From the monthly archives: "October 2004"

found weird bug!
Hi there…
i wish i has a digital camera to take a pic, but i don’t… hope my bitmap drawing helps a bit. this thing doesn’t seem to have legs on its flat bottom….it’s about 3/16″ long….it looks like a piece of a twig or something…. but it seems to have an eye right in the middle of the ‘head’ and the yellowish thing on the front seems to be moving around like some kind of antennae.
any clues?

One can never be sure with a drawing, but you have a rather abstract likeness to a Skiff Moth Caterpillar.

Beetle (?) found in Houston, Texas
Dear Bugman,
My 7 year old son found this monster on the patio last night. My husband and I have never seen anything like it, and we’re both native Houstonians. I’ve been through your site, but don’t see any other beetles that look like this one. Can you identify it?
The bug is enjoying his first day of 1st grade right now – my son took him for Show and Tell. My son’s teacher will take good care of him.
Thanks so much!
The Nance Family

Hi Nance Family,
Sorry for the delay. You have a Giant Water Bug, also known as an Electric Light Bug or the well deserved common name of Toe-Biter. They will bite and painfully.

What is this bug?!?!?!?
Dear What’s That Bug:
I found this bug in my bathroom. Is it some sort of centipede or millipede? I couldn’t find a picture of it on the web. I tried to kill it but it wouldn’t die. Mean, huh? Its legs moved in waves. We live in Iowa. I have never seen this before – do you know?
Thanks for being on the web – great site!
Brea Lewis
Sioux City, Iowa

Hi Brea,
You have a centipede. They do contain poison glands and some species, especially the large centipedes from Texas and Oklahoma, can give a painful bite.

2 Shiny Black Bugs (Pic included)
Dear Bugman,
Before you view the picture…I have to apologize. I fear I did not see them till it was too late. On top of that…it looks like they were enjoying one of the finer things in life right before I took it. I am really sorry. But I’m still curios as to what they are. I’m 25, and have lived in Pennsauken all my life, but never seen anything like them.
They have what seem to be wings (or maybey they’re just the shell covering the real wings)…a shiny black carapace with a hint of turquois. Their Antennae are segmented. (I know there is a significant difference between Segmented and smooth antenna…but I forgot what) I didn’t get a frontal shot… But their mouth-parts didn’t have any substantial mandibles. The mouth-parts resembled that of a common grasshopper…for lack of appropriate term. This picture was taken in Pennsauken, New Jersey…about a 20 min drive from Philadelphia, PA. Again, I apologize for their demise. It was not intentional. Hope you can shed a little light on it.
Thanks in advance,

Hi Russ,
You have an awesome photo of a pair of Oil Beetles who met a tragic end while procreating. Another common name is Short Winged Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. The beetle is found in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It is usually found in crop fields and meadows where it eats herbaceous foliage being particularly fond of potatoes. If disturbed, the beetle feigns death by falling on its side. The leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.

From your website it seems I have photographed a "Metallic Sweat Bee". This was taken 10/7/04 in West Greenwich Rhode Island. I have lived in this area for 40 years and never seen one. Is this appearance the result of the recent hurricanes?
Mike Raia

Hi Mike,
Nice photo of one of the metallic sweat bees, probably the Virescent Green Metallic Bee, Agapostemon virescens. Yours is a female. Female bees have the abdomen ringed in white and males in yellow. They range from Quebec to Florida, west to Texas, and also Oregon. For nests, they dig burrows in bare and sandy soil. Adults drink nectar, but collect pollen to feed the young.