From the yearly archives: "2010"

Florida Cat Tick
Location: Tampa, Florida
December 27, 2010 12:27 pm
Hi. I live in Tampa, Florida, near the Lutz-Tampa County Line Road. For the last 2 months we’ve seen a whole bunch of these ticks on our outdoor cat (his chin and neck) but we bring him inside when the night-time weather will be below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.78 Celsius) so he’s spent a lot of time inside lately because its been a cold winter. He brought some in with him. I just pulled a fat blood-engorged one off our strictly indoor cat and was wondering if it could have caused her recent FUO (fever of unknown origin). Her temp fluctuated between 101.3 and 105.2 F (38.5-40.67 C) for a week and a half. Fever, and the lethargy and appetite loss that accompany it, were her only symptoms. I took her to the vet when the fever got dangerously high (seizures and brain damage high); a round of antibiotics helped her beat it. (P.S. Normally a cat’s temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 F or 38-39.16 C, and I didn’t take her sooner because I knew techniques to ke ep her hydrated and get her to eat.)
It doesn’t look like (basic body shape) the tick pics I’ve seen. Its legs all seem to be in the front, near its head, instead of spread out across the body. I was thinking maybe it is not in the adult stage. Also, its blood sac was more dark brown before I put it in rubbing alcohol (now it’s tan/yellow). Its body is soft, not hard.
The squares of the graph paper are 5 mm x 5 millimeters.
Also, I would like to know what you think about HOW I removed the tick. I followed the instructions here.
The directions say to rub the tick in a circular motion like you’re trying to make it dizzy. I tried it and the tick released after about ten seconds. It worked BEAUTIFULLY!
Unfortunately, one of the site comments discouraged this technique, as annoying a tick with rubbing alcohol, vaseline, matches, or squeezing (and apparently spinning) can make the tick spit/regurgitate into the bloodstream some nasty, harmful pathogens. What do you think? (I think that the spinning technique works so fast that even if it is an irritant that could make them spit, they release so quickly that they don’t have a chance to.)
I’d really like to ID the tick because my brother thinks my cat is starting to act lethargic again.
Also, (SORRY) if I want to store the tick, in case my cat DOES get sick again, so that the tick can be tested for diseases. Do I leave it in rubbing alcohol or put it in something else, because I saw on a CSI episode that they couldn’t do a DNA test on a severed head because it had been transported/preserved in formaldehyde.
Signature: Katie Kitty


Dear Katie Kitty,
We are very reluctant to give medical advice, and that includes advice for pets as well as people.  We would strongly suggest that you consult with a veterinarian regarding your questions.  We can tell you that Ticks are known carriers of pathogens including Lyme Disease.  We imagine that preserving a Tick in rubbing alcohol may render any testing for pathogens unreliable.  We believe this may be a Black Legged Tick or Deer Tick,
Ixodes scapularis, based on an image posted to BugGuide.


australian sparkly bug
Location: Victoria, Australia
December 26, 2010 8:21 pm
hi, thanks for the great site. Here’s a bug from Victoria, Australia (outer northeastern suburbs of Melbourne). It’s the sparkliest bug I’ve ever seen but I have no idea what it is!
Signature: Ophelia

Checkered Beetle

Hi Ophelia,
Our initial search of the Insects of Brisbane website did not produce any potential identification, but we will continue to research this query.  Your beetle somewhat resembles the Checkered Beetles in the family Cleridae, so we are linking to the Superfamily Cleroidea on BugGuide.  This really is a pretty little beetle.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some assistance.

Mardikavana who frequently assists in the identification of Beetles, has provided a comment indicating that this is a False Blister Beetle in the family Oedemeridae.  BugGuide has information on the family.  The Brisbane Insect website indicates that the family are known as Pollen Feeding Beetles.  The Life Unseen website does not identify this species among the members of the family Oedemeridae that are represented on the site.

wow – thanks for the quick reply. I’d never seen anything quite so
sparkly in beetle form.  I’m in Victoria rather than brisbane, way
down south-east.

Update: January 5, 2010
A new comment just arrived that contradicts the False Blister Beetle identification and which agrees with our initial Checkered Beetle ID.  We found a link on Flickr (and a second on Flickr) that supports the Checkered Beetle ID as well as a different species from the genus on Oz Animals.

Help identifying a bug please
Location: Seattle WA
December 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Hi bugman,
I found these bugs underneath our bed while we were cleaning the house. They look like worms and they move by extending something from one end of their body and pulling themselves forward. Do you know what they are? My wife is freaking about this discovery.
Signature: Aaron

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Aaron,
This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva in the subfamily Tineinae, and we believe it is a Casemaking Clothes Moth,
Tinea pellionella.  According to BugGuide, they:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper. Judging by the quantity of pet hair in your photo, they have an ample food supply.  Vacuuming under the bed more regularly to control pet hair should reduce the number of Case Bearing Moth Larvae you find in your home.

Thank you for the quick response Daniel, you’re awesome! 🙂 I’ll be making a donation to your website!
-Aaron K.

North eastern PA
Location: north eastern pennsylvania
December 27, 2010 10:03 am
i have repeatidly found this bug in the curtins over my windows. that seems to be the only place i ever find them. i have found over 10 of them this fall season. all in the curtins over the windows.
Signature: any way

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear any way,
This is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug,
Halyomorpha halys, an agricultural pest from Asia that was accidentally introduced to North America in Allentown, PA, according to BugGuide.  The species has spread to many surrounding states as well as the West Coast.  According to BugGuide, it feeds upon “Mostly fruits and other crops. Considered a major agricultural pest in Asia, with potential for causing significant damage to crops in the United States. BugGuide also indicates:  “may invade homes in the winter by the hundreds” where they become a nuisance, though they will not actually damage the home or its contents and they are not dangerous to humans or pets.

Big Insect in Mexico

Tarantula Hawk

Big Insect in Mexico
Location: Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico
December 26, 2010 3:08 pm
We were staying on the 11th floor in a condo in Mazatlan when we were watching T.V. and it sounded like a small plane flew into the room. Big bug scared the family. It has some similarities to a hornet, but don’t know?
Signature: TobyZ

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Toby,
We believe this is a Tarantula Hawk, a Spider Wasp in the genus
Pepsis.  Most of the members of the genus have metallic blue-black bodies and bright orange wings, but there are a few species with black wings including Pepsis mexicana.  BugGuide has several images of Pepsis mexicana, including one that has a nice series of comments. Over the years, we have gotten many photos of insects and arachnids with very unusual choices of objects included for scale, but this is the first time a gallon of milk has been used to illustrate the size of a creature.

Tarantula Hawk

Whats for supper?
Location: Coal Creek, Queens County, New Brunswick
December 9, 2010 5:24 pm
Hi, I found a Goldenrod Crab Spider on a lilac bush with another bug clasped in its jaws. Is the Goldenrod’s prey a Hummingbird Moth? If so do you know what species it is?
Signature: Christophe

Crab Spider eats Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Christophe,
We went back through some old mail today to try to answer a few questions we did not respond to this past month and we came across you awesome photograph.  We are guessing that this photo was taken some time before it was submitted because lilacs bloom in the spring.  The Crab Spider has captured a much larger Clearwing Moth in the genus
Hemaris, and we believe it is the Hummingbird Clearing, Hemaris thysbe.  You can compare your image to the photographs posted on the Sphingidae of the Americas Website.