From the yearly archives: "2006"

Another mystery Bug?
Thanks for the help identifying the bark lice for us. I was tending to some elderberry bushes here in Fairhope Al., and noticed an unusual little guy that I have never seen before. Would you be able to assist us again? I have attached an image of the insect. Sorry for the low quality but it was small and it was somewhat camera shy! Thanks,
John and Melissa Pershina

Hi John and Melissa,
We believe this is an immature Plant Hopper. We will try to figure out the species for you. Eric Eaton provided this information: ” The mystery hopper is a juvenile membracid (tree hopper, family Membracidae). I have no idea which one. The adults look radically different from the nymphs.”

Soldier Beetles
I recently visited your site to find out what kind of bug was in my backyard. Today I have seen at least 30-40 soldier beetles. ( I know what they are because of info and pictures on your site.) I took some pictures of them, and have attached one because they are large files. Wanted to contribute since your site helped me figure it out. Do you know if they are harmful to cats and dogs? Just concerned because my animals play in the backyard.
Queen Creek, AZ

Hi Jo,
Somehow you have misidentified your beetle. This is not a Soldier Beetle but an Iron Cross Blister Beetle, Tegrodera latecincta. Blister Beetles contain a chemical, cantharidin, which can cause blisters on human skin. It is more of an irritant than a dangerous poison. If your cats and dogs try to eat them, they will probably have a severely irritated mouth.

Help with Bug ID
Great site! I went through about 400 bugs and didn’t find one that matched what is in my house in upstate NY lately. I have a suspicion that they were in some logs I brought in for firewood and have not used. On the first warm day this Spring is when I first noticed these guys on the floor, walls, window casing, etc. Mostly confined to one location…near the fireplace. They are a bit over 1/8″ long. Half of them have the antennae similar to the picture, while the other half seem to have just two thin antennae. Other than that, they all look the same. They also all have tiny “graspers” on their hind ends. Color is black. I’m sure this is not something out of the ordinary, but I haven’t seen any similar pictures anywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Todd,
We are going to seek Eric Eaton’s help with this identification. Eric quickly wrote back: ” Ha! Yes, those ARE distinctive antennae:-) It is a male anobiid (Anobiidae) in the genus Ptilinis. They are one of the Deathwatch Beetles. The larvae are wood borers in dead, solid wood.”

Spider query
We found a pair of these spiders hanging out on our patio out in the back yard. They were approximately 1 1/8" long in including legs. Just curious what kind of spiders they are. We live in Tucson, Arizona. I did notice that one has egg sacks on it body (??).
Thanks in advance,

Hi Stuart,
What marvelous images of Thin-Legged Wolf Spiders in the genus Pardosa. One of them is carrying her spiderlings on her back. Soon the young spiders will disperse.

tailless whipscorpian from Chacala, Mexico
I visited Chacala Mexico (in the state of Najarit). The week that I was there, a strange creature would reappear in the bathroom every night. She freaked me out, but was too larget for me to kill without a seriously guilty conscious. I just left her alone everynight, keeping an eye on her while I used the bathroom, and got out of there as quickly as I could. I assumed she was simply a giant spider, until someone suggested she may be a scorpian. Once I got home, a friend tracked down your website and we were able to conclude this bizarre creature was a tailless whipscorpian, and thankfully not harmful! I though you might be interested in this photo of her. Thanks for providing this info! One more question: are these common, and in what parts of the world?

Hi Anna,
According to our Audubon Guide, there are about 60 species worldwide and three in North America. They are found in warm climates. Being nocturnal, they are often overlooked.