From the monthly archives: "November 2007"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi my name is Danielle from NJ and I stumbled upon this spider outside on my mom’s garden bench. A few weeks before I saw this spider there were thousands of baby spiders all over my front door and all around it. They had orange legs. Please let me know what kind of spider this is. I believe it to be the mother of all the babies. I have attached 2 pictures. Thanks. I look forward to finding out it’s type. Although it is dead now. My father killed it. I would still like to know.

Hi Danielle,
This fascinating spider is a Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira. We are sorry to hear it met with an untimely end.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider ID unknown
Hey there bugman! Big fan of the website, keep up the good work. Anyway, I found this beauty on thanksgiving, and have no idea what it is exactly. I live in Maryland. Spider is about 2 inches from front to back(including legs), in this photo. Spider was very calm. I just cant seem to find anything that looks like it on the internet. At first I thought wolf but after looking at many different kind, I am not so sure any more.

This positively gorgeous spider is a Cork Lid Trapdoor Spider in the genus UMmidia. There are numerous images on Bugguide which has this to say: “Dig tunnel in ground and seal with a silk-hinged lid. They hide under this lid and make forays out when prey is sensed, presumably by vibration. Males are often found wandering in late spring, presumably looking for mates.” Perhaps global warming has upset this guy’s timing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

just a coupla pics for your enjoyment
Just thought you might like these pics I took in Austin Texas.

Hi again Penley,
We are posting your photo of a Black and Yellow Orb Weaver, Argiope aurantia in the hopes that it will assist our readership in their identifications of this magnificent spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Confused. . . .
I just recently moved to Guam and it seems all the locals call this a banana spider. I did today actually see a real banana spider. So the leads me to wonder, what spider is this? Golden orb weaver or a St. Andrews Cross Spider? I was a little confused after reading about them on your "spiders" page.
Mike (from Guam)

Hi Mike,
Your confusion lies in the use of the common name Banana Spider. We know of three spiders that share this common name, Nephila clavipes (AKA Golden Silk Spider), Heteropoda venatoria (AKA Huntsman Spider), and your spider, Argiope appensa. According to Wikipedia: “On Guam , where A. appensa is ubiquitous, it is frequently visited by Argyrodes argentatus . Locals there refer to A. appensa as banana spiders . Following the introduction of the brown tree snake and the subsequent extinction or near-extinction of many of the island’s small birds, spider populations on Guam exploded decreasing predation and competition.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Angelitos picture and question?
They pose not threat?so if I touch it it wont burn?it sure looks like it would.this pic was taken in south texas around mission.if you look at the pic upside down it looks like a face on it.locals call it an angel face.thanks for your site it is really helpful.

To the best of our knowledge, Angelitos or Velvet Mites do not pose a threat to humans. The do feed on the eggs of grasshoppers and on termites. Thanks for your local lore on this distinctive arthropod.

Update: (11/25/2007)
Some additional information on the velvet mite.
There was a Nova episode the other week on killer ants[0] and in it there was some good information on the velvet mite. The people in Cameroon use the first appearance of the velvet mite as a sign that it is time to clear the fields and start planting their millet crops. If the mite is comming out that means it will rain soon. /ants/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

ID of caterpillar
Can you tell me what type this is

Looks like the highly variable White-Lined Sphinx Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination