From the monthly archives: "May 2005"

What is this?
We are currently living in Germany and I have found 3 of these bugs in my house this spring. The first one was on the bathroom floor and was all dried up and dead when I found it like it had fallen out of a crack. The other two were alive and crawling around, one upstairs and one down, in hallways when I found them. I have not seen any for a month, but worry if it is some sort of harmful bug. We do have a dog and small children.
Margie Lucas

Hi Margie,
Stink Bugs or Shield Bugs from the Family Pentatomidae are harmless to humans and pets, but they do emit a disagreeable odor. They also seek shelter inside homes to hibernate over winter, which is probably why you have recently found them.

Yucky Ugly Spider !!!! Can We Be Friends???
I found this creepy guy under my kitchen sink! He completely freaked me out and yet I can’t bring myself to kill him (what if he just wants to be friends?). He seems a little aggressive but maybe he’s just bold. Anyway, I have him in a container now but would like to let him go outside. I just want to make sure he’s not dangerous. If he comes back, I need to know what to do.
BTW, I live in East Texas.
PS: My 7 year old is completely obsessed with spiders and wants to make a career out of it, so I’d really rather not kill his buddy.

Hi Karen,
You have a Wolf Spider. They have excellent eyesight and hunt prey rather than building a web. They might bite, but are not dangerous.

Wow! That was a fast response!!! Thanks a lot. We let him go in the backyard but for some reason, even though he took off really fast, he just decided to hang out on the fallen tree I put him on. So later that night my husband moved him to a nearby field. My son is feeling pretty smug right now because he was right. He had a great time pointing out all of Mr. Creepy’s lovely features and gave me a great speech about the greatness of spiders. Thanks again.

Mini grasshopper
Hi Bugman,
Attached is a picture of a mini-grasshopper. This was photographed in Atlanta, GA, USA on April 18, 2005. The size is about 4 or 5 mm long. I’ve seen several since then. I’ve looked at several photos of pygmy grasshoppers and haven’t found one like this. I would appreciate any help on the ID.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, GA

Hi Bill,
Springtime is the time for baby animals, grasshoppers included. While I can’t positively identify your species, I can tell you it is recently hatched, and will go through several moults until it emerges as an identifiable winged adult.

pic of bug
THis is the bug that I dug up from the dirt volcano reversed I wrote you about 2 days ago. It isn’t the best of pictures, but it looks like a weevile or beetle of some sort. Instead of antena’s it has pinchers. When you shake them around they play dead, but with their pinchers open ready to bite. They are the size of a raisen. Any info would be helpful. Are they bad for my house?

You have Doodlebugs, the immature larva of the Ant Lion. The Doodlebug waits at the bottom of its burrow for ants to tumble in and then eats them. They will not harm you nor your home.

Thank you so much. I love your web site. What a great idea!!! I just found it a few days ago and I have been looking at it for days, and all the ugly bugs that people find. You’ve been very helpful and so quickly too. Yesterday I did set the doodlebugs free and alive. I had hoped they were harmless. If not they would have met with Mr. Raid very quickly.

What is it?
This bad looking critter was hanging upside down on my young pecan tree. The Pecan tree looks like it is not going to make it.
David R. WIlliams
Gainesville, GA

Hi David,
We wrote to Eric Eaton for a positive ID on your fly and here is what he wrote:
“Thankfully it is one I do recognize:-) It is a bee fly in the genus Bombylius, probably B. major, as they are common across the continent. They are parasites of solitary bees. The proboscis is for sipping nectar, not for sucking blood! ” The Audubon Guide claims: “Bee Flies are capable of hovering motionless while waiting for a female bee but can dart quickly in pursuit. They often settle on foliage or bare ground, but are difficult to capture because they are so alert and quick.” At any rate, they are not the cause of your pecan tree not going to make it.

Could you help me ID this bug?
Found this bug last week. Thought it was very interesting. Looks like
an alien.

Hi Susan,
We thought this looked like a Pyrgotid Fly, but we wanted to be sure so we checked with Eric Eaton. Here is what he wrote back: “Actually, you are right on! It IS a pyrgotid fly, Pyrgota undulata (might check the spelling of the species name). As larvae, pyrgotids are parasitic on adult May beetles in the genus Phyllophaga. Adult female pyrgotids often are attracted to lights at night, perhaps to assault the May beetles that also fly in. The female fly lands on a flying May beetle and drives an egg in between its exposed abdominal segments. When the egg hatches inside the beetle, the larvae begins eating it alive. Gross, but nice to know something keeps the beetles in check!