From the yearly archives: "2007"
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

Help from Alaska
Hi Folks!
Well, I think that I am fairly conversant on local bugs but this one has got me and our local pro scratching our heads. I found it on a garbage can in a park in the Kenai Peninsula, AK. It is about 3mm long. Any ideas? Keep up the wonderful work that you do!! Cheers and we are Thankful for you guys!
DeWaine Tollefsrud

Hi DeWaine,
We weren’t real sure about this critter, and entertained the thought that it might be a ground beetle, but Eric Eaton set us straight. Here is what he concludes: “Hi, Daniel: Wow, the image is of some kind of barklouse, order Psocoptera. Wish I could be more specific! It might even be a wingless adult, rather than a nymph. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Conifer Seed bug
Howdy —
Thanks to your site, I don’t wonder what I found this time, but the picture is so vivid, I wanted to pass it along. I can’t get over the colors. Thanks again for your addictive site!
Tara B.

Hi Tara,
This is the time of year that the Western Conifer Seed Bug seeks shelter from the winter cold by entering homes. This Pacific West Coast native has spread east in recent years, and is firmly established in New England and vicinity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination