From the monthly archives: "November 2010"

Spider Egg Chain?
Subject: Spider Egg Chain?
Location: baltimore md
November 27, 2010 7:09 pm
Baltimore on Wednesday, November 24. Rubbery strand running between two holly branches with chain of eggs suspended. Spider eggs?
Signature: karan

Basilica Orbweaver Egg Sacs in a row

Dear Karan,
We are very excited to be posting your letter and photo because our research has revealed three misidentifications on our website from many years ago.  In 2004, we received a similar image from Delaware that also pictured the spider.  At that time, there was not as much information on the world wide web, and we found information in text form in a Comstock Spider book that described the egg sacs of
Cyclosa bifurca, and we made our identification based on that information.  Then in 2006, we received a second similar image from Tennessee and again, we believed it to be the work of Cyclosa bifurca.  Today, while preparing to post your photo, we found images on BugGuide of the renamed Allocyclosa bifurca, and though the egg sacs bear a resemblance, they do not seem quite right, and the pictured spider is most obviously different from the spider pictured in our 2004 letter.  Heading back to BugGuide, we browsed through the possible Orbweavers and found the Basilica Orbweaver, Mecynogea lemniscata, that produces egg sacs in a row and looks exactly like the spider in our 2004 posting.  We can now correct our prior mistakes, citing your letter as the source of the journey to the revelation.  According to BugGuide:  “The female attaches eggsacs to each other vertically in her dome shaped web.

Wow, you’re the best!  I’ve just sent your email and link to all the family members who gathered for Thanksgiving. Basilica Orbweaver is a delightful name and we’re thrilled to have the ID. The eggs are right outside my parents’ house and we can look for generations of spiders to come.
Thank you, thank you!

Searched for 1 month, Cant identify this Insect with 8 legs
Location: Great Falls MT
November 27, 2010 5:20 pm
Well hello. My name is Dawn and I live in Montana, for now. We are in need of your assistance. My 8yr old Kyle and I have a great hobby of finding bugs and learning anything we can about them. We have been big fans of your site from about the time he was 2; even bigger fans of the bugs we find. Your site has helped us identify a pipe-wive swallowtail caterpillar, a horn worn, a green lynx spider, hobos, wolf, and brown recluse spiders. We have always had much success. But we are stumped. A coworker learned of our ”weirdness” she called it and brought me in a bug to help name. She found it in the packaging of her new washer and dryer-cardboard. I have had it in a mason jar with cardboard and chunks of paper for over a month. IT is still alive thankfully. So here goes: its got 3 main parts (head, thorax, and abs) but the thorax is small and questionable, ab is dark gray with darker horizontal stripes, head and 8 legs are fleshy tan in color, legs are thicker towa rds the ab, head is tear-shaped with eyes centered and close, it has long ”feelers” or antenna in front, AND HERE IS THE FINALE, it has a mouth (or two) like a bird, they look like pinchers like an earwig would have but its sarrated and it has two side by side and they can move seperately. Whew. Its hard to explain. we will try to attach a picture but its from my BB and is not the greatest. We are grateful for your help. And thank you for such a wonderful site, we use it often!
Signature: Mother&Son Bug Explorers

Sun Spider

Dear Mother&Son Bug Explorers,
Though your digital file is small and the image is quite blurry, we can see enough from the outline that when combined with your literal description (especially the description of the mouth) leaves little doubt that this is a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, an Arachnid in the order Solifugae.

November 27, 2010:  The Story Until Now
After first Umber and then Ginger were buried in the yard, their sister Amber still had a swollen eye that was not improving despite aspirin & garlic, neosporin, and tetra-antibiotic treatments.  Amber was moved to a convalescent hospital on Sunday November 21.   She was left in the care of Kimberly who believes Amber has an eye parasite (from eating garden worms) and promised to worm Amber the very next day.  Kimberly is a kind woman who takes in chickens whose health is severely compromised, and she nurses them back to health.

Chicken Coop Front View

Daniel got assistance from Victor on Thanksgiving and the chicken coop was rotated 180º so that the back of the house will get the sunrise and sunset will happen in the front.  The interior was hosed down and all the chicken sh#t was swept up and buried in the vegetable patch.  The inside of the coop was sprayed with bleach diluted in water 1:7.

Chicken Coop Rear View

The rear of the coop which had been unpainted plywood was primed with green primer that was watered down to better penetrate the wood.

Update: November 28, 2010
Since Daniel spent so much time and energy building a chicken coop and habitat, he has not given up on the endeavor to raise chickens in the yard.  Wes in El Monte has already told Daniel that he will get him some nice hens, and Amber may recover and return home.  Since chickens are social creatures, Amber will not be coming home unless there are some companions for her.  It might be best to start anew with some young chicks that have been inoculated against the horrific diseases like Newcastle and Marek’s.  Though the first chapter in the adventures of the Fuzzy Bottom Gals has ended tragically, it is expected that future chapters will contain some happy times.

STRANGE little bug
Location: Big South Fork, Tennessee….on a rock overlook
November 27, 2010 1:07 am
I’ve a couple local bug experts try to identify this little guy and they are stumped. I took this picture of this bug crawling along on a sunny morning after a cool night around freezing temps in the month of October in Tennessee in the Big South Fork. If you zoom up on it, you’ll just see a mix of organic, strange looking shapes that don’t seems to show anything recognizable. Belive me, it was a bug crawling along. It was very small at a quarter inch or less in size.
Signature: maxpatch67

Lacewing Larva

Hi maxpatch67,
This is the larva of a Lacewing, sometimes called an Aphid Wolf.  Many predatory Lacewing Larvae cover themselves with debris, including the carcasses of prey, to help protect and camouflage themselves.  If you look closely on the left side of the the creature, you can make out its mandibles protruding from beneath the cover of debris.

HUGE Spider
Location: Guangzhou, South China
November 27, 2010 11:17 am
Joe writing from South China. I assume you’ve been busy as I didn’t get a reply to my last question, but I’ve since found out it was a Bedstraw Hawkmoth caterpillar.
Any idea what this monster is? Is he dangerous?!
Signature: Joe

Huntsman Spider

Hi Joe,
This is a Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, or a very closely related species.  Because this species has increased its range worldwide by stowing away on banana shipments, it is commonly found in port cities with warmer climates worldwide.  We have read conflicting information on its actual region of origin.  Some sources claim Asia and others Central America, but since the banana is originally from Asia, it is possible that the Huntsman Spider had already become naturalized in Central America during the heyday of the cultivation of bananas, after having been originally introduced when the plants were transported from Asia.

Saudi Beetle

Unknown Jewel Beetle

Saudi Beetle
Location: Khamis Mushayt/Abha, Saudi Arabia
November 27, 2010 5:17 am
My coworkers and I found this outside our shop and were wanting to know what this is, we have seen many bugs before and this is a new one. Its about 2 inches long, iridescent, large eyes, short antaneeas, and yellow and black stripes on the underside. It was found in Khamis Mushayt/Abha Region of Saudi Arabia.
Signature: Jeremy

Unknown Jewel Beetle

Hi Jeremy,
This is a Metallic Wood Boring Beetle or Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae.  We will try to do additional research to see if we are able to provide a species identification as well.

Unknown Jewel Beetle

Update: November 28, 2010
Hi Daniel:
I found a little time today so I though I would catch up on my favourite website.  I think this is another one of those large and spectacular Jewel Beetles in the genus Steraspis (Buprestidae: Chrysochroinae). I believe this one is probably Steraspis speciosa. Except for the colour, it is quite similar to S. squamosa that appeared on WTB? on September 7, 2010. In response to that posting I provided a link to an excellent paper by Gianfranco Curletti (2009), which provides numerous excellent photos and an identification key in English (unfortunately the rest of the paper is in Italian). Using Jeremy’s excellent photos I was able to follow the key to S. speciosa arabica (look for Figure 11 at the end of the paper), which appears to be endemic to the Arabian Peninsula. The closely related S. speciosa speciosa occurs across Saharan Africa in is a vivid green.  Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much for all your extensive research Karl.