From the monthly archives: "May 2005"

Ecuadorean saddle back cricket??
Hi Daniel:
Found this cricket in our garden while removing a dead leaf base from a vetchia palm. Looked in your web site and looks like the saddle bag bush cricket or weta. I think I have seen it before in our lawn, coming out from holes in the ground. I would appreaciate any information on it. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Erika Schwarz Wilson
Istana, Barbasquillo
Manta- Ecuador

Hi again Erika,
Nice to hear from you again. You have a member of the Family Tettigoniidae which contains Long-Horned Grasshoppers and Katydids as well as the Shield-Back and Bush Katydids which are sometimes called Crickets. Sorry I can’t identify your exact species. Your example is a female recognizeable by her flat, swordlike ovipositor, her egg laying organ.

Your site is GREAT!
I just wanted to say "thanks" for what I consider, a great site. We’ve been finding what we describe as "very scary monsters" in random areas of our home and we able to quickly identify them as "house centipedes" on your site. We’ve since bought some bug spray, as nobody in my house will even go near them with anything, and are quite relived to know that they are "harmless", although I do find it hard to believe and will continue to run like the wind when I encounter them….. They really are some of the scariest and grossest things I’ve even seen.
Thanks again,
Melinda from Montreal, Quebec.

Unusual backyard find
My daughters brought me what looks to be some sort of larvae from the backyard today. They wanted to know what it was and after a good amount of searching online I am stumped. I will enclose a picture of the thing. It is a little over 3/4″ long, cylinder type body narrowing at both ends, has 3 “rings” that look to be joints towards one end of the body. There are no visible legs, eyes, or antannae. It has a brown hard body. When touched the thing will rotate the tip nearer the rings in a circle, bending at the rings. Please help satisfy my daughter’s couriosity (and mine, too).
Thanks. Dan

Hi Dan,
You have dug up a moth pupa. I can’t tell you the species, but many moths bury themselves in the ground and form a naked pupa like the one you found.

Frisky Jumper
I found this hyper spider in my apt. which is next to a creek in dallas, tx. The spider got defensive of the camera light, it waved the two front legs up high then lunged at me.

It is difficult to give you a species name based on your photo, but the behavior you describe is consistent with Jumping Spiders, Family Salticidae. They do not built webs, have good eyesight, stalk and leap on prey, move briskly, and are harmless. They are usually small spiders. Waving the front legs up in the air is a common mating position as well. Were you enticing that spider?

Thanks bunches for checking out my picture, i’ve been trying to capture more images of various spiders that wonder in but they’re all so hyper i can’t get a clear shot. By the way, that was so freaking funny finding out that it was a mating position, i guess the blood red hair does it since many creatures react to me in such a way.

We have a 7th grade science project due Monday (05-09-05). We have this insect we would like to use in the project, but don’t have any idea what it is. Can you identify it?

Hi Ben,
This is one of the Click Beetles known as the Eyed Elator or Big Eyed Click Beetle, Alaus oculatus. Adults eat little and larva attack roots and small creatures in the soil. Click Beetles are so called because if they are turned on their backs, they quickly flex their body making a clicking sound and flipping in the air to right themselves.

Thank you so much for your help. Gotta finish that bug project. Love your website!