From the monthly archives: "November 2006"

Alutacea Bird Grasshopper
Love your site!!!!
I just wanted to share a photo I took of an Alutacea Bird Grasshopper in Houston TX this week. He posed of several shots for nearly 30 minutes – lots of personality. Thanks for the bug site.
Barbara Franken

Hi Barbara,
Grasshoppers in the genus Schistocerca are known as Bird Grasshoppers, according to the Audubon Guide, because they can fly rapidly over great distances. This is also the genus that contains the locust mentioned in biblical accounts. While we agree that your grasshopper is a Bird Grasshopper, we do not believe it is the Alutacea Bird Grasshopper, but rather the Obscure Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca obscura. We are basing this on images posted to BugGuide.

Tiny Kitchen-Loving Beetle
Dear Bugman,
My roommate and I have spotted several of these little beetles wandering around our kitchen area. We even found one in our microwave! At first I thought they were baby cockroaches, but they don’t act like any of the cockroaches I’ve encountered in Orange County, California. As we’ve only lived in our apartment about two months, I can’t tell you when they started appearing. The one I took a picture of is about .25cm in length and has a pretty flat profile. It’s antennae are about as long as he is and are in constant motion. I checked around on the web for other beetles but I have been unsuccessful in finding out about this one. Any help you can lend us would be appreciated. Thanks! Sincerely,
Marlene in Orange, California

Hi Marlene,
This is an immature Cockroach. We will see if Eric Eaton can provide a species name for us. Eric quickly wrote back: “The immature cockroach is probably a brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa. They tend to be found in electric appliances that, even when not running, are warm and cozy:-) Look for them behind picture frames as well. More information can be found searching on the scientific name and then visiting .edu and .gov websites for the most accurate facts. Eric”

Red-Back Spider ID
While visiting my daughter last week in Cotati, CA, we went to a beach just North of Bodega Bay (which is about 50+ miles north of San Francisco). While walking near the edge of the grassy area and the sand, my daughter spotted this spider. We’ve looked on-line and looked again and again and can’t find any information about it. Can you tell us what type of spider it is. It was among some larger rocks and really stood out because if its red back. I’m sorry the quality of the photos are not good. All I took with me that day with a small 3 pixel camera. I left the good 6 pixel at home (and I’ll not do that again). Thanks!!
Lois Sauer
Rainbow City, AL

Hi Lois,
This is one of the Araneus Orb Weaver spiders. We have problems differentuating the various species. They are harmless spiders.

Help with insect Id Dear Mr.Bugman,
I came across this bug in South India.Body about 1.5 cms in length.Any help in identification is appreciated. Regards,

Hi Brian,
This is a Hemipteran or True Bug in the order Hemiptera. It is probably in the family Pyrrhocoridae, the Red Bugs. Some members of this family are known as Stainers.

Pretty Bug
I live in Mobile, AL near the bay. I found this beautiful creature tasting the nector of one of my native lantana’s. What is he? Thanks!

Hi Tracy,
This is a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth, Cosmosoma myrodora. Wasps sting and moths do not, so many moths have adapted protective coloration, appearance and habits of wasps, and by mimicing them, are afforded some protection in the “eat or be eaten” world they inhabit.