From the monthly archives: "August 2004"

What is this spongy-fungusy-like bug?
We are on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and have many of these strange bugs that carry things that look like sponges or fungus. They crawl on the picnic table under the oaks and pines. They look like moving bread crumbs with white legs. We are attaching a photo of one of the bugs. It’s at the upper left of the photo. Any ideas? Thanks.
You have a great website!
Margaret, Pamela and Meredith

Hi Girls,
I looks to me like you might have a photograph of a Brown Lacewing Larva, Family Hemerobiidae, known as Aphid Lions or Aphid Wolves. The larvae often cover themselves with debris including the empty skins of their victims.

this time with photographic evidence!
Hello again, Bugman!
Still being terrorized, and still no digital camera, but I’ve done in our last invader and (yes, I’ve already been told it’s gross) I scanned him (her?) so I’d have something to send (the cork is for scale). I might add to my first letter that I came across this thing as it was scrambling out of the kitchen drain – at noontime, in full sunlight! The nerve! I am braver in the sunlight, so I sprayed the heck out of it w/ant/roach spray

Hi Karen,
You have an immature Oriental Cockroach, also known as a Waterbug. They often inhabit drains and we are told there are millions in the sewers of Los Angeles. I often encounter large numbers of them on the sidewalks at night. In the home, they are found in the bathroom and kitchen.

Need help identifying beetle species
Hi there…
I was looking at your beetle database trying to identify this one. At first I thought it’s part of Dynastes tityus female, then I notice that the back is totally different. It’s a big one though. I would say at least 2”.
Amrul Isham Ismail

Hi Amrul Isham Ismail,
You don’t have a beetle at all, but what appears to be a Carpenter Bee. We really like your action photos.

What in the world is this thing?
Hello! I hope you’ll be able to help me out here. A friend of mine took a picture of this…insect in her basement, and from the description and the photograph (link included in this message) it looks to be some sort of caterpillar. Of course, that is a maybe. I’ve never seen anything like it before and neither has anyone else I’ve questioned.
Location: Minnesota (St. Paul area)
Thank you for your time and patience.
Michelle y. Richardson

Hi Michelle,
Sorry for the delay. I am very amused that your friend named her poor dead House Centipede “Satan” which might explain why it is dead. They are harmless, though they often startle people when they run across a floor at night. They are very fast, but will kill and eat spiders and cockroaches and other undesireable household intruders.

What type of spider is this?
This was found under a large plastic child’s outdoor slide. It had spun a web approximately 12 inches across overnight. The bottom of the slide had been sprayed the previous evening. This is the best photo of that I can produce. Thank you for your assistance and your web site.
Vern Nusunginya
Kenai, Alaska

Hi Vern,
It looks like a Domestic Spider, Theridion or Achaearanea tepidariorum. It is one of the commonest spiders that is found in homes, hence it earns the common name Domestic Spider.