From the monthly archives: "March 2006"

Here’s a photo of a musk-mare – didn’t know what it was ‘till I found your website. Thought you’d like a decent photo of the pair. Also, you helped me identify a mole cricket today. Strangest thing I’ve seen in a while. Thanks.
Gene Browning
Melbourne FL

Hi Gene,
Your photo of Mating Two-Lined Walkingsticks, or Muskmares, is great. Stay clear of the noxious fluid they are capable of spraying into your eyes.

Whitemarked (Yellow) Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Hi There,
I didn’t see this guy on your site. I came across it on a stinging caterpillar website. I’m glad I didn’t know it could sting when it was on me! I was gentle with it though and had no irritation after photographing it and shooing it away. These pictures were taken along the Brandywine River in PA in Jun 2005.

Hi Sarah,
We actually have many photos of White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillars, Orgyia leucostigma, on our site. We suspect you never checked our five caterpillar pages.

widow egg sac
I wrote a while back and asked about keeping a young black widow I found in a box of supermarket firewood. I have had her now for several months, and have been keeping her in a container that has six 2-3mm holes for air. She’s quite happy – I feed her all sorts of other bugs and sometimes pet store crickets. This morning I found her patting the last layers onto an egg sac – YIKES! How did this happen? Was it possible she had bred already, even when she was a wee cm long (including legs!)? Or has she figured out how to bribe the cat to unscrew the lid to her bottle and goes out on the town at night? Hussy! In any case, what do I do now? Take it all out to the woods and let her go? I’d hate to have them running around the neighborhood – lots of little kids. here are a few photos of the little minx.
Syndi Burton
San Francisco

Hi Syndi,
First, we love your colorful letter. Minx is such an underused, descriptive word. We believe it is possible that your Elvira was fertilized prior to becoming your pet. She wouldn’t have begun to swell with eggs until she was well nourished, and we believe she probably had a more regular diet with you than she would have gotten in the wild. It is also possible that the eggs are unfertilized and non-viable. To be safe, to the woods with Elvira might be the kindest solution to the riddle. Eric Eaton wrote in to add this: “Everything else looks in great shape:-) You are right about the female widow, by the way. Female spiders (and most insects, too) can store sperm from one mating and it lasts them a lifetime. Further, female spiders (and moths, etc) will lay eggs regardless of their viability, especially toward the end of the female’s lifespan.”

bugs from trip to Slovak Paradise
we have found these two beetles in Slovakia Paradise, could you please write some information about them, we are looking forward specially for information about this strange thing (cocoon,egg maybe) on back side of big beetle. We spend over two hours observing this beetle, she brougth out and in this cocoon, but nothing happend at the end. Female fall asleep :-).

Hi Kris,
Your first beetle is one of the Prionid Borers in the Subfamily Prioninae, but we are not sure of the species. This female is swollen with eggs and the ovipositor was was being “unsheathed” into the position for egg laying. The beetle would use the ovipositor to deposit eggs beneath the surface of bark on trees. Your second beetle is a Bee-Mimic Flower Scarab in the Tribe Trichiini.

Hello! We could really use some help identifying the two bugs below. They were found beneath old logs in Southern Kentucky. Thanks!
Heather Allen

Wireworm Flatbacked Millipede

Hi Heather,
Because today is a California Holiday, C

Update:  May 10, 2015
Today while searching our archives for Wireworm images for a new Wireworm posting, we came across this truncated posting that probably occurred when we did a major site migration many years ago.  At any rate, Wireworms are the larvae of Click Beetles in the family Elateridae.

Hi There! I want to offer you some bugs and spiders, free!!!!!!
I Love your website and I also love spiders and insects and all the critters on earth! I am a photographer { hobby-not professionally} and have some photographs that I would love to donate to your website, free, {taken by me, so not stolen from any sites. If you can use them. I will be happy…and think that I have quite a few you may enjoy. I use a canon eos digital rebel, with macro, so my shots are not too shabby, though I am still working on not jumping and losing my focus when the spiders decide to jump in my lens: haha! I am Terri S. Heisele, and the pictures I give you are stamped, so you may probably be able to see the date stamp and info in properties if you right click them. I have re-sized them a bit and you may need to re-size as well to fit your site if you want to use them. I saw you had no photo of a spider that a lady asked about that looks like it has a smiley face on it….so maybe you can update your site with my photo…? I am including a spiny orb weaver {or two} and some odd little spider, tiny, that I photo’d on my own hand-then same spider much clearer on a stone patio table. I hope you enjoy using them, and please feel free to ask me if you need any specific species in Florida { EXCEPT ANY MEMBER OF THE COCKROACH FAMILY} as it is the one species I will run thru a wall to get away from! {not kidding!haha} I am a copyrighted photographer on the site known as Madmaven, and the photo I am submitting to you today of the “smiley face spider” and also one pic of my spiny orb spiders are on CAEDES, so don’t be alarmed, as they belong and are copyrighted to me, and my name in full is on site under madmaven. I hope you like these, and feel free to ask for my help anytime! FREE! 🙂 Best Wishes,
Terri S. Heisele
in St. Petersburg, Florida
PS: Your wonderful site helps me id many insects before I post them, so THANK YOU! I also love that you help educate people on all the wonderful living creatures around us!

Hi Terri,
Thanks for your letter and generous supply of images. For now, we only have time to post two of the spider images. The smiley faced spider you sent is actually an Orchard Spider in the genus Leucauge. The spiny spider can also be thought of as having a smiley face, and that is the Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver, Gasterocantha cancriformis.