From the yearly archives: "2005"

Hi there
This bug was on the side of the road on the concrete. I didn’t have a ruler but it would have been approximately 25mm long. It has a hard exterior and quite long legs. Could you please help me and tell me what it is? My husband and I just can’t figure it out!

Hi Colleen,
This is one of the Ceramabycid Long Horned Borer Beetles. We are trying to get an actual species name for you.

Scorpion Impersonator
We found this strange but here in Phoenix Arizona. We see bark scorpions all the time and realize this is not a scorpion. The question is. At first glance when quickly passing this spider looked like a scorpion – is it attempting to mimic in some way or did it just loose some legs? Do you know what kind of spider it is?

Your Huntsman Spider, one of the Giant Crab Spiders, has lost two legs. These hunting spiders are shy, usually found at night, and are harmless to people.

Arachnophobia cure! (at least for me)
Dear Bugman,
I just want to share an effective "arachnophobia" cure to anyone who is very afraid of spiders. I used to be repulsed by all spiders "squish first, ask questions later" was my motto. One day I stumbled across my very first black widow in the corner of my garage. My husband almost finished it right then and there but being an elementary teacher, I saw a glorious teaching opportunity. We captured it in a large jar with air holes and also threw a small branch in with it. I took it to school to show kids what a true black widow really looks like. The spider built a web on the branch and the students took turns catching flies for her to eat. We kept that spider alive for weeks and I found myself watching it a lot, being fascinated by its movements and behavior. Something happened to me during that time. I am no longer afraid of spiders, I actually let some reside in my home. (Though the larger "wolfies" as we call them, are placed gently outdoors. I love to find new spiders in my garden, and my hunt for the identification of some "huntsmen Spiders, or Banana Spiders that I found in my storage shed led me to your site. Keep up the great work!

Hi Gina,,
Thank you for the wonderful letter, though we doubt many of our readers will try taking your cure.

Hello WTB,
I ran across your wounderful website today while trying to save the life of a missunderstood house centiped that had been called a silverfish by a staff member today. The critter ran past us and avoided a near squishing foot by ducking under our surgery table. I had seen this guy or his relatives in our basement from time to time and though they can move very quickly and startle me they have never seemed to have any intentions of harming anyone. I managed to capture our visiter in a urine cup…it’s all I had and it was sterile =x and decided I would try to identify him so that he would not be sentenced to death simply for being scary. Well your website saved his life and proved he was not a silverfish, but a house centipede that would take care of any spiders or other insects he could find. I released him in our basement and the other staff memebers agreed he was scary but better than having spiders around. His new name is Fluffy.
After work I revisited your site, I’ve been a long time fan of bugs and can still be seen with my head in a bush if I see something interesting. As I browsed around I saw a post from someone named Kevin on 11-30-05 on your mite page. His snake’s cage has been invaded by some mites. While I do like bugs and insects, I realy hate ectoparasites. My columbian red tail boa, Link, had a similar problem this spring. While our office does not see reptiles we researched the topic and came up with a plan to free my snake of his friends. I changed his cage completely, discarded all items that could harbor mites, branches, sticks and the like. Link himself was treated with Frontline Spray (fipronil), this is an off lable use, and Merial the company that makes the product has not tested it for use on reptiles. Kevin should check with a local reptile vet before treating his snake. We sprayed a paper towel with frontline and gently wiped Link down then returned him to his cage. In cats and dogs you have to wait 24 hours before giving them a bath after applying frontline. I did not want to deprive my snake that long so I returned his swimming pool after about 6 hours. The mites have not been seen or heard from again. I hope this helps Kevin’s poor snake.
Jessica Leonard, CVT

Caribbean Insect
Found this monster in our Cistern Tank room last night. The piece of PVC pipe next to it is 8" long and 3" in diameter. I’ve had tarantulas crawl on me and scorpions sting me in bed, but never have I seen anything here on St. John this big. Can you identify it? No one around here has ever seen one before.
Debbie Grammer
St. John, US Virgin Islands

Hi Debbie,
Tailless Whipscorpions are Arachnids, not insects. Even though they are large and fierce looking, they are shy and harmless.