From the monthly archives: "April 2010"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

More Polyphemus Love
April 2, 2010
About 3 1/2 weeks later… 🙂
Houston, Texas

Polyphemus Eggs Hatching

Thanks for the update Matt.  It is great seeing the result of the mating photo you sent.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Possibly Dysdercus red bug from Costa Rica
March 31, 2010
Love this site. I just saw a pale red bug shown that bears some resemblance to a bug I’ve been trying to identify here in Costa Rica. I first saw my bug on a hibiscus, but later also on other plants. I couldn’t find it on Bug Guide. Can you help me?
Mary B. Thorman
Highlands of south Pacific area of Costa Rica at edge of forest.

Hypselonotus atratus

Hi Mary,
We did a cursory web search before we headed for the desert, and we drew a blank on this lovely Hemipteran.  We agree that is is likely a Red Bug in the family Pyrrhocoridae, but we would not discount that it might be a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae.  It sure looks like it might be a Cotton Stainer relative in the genus Dysdercus.  Hopefully, one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification. Read Full Article →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

April 1, 2010
We will not be responding to any mail on April Fool’s Day because we have skipped town to see the desert in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park.  We hope we see Painted Ladies Migrating, Striped Morning Sphinxes nectaring on primrose, and Blister Beetles feeding and mating.  We are even taking a camera.  We will resume posting on April 2.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

April 5, 2010
This morning we got the green light that our fourth attempt at writing an introduction was approved by our editor.  Now we can relax a bit until the designed proof pages are completed sometime in May.

April 2, 2010
Though yesterday’s posting was not a joke, it is no longer true, though it was at the time of posting.  We returned from Joshua Tree with a request from our editor to rewrite our introduction, so we have until Monday morning to comply.

April 1, 2010
At around 9:30 last night, we finished the introduction and sent the completed manuscript of our book,
The Curious World of Bugs:  The Bugman’s Guide to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl, to our editor at Perigee, Maria Gagliano.  We spent the last two weeks tagging artwork, and the next stop is the designer who will combine image and text into a book.  We are right on schedule, and we still anticipate an October release.  We are hoping Martha Stewart will call and invite us on her show, but Jay Leno is local, and we could actually take Metrolink to Burbank.  Despite the date, this is no joke.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Man eating spiders in Japan
April 1, 2010
On a trip to Miyazaki, Japan, there were only two animals in sight: giant crows and these large spiders. A lot of them were perched at human head level on webs 2 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide between trees in a sparse forest. Poking at a web, I was frightened by both the strength of the thread and the ferocity of the spider suddenly running at me. I know the pictures aren’t great, but you can see the shape of the abdomen and the stripes on the legs. Including legs, perched on the web, you’re looking at about a 5 inch diameter, give or take.
Miyazaki, Japan


Hi Keith,
Golden Silk Spiders in the genus Nephila, like the one in your photo, are large and scary, but they pose no threat to humans.  As you observed, the webs are extremely strong, and the silk is golden in color.  Golden Silk Spiders have been known to snare small birds in their webs, and the birds are eaten with the same relish the spider exhibits with a fly.  The female Golden Silk Spider can reach 100 times the mass of her diminutive mate.  Male Golden Silk Spiders often occupy the same web as the female.  Your photo appears to document just such a pair.  We believe your spider is Nephila clavata, or joro-gumo in Japan, according to the cyberoz website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thinking the worst, hoping for the best.
March 31, 2010
When I first saw this bug it was at night & it flew from my hallway to my livingroom. By the time I went to get a container to catch it to find out what it was, it was gone. About ten minutes later it was flying towards one of my livingroom lights. As I attempted to catch it, it ran pretty quickly on the floor. My husband has tried to calm my nerves by saying that it’s just a water bug that’s come in the house. We live in the country & we recently had high water & our septic backed up in the yard because of the creek behind the house. I don’t believe him & think that it’s a type of roach. This is the largest one that I’ve seen in the house. & the last time that I saw a similar bug was over 2 years ago when we had high water & our septic pipes f ell. I have two young children & am worried that I may have the start of an infestation. I put a 32v standard auto fuse (sorry no coins near by) beside it to show you how big it is.
Nervous Ninny
Eastern Ohio

Wood Roach

Dear Nervous Ninny,
Calm your nerves.  Yes it is a Cockroach, but luckily it is not a species that infests homes.  This is a Wood Roach in the genus Parcoblatta.  Wood Roaches are much happier outside in the woods, but they are attracted to light.  Again, let us reiterate that Wood Roaches do not infest homes.  You can read more about them on BugGuide.  You are our third letter today from Ohio, including one from our home town Youngstown.  We wonder, perhaps, if there was some local publicity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination