Huge Mantis and Questions
Dear Bugman and company,
First of all, let me say that I love your "What’s That Bug" website. I have spent at least two hours looking at the bugs so far and I don’t generally sit still that long unless something is very interesting. Your site has helped me identify a bug or three in my apartment. (I was a little startled the first time I saw a house centipede…one of the weirdest creatures I have ever seen – but very neat!)
I would also like to say that I never kill bugs unless they have infested my home en masse. I just capture them and take them outside. (I happen to like bugs. Except ants. I have an ant phobia.) I have a picture of a *huge* praying mantis that I captured once, this thing was four inches long; I have never seen one that big in my life. How big do they generally get? At any rate, there was a bug zapper outside the building where I found it so I put it in a styrofoam glass and let it go when I got home. I have included a picture of him (her?) if you would like to use it on your website. (Hand is about 3 inches across.) I mean jeez, I thought this guy was a small bird when I saw it flying towards me! :laughs: I used to have a pet one, I got really good at catching flies with my hand for her to eat. (Thought it was a male until she laid eggs. But most of the young died. : ( ) I do have a few questions if you have the time to answer them. One, is it safe to pick up house centipedes with bare hands? I mean, if you get one on your hand, it is likely to bite? I know most sites say they verry rarely bite, but I figured I would ask if it’s okay to pick one up. Also, what do baby house centipedes look like? In the last two days I have seen two tiny bugs that look exactly like miniature house centipedes, it was cool! Do they have some larva stage, or are they miniatures of the adults? House spiders. If I am right, they’re the tan, black, or gray creatures with dark stripes that sort of look like a giant caroway seed. I see them all the time indoors. Will these bite? I have seen sites that talk about Domestic and (Aggressive?) house spiders. One bites and one doesn’t? How do I tell which one is safe to remove by hand and which one I should get a container for? If you have clear pictures I might look at, I would be most appreciative! True bugs… I know most people call all the creepy crawlies "bugs", but what makes a bug a bug, as opposed to, say, an insect? What are the determining factors? Thank you very much for your time, and again, great site!
Thanks for the kind letter and great attitude. In the states, Mantises can grow to four inches in length easily. House Centipedes will not bite, to the best of our knowledge. Young House Centipedes are like miniature adults. The Domestic Spiders you are describing sound like some type of running spider or Wolf Spider. There is one known as a Mouse Spider, Scotophanaeus blackwalli. A True Bug in the Order Hemiptera is characterized by sucking mouthparts in a jointed beak. They usually have half membranous forewings. Hind wings are uniformly membranous. They possess a triangular scutulum behind the thorax. They have incomplete metamorphosis.