From the yearly archives: "2008"

Fuzzy Slug in Alpharetta GA
I am not sure if this is a slug… He isn’t slimey like most of the slugs posted on your site. Any ideas? He looks more like a sea slug? Thanks!
Daria G.
Alpharetta, GA

Hi Daria,
This is actually a Slug Caterpillar, probably the Smaller Parasa, Parasa chloris. There are a few photos from Georgia on BugGuide. Slug Caterpillars are known for their stinging spines.

Did You See?
Won’t bug you again with this, (pun intended) but a while back I sent in a pic of a Wheel Bug that landed on the mirror of my 18 wheeler and was giving me the stink-eye as I took his (her?) picture. Anyway, I have been looking on your website and I just don’t think there is a better image of one up close and personal. Maybe I am biased, but I think it’s a cool image, the way he’s looking at the camera. Well, I just thought you may have missed it in the pile of images you receive every day. So, here it is one more time and if it doesn’t get posted I will figure my idea of a decent shot might not be as good as I thought it was. Either way, happy trails

Hi Dave,
We generally post lateral views of Wheel Bugs so that the distinctive wheel or cog on the thorax is plainly visible. A dorsal view does not accentuate this distinguishing feature. In making that decision in the past, we realize that dorsal views of Wheel Bugs are noticeably absent on our site, and your photo fills a void. As far as choosing who has the best Wheel Bug photo, we don’t really want to go there because we have no desire to pit our readership against one another.

Herd of bug on tree trunk
I found this herd of bugs at the base of a small tree in Houston, Texas on August 17, 2008. They remind me of praying mantis eggs, but they’re smaller. What are they and what are they doing? Are they hurting my tree? I don’t know if it’s important, but there was this small fly on a blade of grass next to them. Thank you

Hi Sandra,
The detail on your photo is not clear enough to make out individuals, but we suspect these may be Netwing Beetle Larvae, family Lycidae. Luckily, you sent a detail image as well which supports our theory. See this photo of an individual on BugGuide to see if it matches what you have. Netwing Beetle Larvae eat fungus and fungus often grows at the base of trees. If these are Netwing Beetle Larvae, they are not harming your tree, but the tree may already be compromised if fungus is growing.

Comment: (08/17/2008)
I’m not sure, either. Probably one of the fungus beetles in the Erotylidae would be my guess. I have seen larvae of Gibbifer californicus in large numbers like this.

Bug from Thailand
I am a eucalyptus farmer here in Thailand and discovered a new beetle yesterday munching on my trees. Can you please identify it for me? Thanks in advance,

Hi Don,
Before you decide to spend money to eradicate the Cerambycid Beetle or Longhorn Beetle, Aristobia approximator, from your eucalyptus grove, you should know that we located a framed mounted specimen online for $109.00, which may make raising the beetles more profitable than raising the trees.

I am not certain what this is–glancing over your photos, my closest guess was Wolf spider but as those don’t make webs, it can’t be the case. As you can tell, this fellow makes a web–turning the entire top of this plant into a death trap. It’s a good sized spider–its body the length of the diameter of a nickel, maybe bigger. If you want, I have a few more pictures of

This is a female Dolomedes Fishing Spider in her Nursery Web. Fishing Spiders belong to the Nursery Web Spider family, and they are hunting spiders that do not spin webs to catch prey. The female Fishing Spider carries her egg sac in her jaws until she finds a suitable place to spin her nursery web. She continues to guard the nursery web even after the spiderlings hatch. Thanks for the wonderful photo.

Bee Identification
We came across this bee while hiking on Cougar Mountain near Newcastle, WA. I must have upset it somehow as it swarmed me, flying around my head and finally landing on my leg. Luckily my keys were in my pocket where it landed, so I’m not sure if it tried to sting at that moment or not. I was able to shush it away so it landed on a nearby bench. I took a close photo so I could try to identify this guy when I got home but have been finding it very hard to do so by looking at many sites including yours. Please help me out. It looked really mad and, from the looks of its backend, I’m really glad it didn’t sting me.
~Mark in Tacoma, WA

Hi Mark,
This is not a Bee, but a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae. We don’t immediately recognize your species, and we cannot at the moment research this more thoroughly, but you may have luck researching the BugGuide archives. It is also possible one of our readers will provide the answer. Flies don’t sting, they bite.

Thank you for the clarification. I researched it more and found it most likely to be a Laphria thoracica. I appreciate the help in identifying this species of fly.

Hi again Mark,
We believe you have the genus correct, but this looks more to us like a male Laphria astur, also pictured on BugGuide. All the photos on BugGuide are collected specimens, so it is wonderful to have a photo of a living example. Collectively, the Laphria species are known as the Bee-Like Robber Flies.