From the yearly archives: "2005"

repeat, got closeups of beetle
OK. I have been online for 2 hours. I am a teacher, and a very good internet detective. I looked through all your beetles, and checked cockroaches……whew…..and did not see this insect. I have dealt with the asian lady beetle in my log home for several winters and was very pleased that the numbers seem to have decreased quite a bit this year. Now I have been smashing (sorry if you love bugs) left and right. I collected insects as a youngster and had the biggest collection in 10th grade biology! Aside from the local library (which will be my next visit) I am currently stumped. I am a teacher and have borrowed the digital camera for Christmas vacation, so I will do my best to get a photo. A couple photos didn’t load, so pardon me if this is a repeat, but I am very curious if I should worry about these guys since we do have an all wood home. As I think back, I don’t know if they appeared before or after I brought in several antique shipping crates as decoration. Our home is 2 X 6 frame with kiln dried half logs inside and out. I am tolerant of most critters and don’t get too excited. My concern would be the structural integrity of the house, and obviously any health concerns. I realize you are busy, but since I saw similar beetles, but nothing quite like this, I thought it was worth a try. Thanks much. I bookmarked your page for future reference. I am figuring this all out, so I hope you can let me know if the images were viewable. I am on a Mac (art teacher) so I hope it works.
Happy New Year

Hi Jeanne,
These are not beetles which have chewing mouthpart. They are True Bugs with sucking mouthparts. They are Boxelder Bugs and will not harm the integrity of your home. They often seek shelter to hibernate over winter, forming huge aggregations. In the garden, they infest trees like boxelder and maple, and we recommend spraying them with soapy water to control their numbers. Not a good idea indoors though. Your images opened beautifully as we are art teachers who also use Macs.

can you identify this bug?
I have attached 4 pictures of a bug I found crawling up my front door in North Texas. Can you tell me what it is?

Hi Rebecca,
This is a Coreid or Leaf Footed Bug in the genus Acanthocephala.

Christmas Tree
Last night we saw what we thought were nymph praying mantis all over our living room near the Christmas tree. We bought the live tree 3 weeks ago and have had it decorated in our living room since. We live in Harrisburg PA, and over the last 2 days the temperature has risen 10°. We decided to take the tree down today since we found at least a hundred more. We put them in a glass jar with holes in the lid. I’ve always been told they were good luck and beneficial. My question is now, what do I do with them? I don’t want to kill them and it is too cold to put them outside. My father has a horse on a farm and is willing to take them. I am sending a picture, too, although it isn’t too clear. Thanks, I’ll wait for your response.
Paula Werner

Hi Paula,
We have received about 10 similar letters, but yours is the only one with photos. Obviously, it is too cold to put them outside. You are correct that the indoor warmth caused them to hatch prematurely. If no other food source is provided, they will eat each other until only the most vigorous survive. A possible winter food source could be fruit flies, Drosophila, availabe in biological supply houses. They are used in biology classes and to teach genetics. Also, tropical fish breeders feed them to some fish. They are easy to raise.

What kind of spider is this?
Hello, I currently live in Sacile, Italy. Tonight I spotted a bright green spider on my wall and tried to take the best pictures I could of it before my husband killed it. I thought it might be a green huntsman spider, but I’m just not sure. It was slightly larger than the size of a nickel with it’s legs. Would you be able to identify it, and is it a dangerous spider? I really appreciate your help! Here are the pictures below. Sorry they are not very clear, my camera obviously doesn’t work well with small images. Thank you so much,

Hi Leslie,
We had not heard of a Green Huntsman Spider, and your photo looked so unusual and pretty that we tried to do some research. We found a page that had photos of a Green Huntsman Spider, Micrommata virescens. There really wasn’t much information including the range, but the spider seems to resemble your spider. Further searching of the scientific name lead us to another page with plenty of information and images. The Green Huntsman Spider does indeed live in Europe. We think you have correctly identified your intruder.

can you tell me any thing about this please,,found in scrub area,,,so Portland Maine

Hi Joy,
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae. They are usually small, have great eyesight, and stalk prey during the daylight hours. They hunt and do not form a web to trap prey.

What’s this bug?
I took the attached picture of a spider in Fallbrook, California in some sort of cactus tree. I’ve not been able to find out what type of spider this is, and I’m very curious. I’ve attached another pic of what looks to be the same type of spider, only with different colors; male/female thing?
Thank you!!!

Hi Aaron,
Both of your photos are of female Silver Argiopes, Argiope argentata. There is often a degree of variation within the species. This is a common southern spider that ranges to California.