From the monthly archives: "September 2007"

What is it?
I found this black and stark white spider on a sage bush in my backyard. I live in Manhattan Beach, California. Do you know what it is? Thanks,

Hi Cathy,
This is a female Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae. Many spiders in this family are highly variable in coloration. We believe this to be the Red Banded Crab Spider, Misumenoides formosipes. According to a San Diego website: “The female’s color pattern is variable; the body is white to yellowish in color. The carapace has wide lateral bands and there are paired markings are on the abdomen ; the bands and markings are black to reddish in color. The abdominal markings may be pale and indistinct. The legs have reddish bands. The color pattern for males is similar to the female’s but generally with red or brown legs.”

Spider from Korea: Golden Orb Web Spider?
I read that you’re swamped, so I apologize for making your day harder. I took some photos of this spider in southwestern South Korea. Looking through some other posts it sort of resembles a Golden Orb Web Spider found in China, but after googling it I couldn’t find any exact matches. It measured just under two inches (including legs). Here it is eating a ladybug. Thanks for your help!
Suncheon, South Korea

Hi Brian,
This is a relative of the Golden Silk Spider, Nephila clavipes, found in the southern portions of the U.S. It is Nephila clavata, and is known as the Joro Spider due to its Japanese name, joro-gumo. According to Wikipedia: “The spider can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaid?, in Korea ,Taiwan and China . Due to the large size as well as the bright, unique colors of the species of the female Nephila , the spider is well-favored in Japan.”

Finding a Pine Tree Cricket hints
Hi Bugman,
I thought some bug lovers would be interested in seeing how well a Pine Tree Cricket blends in with its habitat. It took me two visits to find this little tree cricket. Now that I see how they position themselves on a branch, I’m sure it will be much easier to find more. This is a 6 foot high ornamental shrub–the tree cricket was about 5 feet up and about 2 feet in. I wasn’t sure I would even be able to find a Pine Tree Cricket in Wisconsin—but I finally have. Love your site,
Nancy Collins Racine (in Southeastern Wisconsin)

Hi Nancy,
Your hints will also apply to other Tree Crickets in the genus Oecanthus as well as the Pine Tree Cricket, Oecanthus pini. We located a website with additional images and information.

what is this?
the bug is attached in a picture

Hi JR,
We get numerous requests to identify the exoskeletons of Cicadas, but rarely are the images as fine as yours. Immature Cicada nymphs live underground where they suck sap from the roots of trees and shrubs. When they approach maturity, they dig to the surface (hence the clawlike front feet) and molt into winged adults, leaving the exoskeleton behind.

Hello bugman
My son found this bug in our front yard.
We live in central Illinois What is it? Thanks

Hi KH,
This is one of the Sexton Beetles, the Tomentose Burying Beetles. Sexton Beetles often work in pairs to bury small dead animals like birds or mice. They lay eggs on the corpse and the rotting flesh provides food for the larvae. We just posted an image of a group of Tomentose Burying Beetles on the carcass of a mouse.

What kind of spider is this?
We found this lovely creature perched on our door frame this morning. She (I think it’s a ‘she’) is approximately 2 1/2" in diameter, is a beautiful light orangy beige color with a darker broken stripe down her abdomen. She is blackfooted (as you can see), has large black fangs, and the 8 eyes are placed 4 front-facing, and 4 top-facing. We aren’t sure what kind of spider this is and would love to know more about what it eats, etc. Can you help with an identification? Thanks in advance. Love this site. It’s so addicting!

I beg your pardon – I just now, in fact, did indeed identify the spider as a Golden Huntsman Spider or Olios Fasciculatus on your site (spiders page 3). Thank you for such a splendid site!

Dear Lady Val,
It was nice to get your three emails in rapid succession. You very quickly correctly identified this lovely Golden Huntsman Spider.