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

Would love to know what spider this is and if it should be relocated?
Thank you,
Jennifer Stevens

Hi Jennifer,
We are craving more information, like exact size and location. Our guess is that you have photographed a beautiful Northern Dolomedes, Dolomedes scriptus, or possibly the Dark Dolomedes, Dolomedes tenebrosus, in late afternoon sunlight. These spiders are related to Wolf Spiders and are sometimes called Diving Spiders. They are quite large. This is one of the larger species and is common in the North. Please do not kill your beautiful spider, and rather relocate it.

Good Morning Daniel,
I live in Soutern New Jersey and please do not worry I would only relocate her were she dangerous. Seeing as how she has been totally non-aggressive to me while taking her photos I am happy to let her raise her babies in my yard. I will be wearing shoes in the yard from now on LOL She is about 3 inches in diameter She was back on the dryer spout last night if she is there again tonight I will try to get afew more shots of her. I was also told my another bug guy that he thought it was a “fishing spider” thanx,

Hi again Jennifer,
I’m so happy to hear you will be cohabitating. Dolomedes are also called fishing spiders or diving spiders. The large ones can dive below the surface of a pond and capture a small fish. They are very maternal, with the mother spider caring for her spiderlings, allowing them to crawl on her back for several days after emerging from the eggsac she also carries.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Little static critters
Hello dear bugman.
I noticed these little things on the underside of my pompom viburnam tree’s leaves. What are they?? I have a postage-stamp sized garden in downtown Boston , a few trees and perennials and usually bugs are not a problem; we get bees mostly. Some ants. Although we have had slugs. We don’t even get mosqiotos! SO I didn’t think I had a real pest, but then I noticed them on the underside of my dead cosmos as well. No other plants seem affected. I think they are pests indeed. Humph! Any idea? They don’t move much, usually are lumped up together in clusters, they are slightly varied sizes, seem teardrop shaped, and they have a matte charcoal finish to them. Oh and as you can see, tiny red ants like to crawl all over them. I can’t get close enough to count the legs, they are sooo small! I would love a super, natural solution that works in a tiny backyard (lots of folks close around this garden, so I don’t want to be spraying bad things in the air) Any ideas on my mystery guests?
J Thank you so much! (love the site)

Dear J.,
You have Ant Cows, a common name for Aphids. Aphids are pests which suck the juices from plants and spread viruses, though not to people. Ants “farm” the aphids because of the sticky Honeydew they exude from their anuses. A mild spray of soapy water on a daily basis will help rid your postage stamp garden from this vile pestilence.

Wow, that is a little gross! Off I go to suds up then… Thanks Bugman!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gold Bug
Dear Bugman
Hope you can help ID this bug. Found amongst grass/meadow flowers in China, Guangxi. Thought it was a small button at first being about 10mm across, shiny, golden/bronze with a domed transluscent ‘plastic’ disc for protection. Small feelers scanned ahead and when disturbed the four suction cupped feet clamped the body down. May have been able to fly.
Sorry for the poor image.

Hi Bruce,
I cannot tell you an exact species name since I don’t have a guide to Chineese Beetles, but it is a Tortoise Beetle, Family Cassidinae. They get their name from their form. Many of them are beautifully colored in life, but the golden hues rapidly fade after death. Many feed on sweet potatoes and other Convulvulaceae, like morning glories.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

not sure what this is..
I don’t know anything about bugs, but this huge thing greeted me on my deck railing last week, near Richmond, VA. It was close to 2 inches long and didn’t move when I approached to take the pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures are a little fuzzy, as I was handholding the camera.
Any ideas? I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Hello Guy,
What an impressive Male Stag Beetle, Lucanus elaphus, you have. We have gotten photos of Stag Beetles in the past, but always from the genus Pseudolucanus. Your specimen has impressive mandibles. These beetles occur in the South. They are usually found around the stumps of oak trees, but they do fly and are attracted to lights. Females which have smaller jaws, are reported to be very rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I was cleaning my pool last week and this week and I pulled one of these out each time both were dead. Can you please positively identify them for me. Thank you for your time
Hank Schuchardt

Hi Hank,
You have a species of Trap-Door Spider, so called because they build a burrow in sandy soil and create a door. The spiders hide behind the door and jump out with prey, usually small arthropods, pass by. You specimens appear to be males. During mating season, males will sometimes wander in search of a mate. Sadly, they fell into your pool.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have been looking for someone to help me find out what kind of bug we have, and how to possibly get rid of them (as in, what will eat them). For as long as I can remeber we have had these bugs in our yard, and never had a problem. Unfortounatly, they have multiplyed and an astounding rate this year, and whenever we walk out of the house, there is a small cloud of them that forms. They are harmless but annoying, and about 3/4 of an inch in length. When they fly, the top of the abdomen is a bright, blood red, and when crushed smell bad. If it is any help, we live in North-western Oregon.
please help!

Hi Kasey,
The Western Box-Elder Bug, Boisea rubrulineata, can get very plentiful. It feeds on box-elder, ash, and maple. Occasionally large numbers will enter homes. We have never found a way for our readers to eliminate them.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination