchen floor at 3am?
What is it?
Signature: Dez

Spider Wasp:  Tachypompilus ferrugineus

Spider Wasp: Tachypompilus ferrugineus

Dear Dez,
This Spider Wasp,
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, appears to be dead since you have also included a ventral view with its legs sticking up in the air.  Since you found it roaming, we are guessing it died at your hands.  We believe living Spider Wasps, like this one pictured on BugGuide, are much prettier than dead ones. Spider Wasps are not aggressive toward humans, and in an effort to educate you and others on the importance all living creatures play in the complicated web of life on our planet, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Dead Spider Wasp

Dead Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this huge flying bug?
Location: Southern Maine
August 3, 2014 7:45 am
They have infested our backyard, burrowing in the dirt around our pool. What are they and how can we kill them/get rid of them?
Signature: CH

Great Black Wasp

Great Black Wasp

Dear CH,
This looks like a Great Black Wasp, a non-aggressive, beneficial species that preys upon Katydids and digs underground burrows to use as a nursery.  Other than providing a food source of paralyzed Katydids, the female Great Black Wasp does not defend her nest.  We do not provide extermination advice.  The Great Black Wasp is a much more attractive creature living than dead.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: double winged, orange hornet?
Location: Massachusettes, USA
July 19, 2014 12:42 pm
Never seen this thing before. It has an orange body and legs. A yellow head with black eyes, antenae and half of the abdomen as well. The other half is orange. It has two sets of wings and burrows under ground. This one is exactly 25 mm long (one inch). Help identify!!
Signature: Devin

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Dear Devin,
This magnificent wasp is a Great Golden Digger Wasp,
Sphex ichneumoneus, and we can only presume that it is dead because of Unnecessary Carnage.  Great Golden Digger Wasps are solitary wasps and they are not aggressive towards humans.  As your email indicates, the female excavates a burrow and she provisions it with Katydids, Crickets and other Orthopterans to feed her brood.  This is a beneficial species and it should not be harmed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this thing I killed at work
Location: St. Louis, MO
July 10, 2014 1:06 am
this creature was flying around my head today at work. it must have gotten inside when a customer walked in the door. anyway, it flew like a wasp or maybe even a mosquito and it was about an inch or inch and a half in length. as soon as it landed where I could kill it, I didn’t hesitate. so I’m just curious as to what this thing is!
Signature: Nikki

Swatted Robber Fly

Swatted Robber Fly

Dear Nikki,
Even in its swatted state, this Robber Fly is a magnificent creature.  Robber Flies are beneficial predators and they will not attack humans, though they might bite if carelessly handled.  We believe your Robber Fly, a victim of Unnecessary Carnage, is a Hanging Thief.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination