From the monthly archives: "December 2009"

What’s That Bug?
December 3, 2009
i foudt it on a balcony in rotterdam
it was in summer
sorry for the english 😀
posthumen
netherland

Devil's Coach Horse

Devil's Coach Horse

Dear posthumen,
This lovely creature is a Rove Beetle known as a Devil’s Coach Horse.  The threat posture is all show as the Devil’s Coach Horse has no stinger, however it does possess scent glands and it can release a foul odor.  This European species has been introduced to the U.S. and we love them in our garden since they eat snails.

Mouse Mite Hell!
This is my candidate for the Worst Bug Stories page.

Last winter I went through Mouse Mite Hell. Picture a rural street with a few landed houses on one side and nothing but wild land, covered with blackberry bushes, on the other. I lived in a 150 yr-old farmhouse, the pride of my life.

In late summer and early autumn a developer started clearing the property across our small, rural street. Bushes were cut and land bulldozed flat, preparatory to building “upscale” housing.

The local field mice, having no where else to go, decided to become house mice and my 3 neighbors and I were overrun. My house, being old, had numerous “settling” places large enough for a mouse to enter and they overran everything! They even scratched and chewed the headboard of my waterbed, eating the books and chewing the wood. They destroyed my piano. My life became a nightmare of mouse hunting and hole-stopping, day and night. I spent tons of money on steel wool and wood putty and paint to cover it all up. One day my electronic trap killed 6 while my cat did away with 7. In one day!

The result of all of this mouse genocide was that the mites they carried turned to my dogs, my cat and myself for their daily bread. The bites tormented me day and night, first with a fiery burning sensation, immediately followed by intense itching. They woke me up all night long. My pets would jump and cry out and scratch themselves to death.

Despite my dislike of chemicals, I gave in and bombed…nothing changed. A day or two of rest and the mites were back in force. Then, I read on the Net that a strong bleach-and-water solution (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) would kill the mites. IT WORKED! I’d put the pets out, open the windows and bleach the heck out of every surface that wouldn’t be damaged. I sprayed the cloth furniture with bug spray. Every day. Even dry, the bleach seemed to kill or deter the mites. Even before I plugged the last hole and killed the last mouse, the biting stopped.

I never want to go through anything like that again and I always make sure I have a gallon of bleach in the house…just in case.

I love this site and have recommended it to a lot of people. The work you do is superior and I agree with your liking for insects (except Mouse Mites). Please keep up the good work. (And thank you for the Net’s only intelligent CAPTCHA.)

Sandy

Dear Sandy,
We arent’ sure what a CAPTCHA is, but we thank you for the compliment.  We will be posting your letter and tagging it with the Worst Bug Stories Ever.

mantid mantis? whats with the wings?
December 3, 2009
I recently sent you a photo of a unusual bug that entered my home and I caught on the wall.I realy had no idea what it was. looked like a damsel fly /praying Mantis.Well I think it might be a Mantis/mantid baby.I decided to feed it a small amount of cat food on the end of a stick or pencil and it attacked it.I learned that baby mantids or mantisis would eat that so I figured if it ate it I might find out what the heck this bug is…well what do you think?I have great photos/videos of it eating/attacking it also. It’s funny this bug came in my home I have always been facinated by THE PRAYING MANTIS/MANTID .I am going to raise it and see what I get.
Mantislover
northeast/new york/Long Island

Mantidfly

Mantidfly

Dear Mantislover,
We hope you can find it in you to love more than one family of insects, because this is not a Mantis.  Despite appearances, your Mantidfly in the family Mantispidae is not remotely related to a Preying Mantis.  It is a Neuropteran and is related to Lacewings and Antlions.  Thanks for the awesome images.  BugGuide has many examples of Mantidflies pictured.

Mantidfly

Mantidfly

Mesquite Larvae
December 1, 2009
Found inside an aged mesquite log in Scottsdale, AZ. What is it? What will it turn into and in how long? Pest? Affects other wood, or just mesquite? If pest, natural predators?
Sergio Vie
Scottsdale, AZ

Flat Headed Borer Larva

Flat Headed Borer Larva

Hi Sergio,
This is a Flat Headed Borer Beetle Larva in the family Buprestidae, often called the Metallic Borer Beetles or Jewel Beetles.  We believe, based on your location and the host plant, that it is Hippomelas sphenicus.  We are providing a link to BugGuide with an image of the adult beetle.  It is also pictured on the Sonoran Desert Naturalist website.

What the hell is this?
December 2, 2009
I took this picture in March of 2008 when I was in Iraq and this thing was just plain nasty. It’s about the size of my thumb (length and width). That is in fact rat droppings around it and it’s obviously somewhat of a bottomfeeder. Do you guys know what this thing is?
Ryan Luddy
Haditha Dam, Iraq

Mole Cricket

Mole Cricket

Hi Ryan,
Though your photo is from Iraq, it is worth noting that we get submissions of Mole Crickets from around the world.

Update
After being severely chastised by one of our readers in a comment, we have decided to try to make things right.  Mole Crickets are subterranean diggers that can also fly.  They eat plant roots, and they do not feed on rat droppings since they are not scavengers.

large moth
December 1, 2009
Living in Trinidad,West Indies. Found this moth at the water taxi terminal. It sat still and when I tried to move it,it started beating its wings,still sitting still! This was during the day. I can’t seem to identify it even with the striking markings.
Mary C. Boyer
Trinidad,West Indies

Neococytius cluentius

Neococytius cluentius

Dear Mary,
Though Bill Oehlke’s excellent website does not have a page on Trinidad, we located your Sphinx or Hawkmoth, Neococytius cluentius on the page for Venezuelan species.  According to Oehlke’s website, the proboscis is over nine inches long.  That long tongue must be needed to pollinate a very deep-throated flower.

Neococytius cluentius

Neococytius cluentius