From the monthly archives: "July 2003"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman,
I read through your website and still am not able to find what this creature is!!! I spent last night surfing the web, trying to find out more information, but still no luck. You’re my last resort, Bugman! My husband and I came home to find 2 of these on our garage floor. It’s by far the largest bug I’ve ever seen! It measures about 1.5 inches long (see picture). I thought it was some sort of beetle or cockroach, but apparently not. My friend did more research and thought it was the (rare?) Stag Beetle. But it doesn’t match the description. We live in Massachusetts. I’m not sure how common this bug is, or if it’s even harmful at all. I know you’re busy right now, what with summer and all, but I’d appreciate any help you can give us! Great website, by the way!
Lynn
Freaked out in Massachusetts.

D
ear Freaked Out,
It is a Stag Beetle. I know there are reddish varieties, but I have only seen black ones. Perhaps the red beetles you found are a subspecies of Pseudoleucanus capreolus. The photos are beautiful. They are not harmful, though can deliver a mild pinch with those formidable jaws on the male beetle. The grubs eat rotting wood. One of the few items in our gift shop right now is a stag beetle t-shirt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have photos if necessary. It’s not an earwig, but approximately that size. This bug is solid black, no wings, doesn’t reduce size really at the abdomen and what not. Small legs, nothing like a cricket. Not like a beetle, nothing like a cockroach. We’ve found a few of these crawling across the floors lately, and it freaks out my wife hehe. Any ideas? Would the photos help?
David

Dear David,
Photos always help. Might be a rove beetle. There is a species known as the Devil’s Coach Horse, Staphylinus olens, that is solid black. It is a true beetle, though is rather atypical appearing. They are European imports, and eat snails and slugs, hence are advantageous to the gardener. Both adults and grubs are adept hunters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have photos if necessary. It’s not an earwig, but approximately that size. This bug is solid black, no wings, doesn’t reduce size really at the abdomen and what not. Small legs, nothing like a cricket. Not like a beetle, nothing like a cockroach. We’ve found a few of these crawling across the floors lately, and it freaks out my wife hehe. Any ideas? Would the photos help?
David

Dear David,
Photos always help. Might be a rove beetle. There is a species known as the Devil’s Coach Horse, Staphylinus olens, that is solid black. It is a true beetle, though is rather atypical appearing. They are European imports, and eat snails and slugs, hence are advantageous to the gardener. Both adults and grubs are adept hunters.

Amazing. I have searched the web for a few days, identify a bug sites, all kinds of crazy stuff. Nothing. No where. I email you and you instantly know what it is. I attached the pictures of the one specimin I photographed closely. I googled up a bunch of photos. But the photos I have seen of live ones and what not, if there are no very close relatives, that is it.
You said they are European imports. So they are already across the United States? They are in Salt Lake City anyway. A little more reading on them, they say they raise up like a scorpion when scared, release a stinky smell from their abdomen (true) does not sting but can give a painful bite. We are not gardeners, we live in brand new apartments, and we are finding them in our house. Should something be done? Or should we just scoop them up and let them outside? Thanks again on identifying it, with such a vague des
cription really. Best site 🙂
google.com search identify a font.
The site, identifies fonts, asks one question at a time, and identifies the font, to 2 or three fonts out of like 10,000 fonts. A bug site like that, would be amazing. I’m not much of a bug expert, but if you wanted any design help for such a site, let me know.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beetle in Georgia
My wife came across a dead beetle of some sort. It is light green in color with mottled black spots on the wings. It is about 2″ long and has pincers that open top to bottom, not side to side. I have attached a picture for your review. Thanks for any help you can give us in this identification.
Dave B.
Columbus, Ga

Dear Dave,
I’m sure I answered your wife’s letter, though now can’t seem to find any record of it. She sent three photos of different views. It is a Unicorn Beetle, Dynastes tityus, a member of the scarab family prized by collectors. They are harmless.

Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response! Once you had been able to identify it, I was able to find additional pictures online. As an aside, my wife hasn’t sent any pictures in…so there are a couple of us who recently came across a beautiful specimen.
Thanks again!
Dave

We at What’s That Bug appologize to Dave and Lori because we confused their photograph with the following photograph which arrived in our offices two days before. They are remarkably similar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello,
My wife is a native to Florida and has in the last few years noticed a bug/beetle that she has never seen before. It always seems to hang around the same small bushes that one of our local restaurants have and the only other place she has seen it is at work where they have the same type of bush.
It is completely black, around two and a half inches in length, about half an inch wide and has large pinches on the front of it’s head and it also flies.
We would both appreciate it very much if you could tell us what this bug is as, we have looked on many websites and have never found it listed.
Thanks in advance,
Robert & Laura Kitchener

Dear Robert and Laura,
It sounds like a stag beetle. We have been getting reports and sitings lately.

Thanks but that is not it. The bug I mean doesn’t have such a hard shell and has similar dimensions of a palmetto bug, but larger, with claws and a bit different in color. We are going to try to get a picture of one for ya (If we can stand around it that long, ha, ha)? Thanks for all your help!

Please send that photo. Meanwhile, I’m guessing a Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus americanus). The Giant Water Bug is a true bug, a member of the order Heteroptera. They have sucking mouthparts. At nearly three inches in length, they are among the largest insects in the continental United States. The mature insects are strong fliers and because of their streamlined, keel shaped bodies, are equally comfortable in the air or in water. The adults have a variety of common names including Toe Biters and Electric Light Bugs. Any swimmer who has ever been bitten would attest to the origin of the name Toe Biter, since the bite is extremely painful. The Giant Water Bug is a ferocious hunter which uses its front claws to grasp its prey which can include small fish as well as tadpoles and water insects. Huge swarms appear periodically in brightly lit parking lots in the South. An even larger relative in South East Asia reaches five inches in length and is prized as a delicacy in Thailand. A recent news story covers a veritable invasion of Giant Water Bugs in New Port Richie, Florida that terrified the local population. Here is an image.

Thanks for the info I think that is the right bug. At first glance of the water bug out of the water, the ‘claws’ didn’t seem to stand out. Everytime I have seen this bug, it looked as if it had ‘claws’ so I wasn’t sure until I saw the PIC attached. This looks like the bug on land as well as in water. Thanks for finally settling our minds and we wont be touching one anytime soon !!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I recently found a large bug under a rock at my house in South Jordan, UT. I can’t seem to find anyone that knows what type of bug is. I hope you can help me. Its characteristics are: light brown/tan in color, 2 segments of body with black stripes across the bottom half of the body (on top, like a bumblebee), legs that look like a grasshopper’s, only not as large in proportion to the body, head looks like that of an ant, and its overall length is about 1 1/2 inches long. I put him in a jar with dirt and mulch, and he burrows under the dirt most of the time, and remains hidden, although at first he was quite aggressive in trying to climb out of the jar. He has lived for one week in the jar with no additional food or water. He has no wings, and an overall smooth body appearance. Some have said he might be a Mormon cricket, but after having looked at several images of the Mormon Cricket, I do not think he is one. He is quite adept at digging with his front legs. He has six legs, and does not jump at all. If you could help me determine what this is, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Sincerely,
Lori

Dear Lori,
Sounds like a Jerusalem Cricket or Potato Bug. Try doing a websearch. The scientific Family name is Stenopelmatus. Mormon crickets have a different shape than you describe.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination