From the monthly archives: "November 2006"

What is this bug?
I live in pasadena,ca and found this guy on my driveway. any idea what it is?
Rod, April and Makenna Hicks
Pasadena, CA

Hi Hicks Family,
The Potato Bug, along with the House Centipede, are our most frequent query subjects, which is why there is always a photo of each on our homepage.

Mini Blue DragonFly
Gettin ready to ask what this tiny blue dragonfly was. DamselFly? Everytime I got too close to get a more detailed pic, she would fly – hoovering for a second then return landing as if to ‘pose" for me.

Hi Kori,
This is a Damselfly. Damselflies usually rest with wings folded and dragonflies rest with wings opened.

Black Witch Moth
We were directed to your site, and have never "bugged out" anywhere else. We love your site. I have included our moth picture taken in Key Largo, FL for your reference. Hope you like it, enjoy. Thanks,
The Ward Family

Dear Ward Family,
Thank you ever so much for sending in your gorgeous photo of a Black Witch Moth. It was our featured bug of the month for October.

Butterfly Identification
Good day –
I’m having a horrible time trying to identify this butterfly. It was shot in West Central Texas (Tom Green County) in the last couple of weeks and I cannot find a good identification for it. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Warm regards

Hi Jim,
This looks to be a Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia. Caterpillar food plants include violets and passionvine.

Bola (bolas) spider
What a wonderful site you have! I do not have an insect I wish to identify, but I do have a spider that I think you will appreciate having on your site. It is a bola (or bolas) spider (please correct me if I am wrong). I’ve never seen one in my 52 years, and I spent 12 hours over several nights getting the following shots. It was very hard to catch her while her droplet of attractant was hanging. Any disturbance and she would reel it back up for a half hour. Lighting was from two separate 8-LED flashlights mounted on both sides of the camera.

I was also fortunate enough to find her daytime resting spot (she looked just like a bird dropping). To top it off, weeks later she made an egg sack! (I didn’t know what image size you desire, hope these aren’t too poor quality, or too large a download).
Steve Davis
Wadesville, Indiana

Hi Steve,
Your are far too humble. Your photos are wonderful. Your night action photos are quite spectacular. According to Audubon: “This spider does not spin a web, but produces a dangling silken line with a globule at the end that resembles the South American bola. Supposedly the 2 protuberances on the spider attract male moths. The spider waits for the moth to approach, then throws its bola at the moth, usually snaring its wings. The spider drops down on a line spun from its spinnerets and eats the entrapped moth.”

Bolas spider. (11/21/2006)
That bolas spider story and images are just too cool!!! I have never seen one either. I didn’t know they ranged that far north, actually. I was under the impression they were chiefly tropical arachnids. They are not little tiny things, either! My understanding is that the spider actually manufactures a secretion that mimics the pheromones of certain moth species, thus attracting the male moths. Whether this substance is on the spider itself, or applied to the globular ball, I don’t know. Truly fascinating, though. The submitter should get some kind of award for his patience and observation skills!
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Lisa.