What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mammoth bee-looking-spider
November 16, 2009
We stepped out of our house here in Pasadena, CA to go for a walk. In front of my neighbor’s house, we saw an insect moving on the sidewalk like Addams Family’s “The Thing.” You can hear it walking on the cement. I assumed that it might move fast when we had got closer. Instead, it moved slow, and when we had gotten closer and it stood still. It didn’t raise it’s legs in defense like some bugs. The head was golden yellow, the body yellow/brown, and the end was striped yellow and brown. We left it alone, came back, and it was ran over (probably by a bike). My lady said there was four legs; I thought it was three because it looked like a bee, but it didn’t have wings. Every body part was thick, like it was taking steroids. I left it at night, came back in the morning, and it was gone. I need your help. I’ve not seen anything this big since Mexico. I’m having a baby soon and would like to know what’s crawling around my neighborhood. Any help would be awesome. I drew four legs, but it might be three legs.
Andres Dorame
Pasadena, CA 91106

Sketch of Golden Orbweaver, we believe

Sketch of Golden Orbweaver, we believe

Dear Andres,
Though your sketch is lovely, it makes it difficult to be certain of an identification.  We are guessing you encountered a Golden Orbweaver, Argiope aurantia, a harmless spider that builds a circular web in the garden.  The spiders are quite helpless if knocked out of the web, and they will not leave their webs to hunt, preferring instead to snare flying insects that become trapped.  Golden Orbweavers pose no threat to humans, despite the large size.

A Differing Opinion
November 18, 2009
Golden Orbweaver OR Potatoe Bug!?
Hey bug lovers! I know I am not an expert like you guys/ladies but the last post about the “Golden Orbweaver” with the drawn picture sounds like a potatoe bug to me. I have been pretty much obsessed with those bugs lately and that picture and description sounds like a potatoe bug to me.. But like I said, I’m not the expert! 🙂 Just thought i’d give me input… Love the sight! Keep up the great work!
Amber

Good Call Amber,
You are probably correct, though the drawing shows eight legs and not six.  The written description does tend to indicate a Potato Bug.  Tring to make an identification based on a simple drawing takes a bit of creative license.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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