From the monthly archives: "April 2004"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this bug while I was burning the trash. It was hopping away when I found it.Can you tell me what it is. Sorry for the bag picture camera was going dead.

Looks like the silhouette of a Slender Mexican Grasshopper, Leptysma mexicana. It reaches about 1 1/4 inches in length and occurs in small numbers in various parts of California.

But I live in Louisiana then what could it be?

A related species, Leptysma marginicollis lives in the South.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Friends: I am writing from South America to congratulate you on your page and the task and effort you do. I’m taking the time to send you the enclosed photo of a Hemipteran (Toe-Biter) with genus and species that here we call the Gigantic Water Bed Bug.
Dr. Carlos Marzano

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I live in Northern, NJ (Bergen County) and found this near my stove in the kitchen last night. Boy is it ugly!! Please let me know what it is as I spent over 1 hour looking online to try to see something similar but had no luck at all. I don’t think it is a roach (God I hope not!!!) – maybe some sort of Beetle? We have a very clean house and a dog if that matters. This site is great for us bugaphobes!!
New Jersey

Hi David,
You have a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, not a cockroach. We get lots of questions about them since they find their way into homes to hibernate. We have additional information on our True Bug page.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Do you have any information on this kind of spider?

Dear Chas,
You take the prize for the best photograph ever. Camel Spiders are actually Solpugids, not true spiders and related to scorpions. They are fierce hunters. Here is a letter we received last year that contains opinions and may or may not contain facts.

(11/3/2003) Camel Spider
I just basically just stumbled upon your website. Very interesting to say the least. Anyway, after looking at all the various insect pictures people have sent in for identification, I thought I would share this picture with you. Seems kind of appropriate for the Halloween season: Well, here is the nastiest creature God ever placed on this earth. This is what I had to deal with while in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm … I present to you the infamous “Camel Spider”. A vicious insect that lives in the middle eastern deserts. Although they are not actually spiders, they resemble a cross between a spider and a scorpion. Also called the sun spider, solpugid, wind scorpion, and a host of other terrible names that do not come close to describing the pure, unadulterated evil that makes up this ‘hell-spawned’ beast. The Camel Spider can grow to the size of a coffee cup saucer , it can run upwards of 5 miles an hour and j ump several feet into the air . That’s not the worst part either. The worst part comes when they catch you. (And they will catch you.) Although they are not poisonous, Camel Spiders will inflict a horrible bite. It will jump on you and run up your back until it finds exposed flesh. If you’re wearing shorts, it will go for your legs; otherwise it may go all the way up to your face or neck . Its mouth opens four ways to become 4 very sharp fangs. If you are sleeping, i t has been known to eat at your face and rip at the flesh. Don’t worry, its saliva will numb the wound almost instantaneously… by destroying the nerve endings. The saliva also inhibits healing. When your nose grows back , it’ll be hideously scarred. I honestly believe if these evil creatures were the size of a German Shepard, they would rule the earth!
Ron Larson,
Army Missile Command
Redstone Arsenal, AL

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for the information on Camel Spiders. Actually what happed is my cousin emailed me the “infamous photo” and I was under the impression that one of her GI friends sent it to her, but that was not the case, it is a circulating email. however when I got it I was in awe I’m not a huge fan of spiders in fact they make me very nervous and to see such a picture it really got me, I thought oh my goodness do these spiders really exist and if so can they hurt me? so I started a search one day and found your website and sent it to you so you could sent me more information on the Camel Spider. The only thing I’ve ever heard about Camel Spiders are those stories from GI’s in the Middle East and they all say that the Camel Spider will jump and bite you, you’ll never know it however because of the venom has a numbing affect. So being terrified as I was I wanted to get some expert advice, and I tell you what I am glad I went to your website because this is very, very interesting. Thank you and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the “infamous photo”

Editor’s Update:  Internet Hysteria
September 12, 2009
It seems some information we had included in this original posting was lost when our site migrated last year in September.  This image was widely circulated on the internet.  The photo is an excellent example of how to distort size and scale relationships in camera to create the illusion that things appear differently than they really are.  We have all seen the writing on the mirror that claims “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” and the same is true when a wide angle lens is used to exaggerate a scale relationship.  Camel Spiders are big by American standards, but nowhere near the huge creatures that this photograph implies.  We continue to find this photograph highly amusing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help with identifying these bugs would be appreciated. They are on a neighbor’s pecan tree. I’ve looked at web sites that discuss pecan pests and nothing looked like this. In the first email I forgot to state that we are in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Texas area.

Dear Ft. Worth,
We checked with out resident expert at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, and he agreed that you have Assassin Bug Nymphs, newly hatched. You are not finding them on the pecan pest site because they are not pests. They are predators who will help rid the trees of aphids and other destructive insects. They are beneficial, though when they are grown, they can inflict a painful bite to humans if carelessly handled.

A million thanks for the quick response. You are providing a wonderful service with a great web site. Keep up the fantastic work!
Richard L Parker

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination