From the yearly archives: "2005"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My name is Dave and my family and I were taking a tour of a house for sale in Jacksonville, FL when I came across this spider sitting in the middle of a gigantic web in the backyard. I’ve been looking everywhere for info on it and can’t find anything. I’m originally from CA and have never seen anything like it. Would you please tell me what kind it is and if its dangerous?

Hi Dave,
Thank you for the nice image of a Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver demonstrating a brave hand for scale. The spider is harmless, unless you are a hapless flying insect that flies into it large orb web. This spider is common in the South. Our most recent guide book list the scientific name as changed from Gasteracantha cancriformis to Gasteracantha elipsoides. This striking spider was once featured on an American postage stamp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange bug, what is that?
Hi, I’m currently doing a school project on insects when I found this insect in a forest. Can you pls help me identify this insect possibly by this month as my deadline is the end of January? I’m from Malaysia. my friend’s father got it from the jungle in Johor. A jungle in Janda Baik, i think. Do you have any idea what order it is from? I was thinking maybe of a shield bug and perhaps it’s common name? Thank you very much.
Su Yan

Hi Su Yan,
We agree that it is a Hemipteran, but we turned to expert Eric Eaton for additional information. He wrote back: “A book I have (“Bugs of the World”) has an image of similar insects it places in the family Tessaratomidae, the “giant shieldbugs.” That is the best guess I can hazard, being here in the mundane U.S.”

Update:  April 8, 2013
Thanks to a comment from David, we are able to provide some links to images of
Pycanum rubens nymphs.  See Orion Mystery and Nature Loves You.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

a Hummingbird moth?? on O’ahu
I photographed this moth on my lanai yesterday and would like some help to identify it. Thanks

Hi Patricia,
Sadly, your moth was moving too quickly for us to be able to give you more than a general identification. It is a Sphinx Moth or Hummingbird Moth of some species. There is a great site that might help you identify your Hawaiian Sphinx. Sphinx Moths enjoy a worldwide distribution.

Ed. Note:  August 5, 2012
We are trying to clean up some unidentified postings and we now believe this is a Hummingbird Hawk Moth,
Macroglossum pyrrhostictaIt is listed as a species found in Hawaii on the Sphingidae of the Americas website, and Dave’s Garden has a nice action photo showing similar coloration and abdominal markings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I have these bugs that are invading my home! My husband and I find at LEAST 5 every morning. Eww! They are the “pincher bugs”;. Something else we’ve discovered in our house are these dark brown spiders that love to just hang out on the top of our ceiling. Our newly purchased home in Southern California is crawling with creatures who’ve roamed free in the unattended soil for 50 years. What is the best way to get rid of insects? We have some yellow jackets that fly around along with mosquitoes. In our ground though we have pincher bugs by the thousands and also pill bugs. We are in the process of ripping out plants, trees and shrubbery to replant the entire yard. How do we kill off all the insects!?  Any suggestions would be MOST appreciated!
Thank you!

Dear Rebecca,
Nothing short of a nuclear bomb will rid your property of all your dreaded insects, but considering the current political climate, you just might get your wish. In the event that that doesn’t happen, you just might have to learn to live together. We at What’s that Bug? do not advocate getting rid of all insects since we would be out of business.

A Reader Comments
(08/27/2005) Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne!
I just had to write you two, your site is the best bug site I have ever seen! Your main page helped me identify a bug that was posted at our forum, and I must admit that some of the pictures submitted to your site are so absolutely beautiful that I had to capture them for my screen saver! In exchange I wish to offer some photos of my own, taken in my yard in Santa Ana California. I have included 10 photos that I took with my digital camera, you may use them as you see fit I would also like to reply to Rebecca from Southern California who wishes to know how to get rid of all of her bugs, if a reply is allowed.
Hi Rebecca!
I live in Southern California too, and I have all the things you described in my yard as well. If they are getting into your house, then you probably have openings around windows and doors that should be attended to. You do not want to kill the bugs in your yard, they provide very necessary functions to keep your yard healthy. Ants are your cleaning crew, they dispose of dead things. Earthworms are what make the earth that your garden grows in, and their castings contain an enzyme that repels white flies. Wasps are your predators, they eat the caterpillars that eat your plants. Caterpillars are your butterflies and moths, and they pollinate your flowers so they bloom again next year. Robber flies are your wasp controllers, they keep wasp populations down. Potato bugs, pill bugs, earwigs and click beetles are your compost engineers, they recycle leaf litter and break
it down so the earthworms can turn it into healthy soil. Possums are your snail controllers. Garden snails are not native and have no other predator than possums here in California. Spiders are your general insect controllers, you should capture and take outside any that wander into your house. There are many other insects that you
will find in your yard as well, but they are all pretty harmless and will avoid you if you just give them time to move out of your way.
Your yard is its own ecosystem, with its own checks and balances. Learn to love your bugs, explore them, research them, discover the benefits they give to you and the beauty of your yard. If you get stung by a wasp or bee, or bitten by a mosquito, simply dissolve a real aspirin in your hand with a few drops of water and apply directly to the site, the pain and itch will be gone within a matter of seconds. If you want to help control your mosquitoes, simply place a container of water under a bush which is easily accessible to
you and leave it there, check it every day, when you see the larvae swimming around just dump the entire container of water on the ground. The larvae will die. Refill the container. Insure that there is no other standing water on your property. Keep an eye out for Black Widows, they are the only bugs in your yard that can actually harm you. Hope this helps 🙂
Sincerely, Cathy 🙂
Thank you Daniel and Lisa, for such a wonderful site! I have it bookmarked and will be back here often!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Awesome site glad I found it. Here is a but that I found on the couch when he woke me up from a mid day nap. He stung me on the knee and it is itching 2 days later an a little red . I am tough and can take it, but the problem is one of my Girls got stung this AM by the same type of bug. Can you help identify it and let me know if we should be concerned. Thanks again,
Mike S.
Hawley TX

Hi Mike,
We wanted more than just a general Assassin Bug identification so we wrote to Eric Eaton who responded: “It is an assassin bug in the genus Zelus. They are great to have in the garden as they prey on lots of pest insects. Just don’t pick them up!” The bite is painful and causes irritation, as you know, but there is no lasting harm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug on the beach in Bali
Hi there,
My son found this insect on the beach in Bali, Indonesia last week. Please see the attached picture. He would like to know what it is as he had grown attached to it.
Meily Meyers

Hi Meily,
We wrote to Eric Eaton again for this one and he quickly responded: “It is another Hemipteran, maybe even an adult of the nymph that you send an image of earlier. Reminds me of something in the Scutellaridae, as the scutellum (the normally large, triangular segment between the wings) is greatly enlarged and rounded, covering the entire abdomen and giving it a beetle-like appearance.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination