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

tiny bugs in the bathtub
Hi there – I hope you can help me. I live in Southern New Jersey and for the past week or so I’ve been finding tiny little bugs in my bathtub but, thankfully, no where else. They are about 1/16th of an inch long, and they smush very easily. I am not sure where they are coming from. They appear to have antennae and I think 6 legs, although it is very hard to tell because they are so small. They are sort of a grayish color. I’ve been washing them down the drain but they come back every day. Do you have any ideas?
Also – they appeared to jump when I sprayed the tub with vinegar, but maybe that was my imagination. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.Thank you so
Rebecca in NJ

Hi Rebecca,
Perhaps Colembola, springtails.

Thanks for replying! You are right! In the meantime I was able to find out that they were in fact, springtails. Thanks again for the reply! it’s good to know there’s help out there!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A swarm of spiders
I was walking out to the mailbox when I saw this cluster of tiny spiders. Sorry about the blur this was the best pic I got camera really doesn’t like to take close up pics of small things. Anyway, what’s up with that? I’ve never seen so many spiders all in one place. What brought them there? Why were they all clustered up like that?
Dale Richardson
Addison, Maine

Hi Dale, They are newly hatched spiderlings. They will begin to forage on their own soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great site.
I noticed there was a rather heated debate about the camel spider. I’ve seen this photo making the rounds, but I doubt highly that it is an intentional hoax on the part of the photographer. Matt Drudge posted it on his news site, with his usual sensational flair, and all of a sudden people started reporting about this bug the size of a poodle. Your assumption about optics is no doubt correct. The bug is being held by a pair of pliers and the arm appearing in the top right corner is clearly protruding from what is obviously the jacket sleeve of a slightly bent-over soldier trying to get a closer look without touching. With a bit of inspection, the clues to scale are there. Even to the photographic layman’s eye, it’s pretty clear this monster is about six inches long — "
the size of a coffee cup saucer" — which is still pretty damned impressive. If this thing was three-feet long as some viewers have thought, this soldier would be eyeing it at the end of a bayonette, not the tip of a pair of pliers. For a comparison, there is another photo here. When viewed next to the supposed "hoax" photo, it is clear that the gigantic Paul Verhoevian specimen is perhaps slightly larger than the very believably sized one below, but not by much. It’s just a more impressive photo and who can fault them for that?
John Silver
Washington, DC

Thank you for your kind letter John. We were raked over the coals for printing that image, though it is a damn impressive photo. We try to teach our beginning photography students about the power of the image, and that is a great example of fooling the eye through creative use of scale. We do love sensationalism though.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

from Michigan
I found this bug and it is orange with really light yellow or cream colored squares

too vague a description.

hi me again i just took pics of it so if you know what kind of bug it is can you please tell us we just don’t know

Hi William,
Thanks for sending a beautiful photo of an Ermine Moth, either Atteva aurea or Atteva gemmata. The caterpillars eat ailanthus leaves. They are reportedly from the south, but we just received a letter from a reader who sited some in Long Island New York. Here is the letter:

(08/03/2004) A. aurea or A. gemmata
i will get a picture the next time i find one but you can extend their range to Long Island, NY….they are around my screen door in the morning and i was using your site to find out what they were as i had never seen anything like them (big thank you). i’ve given a few female dobson flies to my Jackson’s chameleon….before i found your site i would run from them, now i go hunting for them…thanks
Danny D

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what are these flying bugs?
Hi Bugman, you’ve got a great website! Can you tell me about the bugs that are in my yard by the thousands? They’re all over the Portland, OR area. They don’t seem to bite, but are terribly annoying. They’re about 3/4 inch long and when flying, a bright orange body is visible. Are they likely to leave soon?
Thanks for the info,

Hi Bev,
You have Western Box-elder Bugs, Boisea rubrolineata. It feeds on Box-elder, Ash and Maple. Adults and nymphs aggregate in huge numbers, and often get inside homes to hibernate. They are difficult to erradicate, and since you have mating activity, you are well assured of future generations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

An interesting, colorful little grasshopper. Spotted in Austin TX, in my back yard in June of 2001. Nothing like it in my insect field guide. This fellow was small. Grasshoppers are not my forte 🙂

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the photo of the colorful nymph. Sadly, most identification guides do not picture immature insects, and they often are not colored like the adults. We can’t help you with a species name either. The closest guess we can venture is perhaps the Painted Grasshopper, Dactylotum bicolor. Adults have similar coloration, but the pattern is different. It is found in Texas.

Ed. Note
July 1, 2010
We just identified this immature Aztec Spur Throated Grasshopper,
Aidemona azteca, on BugGuide.

2nd grasshopper For tonight’s second contribution, another grasshopper. Again, in Austin TX. Closest I can come in the Insect field guide I have is Melanoplus ponderosus, a spur-throated grasshopper.

Thanks for you grasshopper photos Jim. We suspect this is an Alutacea Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca alutacea. The distinguishing feature, not visible in your photo, is a yellow midline stripe. This grasshopper has several color variations, including greenish yellow to dark greenish brown. Fore wings are blackish yellow and hind tibia are red to green, or reddish yellow, bright yellow (like your photo), or black.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination