What is THIS bug?
July 18, 2009
I killed this bug (sorry, I was afraid!) in my garage tonight and was so creeped out I’ve got the heebie-jeebies! I have no idea what it is, can you please tell me? It has large jaws and is appx 3/4 to one inch long.
Creeped out in Colorado
Foothills of the Rocky Mts. in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Solpugid dead from unknown causes

Solpugid dead from unknown causes

Dear Creeped Out,
This harmless Solpugid looks like its final moments were horrific.  Solpugids are fierce predators, but they have no venom and will not harm humans.  Cockroaches and other undesirable household intruders are common prey for this formidable hunter.

After we supplied Creeped Out with the above answer, Creeped Out had the wherewithal to submit the following tirade.  Seems Creeped Out didn’t read the release on our form which gives us the right to post images and letters to the website and to use them in other authorized What’s That Bug publications.  Nowhere in our response did we libel (slander is uttered aloud, and thankfully we have never spoken to her) Creeped Out’s reputation, and we stand by our statement that the final moments of the Solpugid’s life were horrific.  We are very happy we don’t live in Colorado Springs as we might run into Creeped Out and her nasty temper by getting some cosmetic dental work done (info we gleaned from her email address which we will withhold from publication).  Just imagine the horror and potential pain if she ever took her wrath out on someone’s teeth?  Read on and see just how nasty some readers can get after getting free information on the internet.

That was a ridiculous way you used my submission. I would have never given you permission to use my submission if I had known what a wack-job you were. Need you be so melodramatic about a bug (which by the way there are trillions of?!) You do not have my permission to use anymore information of mine including this email! I will be sure not to recommend your site to any of my friends for fear you will slander them too on the web. Sorry I even ASKED you for help.
Creeped out in Colorado

A Reader Comments
Nasty Reader
I just have to comment on creeped out’s nasty email. The entire point of this website and the reason why so many of us bug lovers are so grateful for it is to educate those who may not appreciate the insect kingdom for the amazing necessity it is. Those who are so inclined to “squish” first and ask questions later may think twice had they had known that the poor little Solpugid wouldn’t have even been in their garage if it weren’t for a food source… like COCKROACHES. Whether “There are trillions of them” or not it is just as easy to remove them without killing them or actually be thankful for how beneficial they are. I believe the correct spelling is “whacked out”…AND people in glass houses….
Andrea, Hollywood.

Creeped Out Comments
Request for revision: Web site says “after we supplied the reader with the above answer”. Please revise that in your notes since you NEVER supplied me with that explanation.  You simply wrote two words “harmless solpugid” in an email and sent it to me. I had to go out on the web site to see the way you presented it and to see your full answer and then I still had to search the web to find out what a “solpugid” was. If you want to be accurate, please adjust your notes accordingly

Ed. Note
Creeped Out is correct.  Our original response to her was a brief two word answer which we sometimes do in an effort to answer as many requests as possible.  Then we spend more time crafting responses that we plan to post.  We do not feel sorry that after supplying a brief correct identification, the burden of further research was placed on the querant.

Creeped Out continues to write to us
It seems I am not the only one with a bad temper judging from your response. Your words were completely unnecessary and unrelated to bugs or your website. I apologized in my initial email to begin with and only became insulted by the way you presented my situation.
I apologize for killing the “solpugid” and I am sorry that I became angry. I didn’t think that this was the first photo of a dead bug you would have seen so I apologize for not being more sensitive to your passion.

Ed. Note:
For the record, we no longer email Creeped Out directly, as feel compelled to keep all lines of communication totally transparent and public.  Also, for the record, though we consider What’s That Bug? to be an insect identification website, we do not shy away from relating the insect world to the grander scheme of things.  We have maintained from Day 1 that we are not scientists, but artists, and as such, we reserve the right to dialog in whatever way we see fit and to not fear letting our freaky flag fly.

Another Reader Comments
Big nasty black thing
July 22, 2009
I was so intrigued by Creeped Out’s diatribe and backstory that I thought I’d let you know there are calm, reasonable people in Colorado as well. Also, I need a bug identified. I’m so sorry I don’t have a photo; I’m too scared of them, and I only see a couple a day. It doesn’t look anything like the photo attached, which I had to do for the form to work. They are 1 1/2″ or so long, black but iridescent (blue or green in sunlight), have a small middle section (thorax?) , very narrow “waist” and a long, skinny back end. They buzz when they fly. I’m scared because I thought I saw one flying away from biting my son; I just need to know how vigilant to be about them! If you can refer me to a lineup, I’m sure I could pick one out, and if I get a picture I’ll write again. Thanks for all you do!
For Heaven’s Sake Feel Free to Post This
western CO
Dear For Heaven’s Sake,
Thanks for your support regarding our latest Nasty Reader Award.  Your insects sound like some kind of wasp, perhaps a Cricket Hunter Wasp in the genus Chlorion, or a Blue Mud Wasp, Chalbion californicum, or some other Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Sphecidae.  All of them may be viewed on BugGuide, but our money is on the Blue Mud Wasp.

4 Responses to Sixth Recipient Nasty Reader Award: Unnecessary Carnage Solpugid dies agonizing death

  1. Chinchillazilla says:

    I know this is quite an old post, but I just discovered it. The line “Need you be so melodramatic about a bug (which by the way there are trillions of?!)” really upset me. Flocks of passenger pigeons used to blot out the sun for hours at a time as they flew over, but that didn’t stop humans from driving them to extinction in a few hundred years.

  2. Mary Garcia says:

    I know this is a really late post, but we were blessed with a heroic solpugid. We live in the rural desert and have 14 cats, 12 of whom were born and raised in a feral colony nearby. When bugs come into the house, we generally catch them and take them outside. The feral cats, though, see them as prime prey and attack, even the black widow spiders. We have tried to discourage them to no avail. One night one of the largest solpugids I have seen was spotted by our Persian about 4″ up a wall. The cat went over, put his nose on it, and got quite a pinch! Since then, he and all the other cats have been much less aggressive toward bugs in general. By the way, I don’t know why none of them ever got bit by a black widow. I know of 2 adult females the cats found in the pantry, caught, and dragged into the kitchen.

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