From the monthly archives: "November 2010"

Poor Shelob
Location: Knoxville, TN
November 25, 2010 8:24 pm
So the other night I was halfway into a nice dream about a college grant when I heard my younger tweenaged sister screaming bloody murder in her room. I dashed into her room to find her cowering in the corner and shaking one of her crutches (she’d broken her leg the preivious thursday,) at the blinds. After dashing back to my room to get my glasses (I’m VERY nearsighed,) I got to behold THIS huge bugger. I got her camera from her dresser and this is the only shot I got of him. I told Emmers not to swat at it, being an avid spider lover (I own a very sweet rosy-toed tarantula, whom I love dearly and whom my sister wishes to coat with Raid,) and I rushed to Google the big boi. I got about three minutes to search before I heard a screech and several thwacking sounds coming from Emily’s room; the spider had apparantally made a dash for the closet after Emily had tossed a shoe at it. When I arrived, I found the poor arachnid squished into paper form. I gave him a tiny burial beside my Aloe plant and gave him a little cardboard headstone, which I marked ”Shelob”, before going back to bed. I then found this website and decided to ask what kind of spider he is. I’m assuming it’s some kind of wolf spider. As much as I like spiders, I’m not too familiar with the different spieces.
Signature: Lexie Bee

Huntsman Spider

Dear Lexie,
We believe you encountered an introduced Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, though BugGuide only reports it from the extreme southern states of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.  This spider, which is believed to have spread to many warm port cities around the world because of stowing away on banana shipments, has even been reported in northern climates before the quality control on banana shipments was improved.  You can compare your image to this one on BugGuide or this one on a forum.

The Curious World of Bugs

Black Friday:  November 26, 2010
Daniel’s book has been on the shelves for just over a month and a half.  Have you had a chance to read The Curious World of Bugs, yet? If so, please consider writing a review on
The more reviews that there are, the more ‘interesting’ it is to various people, search engines, etc.

what is it
Location: Perth Western Australia
November 24, 2010 7:51 pm
Found this bug in the office. none of us know what it is. It was about 1.5cm long and about 1cm wide. it was tapping its fury back things. Can you tell us what bug it is?
Signature: Victoria

Feather Legged Assassin Bug

Dear Victoria,
We believe it is a Leaf Footed Bug, but it has several features that are unlike any Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae that we are familiar with.  First off, it has antennae that can be described as plumose (see BugGuide on Antennae Forms) and the BugGuide page on Plumose Antennae pictures some examples, but no True Bugs.  The enlarged portions of the tibiae also appear to be fringed.  We had no luck locating anything even remotely similar on the Brisbane Insect Coreid Page.  Meanwhile we are posting and featuring your unusual insect in the hope that either we or one of our readers will be able to provide an identification for you.

Correction: November 27, 2010
Thanks to a comment by lttlechkn, this fascinating anomaly has been identified as a Feather Legged Assassin Bug or Ant Assassin,
Ptilocnemus lemur.  Our observations about the unusual morphology of this creature remain because the antennae and tibiae are highly unusual for Assassin Bugs as well as Coreid Bugs.  We apologize profusely to lttlechkn for falsely identifying this as a Leaf Footed Bug which prolonged the actual identification.

Arizona Spider
Location: Prescott, AZ
November 25, 2010 10:03 am
My son in Prescott AZ saw this spider wandering around the kitchen. Two days later it was in the bathroom. He took this photo before putting it outside. There are so many variations of spiders we have not been able to ID it, but think it is perhaps a Wolf spider or a baby Tarantula.
The weather is starting to get cold in Prescott, so the spider was probably looking for a warmer area.
Signature: Jim W

Giant Crab Spider

Hi Jim,
Your spider is a perfect visual match to an image we located on BugGuide that is identified as a Giant Crab Spider in the genus
Olios that is also from Arizona, but it is not identified to the species level.  The following remark was recently posted to the genus page on BugGuide:  “Olios  The genus Olios is in need of a major revision. Most of the described western species were written up over 75 years ago and there has never been a comprehensive review of the genus. Additionally,there are apparently numerous undescribed species in various collections. So, for now, the safest thing is to leave it Olios sp.  … R.J. Adams, 17 October, 2010 – 12:48pm.”  Giant Crab Spiders are also known as Huntsman Spiders.  They are hunting spiders that do not spin a web for snaring prey, and they also hunt by night.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
It is really considerate of you to spare some time to satisfy the curiosity of random strangers.
Jimmy said the spider was very handsome, and aggressive, too. When Jimmy moved the spider outside it stood up on it’s back legs and threatened him by waving the front legs at him.
Spunky little guy. Hopefully he will be OK outside.

Thought you might like the pics.

Immature Spiny Flower Mantis

Thought you might like the pics.
Location: Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
November 25, 2010 12:34 pm
I spotted this little critter sitting in a flower bush outside my backdoor. I believe its an Immature Spiny Flower Mantis (Pseudocreobotra Ocellata) – hope thats right! In one of the pics, its chewing on a bee! Beautiful little prey mantis.
Signature: Ryan

Immature Spiny Flower Mantis

Dear Ryan,
The Spiny Flower Mantis from South Africa is one of the most spectacular of the numerous Preying Mantis species found around the world, and we are lucky to be able to post your awesome photographs.  We are thrilled that we can also tag your letter as Food Chain because of the image where the immature Spiny Flower Mantis is feeding upon a bee.  We are not certain how to distinguish
Pseudocreobotra ocellata from Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii, and the Zooillogix website doesn’t provide any description.

Spiny Flower Mantis eats Bee

What is this?
Location: cocoa, fl
November 26, 2010 12:10 am
We found this the other day and it looks kinda like an ant of some sort then it flew away…
Signature: huh?

Checkered Beetle

Dear huh?,
You encountered a Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae, and it appears to be
Enoclerus ichneumoneus based on an image we matched on BugGuideThe family page on BugGuide contains this information:  “predaceous on other insects, larvae mostly on wood- and cone-borers; some adults feed on pollen; a few species are scavengers.