From the monthly archives: "January 2006"

Genista Caterpillar
I found your website checking on the Genista caterpillar. I’ve attached two pictures of them on the Lupinus diffusus in Polk County, Florida. I had sent the pictures to an Entomology Dept. at University of Florida for an ID. I read with interest your posting of the caterpillar on another plant.
Paul Eisenbrown

Hi Paul,
Thanks for sending the photos. Genista Caterpillars are not very common online.

Cysteodemis armatus
Your wonderful site has helped me id this beautiful spider beetle, Cysteodemis armatus. I’m curious if the coloring is inherent or if it’s pollen laden? I didn’t want to disturb it to find out. Thanks for the great resource!

Hi Adriano,
Your photo is stunning. We aren’t sure about the pollen theory, so we will check with Eric Eaton to get his opinion. Though the genus seems accurate, the possibility exists this is a different species. Please write back and tell us where this photo was taken.

The photo was taken at the base of the Ship Mountains in the Mojave Desert.

Eric Eaton wrote back: ” I guess my response to the blister beetle never reached you….I agree on Cystedemus, but it is probably the “other” of the two U.S. species. I don’t have a reference that lists both names, sorry.”

Sprintails in Aquarium?
I believe I may have spring tails. I have white microscopic things jumping on the surface of the water in on of my breeder baskets in a fish tank. At first I thought it was daphnia of some sort (water fleas) but somebody mentionned it might be spring tails. Is there a way to get rid of them without harming my fish? The room is not a damp location but of course the aquarium is. >From the pictures on your site I’m not 100% sure they are sprintails. They are about the size of the end of a sowin needle (the point so a few 100 microns) and jump about 1″ high or so. when spooked. They seem to be able to float on the water. I had one dead fry in the basket could the spring tails kill my young fish?
Dominique Duval
Winnipeg, MB

Hi Dominique,
This is a new one for us, but entirely possible. The Springtails will not harm the fish. Sorry, we don’t know how to get rid of them without harming the fish, except manual removal.

Oddities from around the globe
I just stumbled across your site and it looks like a useful resource. In fact at the moment I’m aiming to create my own site with species lists, photos and profiles for species from parts of the world I’ve visited. I’m particularly keen on finding information on species I haven’t been able to track down on the internet, since there’s a good chance others will have the same difficulty and my site could prove helpful to them. I’ve collected a fair few photos of unidentifiable insects and arachnids over the years, so I’m afraid this could take several e-mails. First up: An unusual net-casting spider from Mt Spec, Paluma Range National Park, in the Australian Wet Tropics. I’m afraid it’s not the world’s best photo, but the rounded body is unlike any net caster I’ve been able to find information on. Next: A brown huntsman spider (genus Heteropoda), also from the Wet Tropics (further north, in Babinda). Is this photo good enough to allow identification to species level? 3. A dragonfly from Queensland, near the Basalt River. There are more dragonflies to come, I’m afraid – this is the group I’ve had most trouble identifying. More to come. Thanks for bearing with me!
Phil Bowles

Hi Phil,
You have overwhelmed us with the quantity of critters you want us to identify. Sadly, our identification capabilities do not extend into exotic tropical locations. We are thrilled to post your Net Casting Spider photo as we have one on our site, sans net. Dragonflies often give us problems as well. We encourage you to set up your own site and we will gladly provide a link when you do.

another spider
Hello, Mr. Bugman!
I have checked your site (a great place!) but I haven’t seen anything about the image I sent. (I probably missed it. I can feel myself getting embarrassed already!) Anyway, I will rely on your patience and understanding and ask again, what kind of spider is this? (I’m getting a lot of questions–still!–about this photo! It’s my background on my computer.)
Ed. Note Originally Sent: (10/25/2005) another spider
Thank you for your very interesting site. I find it very easy to use and I enjoyed reading about the spiders that were identified. I, too, found a spider that came in with the wood for the stove in the cottage. After much squealing, I persuaded the spider to get into a glass and placed it outside. I’ve attached a photo of the spider outside. The cottage is about half a mile from Georgian Bay, in Ontario, Canada. I’m sure it’s just an ordinary spider, but it caused a lot of excitement when I showed the photo at the office. I heard theories from wolf to wood to dock spider. Could you tell me what it is? (I think I may have just emailed you — in error — without the image. My apologies! The image, I promise, is now attached.)

Hi Karin,
Please forgive us. Your original letter probably got lost in transition. Our old webhost was not dependable, and often we lost service at the end of the month. This is a Dolomedes Fishing Spider. Dock Spider is probably a local name.

what is this bug i found in the mountains of Haiti
I found this bug in our garage. I live in port-au-prince, haiti at about 3000 feet above sea level.
Joel Trimble

Hi Joel,
This is a Giant Water Bug, also known as a Toe-Biter. They are aquatic insects that can also fly. While flying they are attracted to electric lights, owing to another common name, Electric Light Bug. Perhaps the garage light attracted it.