From the monthly archives: "August 2004"

Our site just went down for the month, and though we have 130 letters outstanding, we decided to photograph this event taking place on our Datura plant. We noticed that the leaves were being eaten and found large numbers of beetle grub, chewing hungrily. They had an unusual viscous liquid on their backs. We also noticed a small green and black striped beetle on the plant. Guessing they were different stages of the same species, we researched the Three-Lined Potato Beetle, Lema trilineata, also called the Old-Fashioned Potato Beetle. This beetle obviously went out of fashion when the Colorado Potato Beetle became such a pest. Our Audubon Society Guide states: “Voracious larvae gather in clusters on potato leaves, nibbling lacy holes and eventually consuming all but the midvein. Unlike other larvae of other potato-feeders, they are blanketed in a wet froth of their own secretions. Adults can be distinguished from the Striped Cucumber Beetle by the constriction behind the thorax.”Datura is a member of the potato family, which explains the beetles presence on this hallucinogenic plant.

Hi! This spider has been by one of the back windows of our house – not sure for how long but it has us all fascinated. We think that it’s a Golden Orb (thanks to your site) but are not quite sure. Thanks,
Rich Puig

Hi Rich,
Most definitely a Golden Orb Weaver.

Hi Spiderman!
Ok..Im stumped. Never seen anything like this. I live in Milton, Delaware…….there seems to be 5 round eggcases within the cocoon. Any idea what they might be? I always heard colored spiders were poisionous. Is this the case? Thanks!!

Wow Connie,
Nice photo of Cyclosa bifurca. Here is what Comstock has to say: “The strange form of the abdomen sharply distinguishes this species from the othe species of Cyclosa in our fauna. The abdomen is long; the basal half bears two pairs of humps; the caudal half is more slender and is bifurcate at the tip. The body is green mottled with white; there is a light wavy band on the side of the abdomen; and the abdomen is bordered with a black line above, back of the humps. On the ventral side of the abdomen, there is a bright red spot between the epigastric furrow and the spinnerets. The legs are banded with reddish brown. I found this to be a common species near Miami, Fla. I first found it in the jungle near the shore of the bay, where it made an orb-web with a string of eggsacs across it like a stabilimentum.” Thank you for your wonderful addition to our site, especially since I could not find any photos online.

November 28, 2010
Today we received a new identification request which led us on an identification search on BugGuide that ended with a new identification for this egg sac configuration:  the Basilica Spider,
Mecynogea lemniscata.

Here are some close ups of that bug I was mentioning: What kind of bug is this?

Hi Chris,
We seem to have lost your original letter concerning this bug. It also had us stumped for quite some time. It is a Burrower Bug, Family Cydnidae. According to Borror and Delong: “They are usually found burrowing beneath stones or boards, in sand, or in the mold about the roots of grass tufts; sometimes they are found in ant nests.”

Hello folks.
First, let me thank you for your excellent site. I had found a strange little critter in my home office and wondered what it might be. I found it on your site after many others had let me down. It turns out to be a Masked Hunter". Quite the strange little critter. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of the photos I’ve taken of both that "masked hunter" and a solfugid which was out on a parking lot near my office.
Here’s the link.
Mostly these photos have been another excuse to play with my digital camera, and the originals of many are in higher resolution than that shown on the site. If you have any use for some of these photos, just let me know.
Thanks again for your informative site.
Jim Harrison

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the photos as well as the advertisement on your site. Sadly, we are currently down, yet again, due to heavy traffic. We will post your photos and letter as soon as September arrives.

whats this bug?
Hi there…….
My name is Shayla and i live in southeastern wisconsin. i found this tiny little creature crawling on my ceiling and i watched it for a couple of minutes and i put my fingure close to it and it moved from side to side like a crab and so i tried to make it fall onto a piece of paper so i could get a better look at it. it seems to have eight legs also. so i figured i would go online to see what i could find .. i was not able to find out what kind of bug it was but i took some pictures of it with my webcam … hopefully you will be able to help me out as in telling me what this bug is and a little about it?
greatly appreciated,

Hi Shayla,
You have a harmless (unless you are a small insect or spider), Pseudoscorpion. They are arachnids, related to both spiders and scorpions. They have a worldwide distribution and are often found in homes.