From the monthly archives: "October 2006"

I know you are busy, but
What the heck is this thing!

My Alan,
What a short letter devoid of helpful information. This is a Green Lynx Spider. These spiders do not build a web and ambush their prey by leaping, often from a blossom. They are harmless to humans.

Aphids and egg-chain thingy
Hi Bugman,
I noticed that you didn’t have any pictures of aphids that matched the ones I found on my key lime tree in Austin, TX, so I thought I would send them along. They wouldn’t be very exciting, except I think the egg chain along the middle of the leaf is really neat. I try to avoid bug carnage where possible, but for the sake of my future margaritas and key lime pies, I did have to murder all of the aphids shortly after the photo shoot. I love your site and consult it frequently.

Hi Stephanie,
These are not Aphids, but Hemipterans. We originally thought they might be Assassin Bug Hatchlings and if that was the case, they are beneficial insects not to be destroyed. We sought Eric Eaton’s input and he wrote back: “I’m pretty sure that this is actually some kind of leaf-footed bug in the family Coreidae, but I can’t tell from such tiny hatchlings. Assassin bugs don’t lay eggs in a line, as far as I know. Not sure where the image was shot, but I know that there are some great resources on coreids from Florida educational websites. Eric” If Eric is correct, and we suspect he is, then these are plant feeders and you probably made the right move eliminating them from the tree.

Odd German bug…
Dear Bugman,
I’m currently studying abroad in northern Germany, in the vicinity of Bremen, and I did a search on the internet in hopes of identifying a bug I just saw. I found your website, and I was wondering if you could help me. I’m especially interested to know whether or not it’s harmless. I’m afraid I squished it in fear before I could take a picture of it while it was alive. I’ve attached a couple of pictures of it dead, though… (And I’m sorry I squished it, it’s just that I have a skin condition that causes me to react negatively to ALL bug bites. Even mosquito bites cause baseball sized reactions on me. If it doesn’t bite or sting, I remove it nicely from my house. My host parents here even taught me how to catch flies without hurting them.) In case the picture doesn’t tell all, I will describe it… It was really really tiny, to begin. It dropped onto my hand as a fly buzzed around my hand (at first I thought it was fly poop, that’s how small it was). When I looked closer, it appeared to have the body shape of a tick (though it squished much easier than a tick), and the body was brown. It’s legs were tiny and comparable to a typical beatle’s legs. Attached to the front end of it, by the head, where these long stinger like things. Two of them. One on each side, extending out in front of the bug. They were more of a reddish brown color, and looked very much like scorpion tails. These scorpion-like stingers were very large in comparison to the bug, and I would say they were three quarters the length of the body. If you can identify this bug, I would really be interested to know more about it. And feel free to publish my photos (though they’re not the greatest). Thank you!!
Penninah Jones

Hi Penninah,
There was no need to kill the harmless Pseudoscorpion. These fascinating creatures have a nearly worldwide distribution. They sometimes hitch rides on flying insects, a phenomenon known as Phoresy.

Captured this guy in Iraq
We captured this guy one night in Iraq after he flew into our room. Nobody knew what it was or had even seen it before, even the few locals we had with us were clueless. Our best guess was maybe some giant termite.

Hi Scott,
If it is not an animatronic spy in the guise of a Mole Cricket, it is the real thing. Mole Crickets are not true crickets, and they live underground. They use their powerful front legs to dig. They are found in many parts of the world including the U.S. This is at least the fourth image of a Mole Cricket we have received from Iraq.

Vying for the Newest Best House Centipede Photo Award
I have always wondered what this was, and I have found your website to be quite helpful. I think this photo may be the best yet!

Hi Cindy,
There isn’t really a prize, just the recognition. Additionally, we keep House Centipede images on our homepage at all times, so yours might remain for months. It really is a prize shot.

What’s THIS bug???
Last night, late I stepped out to let the dog out and saw a big critter on the patio. I got out my flashlight and saw this enormous bug. I scooped him into a glass to take a few pics. He was nearly two inches long! I returned him to the wild, out of my curious dog’s reach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. I live in Southern California. Is he dangerous? He sort of looks that way. He has three stinger type things on his tail. Looking forward to learn more, if you can help!
Scott Cuzzo

Hi Scott,
We are thrilled that you wrote back that you identified your Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket from our site. The photo is truly gorgeous.