From the monthly archives: "November 2004"

4 bug pix, ID for spider?
Sent some of these earlier, but got an error message so I’m trying again. First one is a caterpillar found on my passion flower vine, second one is a katydid in the basil. third is a spider (orb weaver?), the last is my favorite spider picture, great green and brown coloring. Can you ID the last one? Thanks! Love your site, found it when I was trying to ID a scary
bug which turned out to be a Jerusalem cricket.
Donna B.
San Diego

Hi Donna,
Thanks for the Katydid photo.

Found this in my house this morning hiding under a shoe? Been all of the web and cannot find one like it. Have found some similar but not this one.

Hi Misty,
You neglected to tell us where this was found, other than under a shoe. It looks like a Multi-Colored Centipede, Scolopendra polymorpha, which vary from dark olive yellow to greenish brown. This centipede can grow to 3 or 4 inches in length. They can bite painfully.

Who is my happy bug with the smiley faced back? Collected in the woodchips around my house in Orange, CA 92867

Hi Ross,
Your bug is a True Bug or Hemipteran, from the Family Pentatomidae commonly known as Stink Bugs. Immature forms are often difficult to properly identify as to species, so you will have to be content with the generalized Stink Bug identification.

Can you help me ID this caterpillar found on a trail in the mulch, in southern Ohio?
Caesar Creek Lake

Hi Kim,
Thanks for the Sawfly larvae photo with, I assume, your fingers for scale. Sawflies are not flies, but members of the Hymenoptera which includes Ants, Bees, Wasps, Ichneumons and many other families. We checked with Eric Eaton, an entomologist who believes it is one of the Cimbex species because of the large size. Cimbex americana is usually listed as our largest American sawfly, and the adult somewhat resembles a bumblebee. There are several color varieties as well. The larvae are described as yellow-green, but with the distinct black stripe down the back. Your photo could be a color variation of Cimbex americana or a closely related species. The caterpillar-like larvae feed on the leaves of a variety of trees. They can spurt a fluid when disturbed. The fullgrown larvae then crawls to the ground, where you found them, and find a place to burrow where they make a brownish cocoon to spend the winter. Thank you for adding to our site with a brand new page. We love getting new species.

Some Mantis pics I thought you’d like!
You’ve been such a help identifying bugs for me in the past I thought rather than quiz you any more I’d just send you these pics I took on holiday. I found the Praying Mantis on a wall in Greece earlier this year. At one point an ant ran in front of him (or her?) and as you can see in one picture he devoured it pretty quickly!
James Stratton.

Hi James,
We are always happy to hear we have been helpful. Your mantis photos are great. We are posting the two that have a better focus. Sadly the eating photo is a little soft. Thank you so much for adding to the site.

What is this beetle?
Mr. Bugman,
I live in southcentral Alaska and I found this beetle among my dermestid beetle colony about 4 days ago. They are about 4.5mm in length, blue on the dorsal side/black on the ventral side and they can fly. They may have gotten in with my colony with the last skull that was put in, which had been stored on a woodshed under a bunch of spruce/hemlock trees. I was thinking that they were related to the bark beetle, although the color doesn’t seem to match. Can you tell me what this is? Do you know if these beetles are harmful to my dermestid beetles? Could they be harmful to the building and/or animals in the building if they get out? Thanks for the advice!

Hi Jenelle, We contacted Eric Eaton who is putting together a guide book for this identification. He wrote back:
“Ah, a ham beetle, Necrobia violacea, family Cleridae. One book I have says they prey on dermestid beetle larvae, which could be the case because other clerids are predatory. I would not be concerned by the presence of only one, however. I don’t think we have an image of this insect for our field guide yet, so if this person wants to contact me, that’d be great. In fact, we don’t have many images of dermestids, either.”
I am replying to him as well, so if you want to allow your photos to be printed in the guidebook, that would be great. Thanks for sending us a new species.
We continued to be curious, especially about the common name Ham Beetle, so we did some google searching because we know people who cure Virginia Hams. Sure enough, both the adults and larvae of the Red Legged Ham Beetle, Necrobius rufipes, bore into the meat and ruin hams. Here is a site that talks about curing Virginia Hams.