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

Huntsman Spider?
Location: Okinawa, Japan
December 24, 2010 8:50 am
We have a lot of spiders like this in Okinawa, Japan. I believe it is a Huntsman, (family sparassidae), but I’m not sure. The spinnerets can be seen well, as can the eyes. What do you think?
Signature: Hooray for bugs!

Huntsman Spider

Your suspicion that this is a Huntsman Spider is correct.  It is probably Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has spread to many port towns because of the importation of bananas.  Natural Japan has a nice entry on this species.

Huntsman Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cold Honey Bee
Location: Missouri
December 24, 2010 1:34 am
I haven’t submitted anything in awhile…too busy and then it was too cold. I went looking for bugs this evening and found this Honey Bee holding on to our deck. I carefully moved it inside to a temporary studio I set up. I figured I’d try to get some really close shots and thought it was dead. As it warmed, it started to come back around and even stood up for the shot here. I promptly took a few images for a stack (5 in this image) and moved it back outside. Do you know if they hibernate or anything in the cold or does this guy face an inevitable doom in the near future?
Signature: Nathanael Siders

Honey Bee

Hi Nathanael,
We will try to answer you questions to the best of our ability.  During inclement weather, Honey Bees do not leave the hive.  During winter months in colder climates, Honey Bees will not leave the hive.  Your email did not indicate if there was snow on the ground, but on warm winter days, scouts might venture out to see if there is any food to be found.  We are not certain if staying in the hive through the winter constitutes hibernation.  Bees Online has this information:  “What do Honey Bees Do In The Cold Winter ?
Here in the Northeast of the United States it gets pretty cold in the winter. Honey Bees stop flying when the temperature drops down into the 50s (F). They stay inside their hive in what is called a winter cluster which means they get into a big huddle. There is no point to flying outside of the hive as there are no flowers in bloom, hence no pollen or nectar is available. The colder the temperature the more compact the cluster becomes.
The object of this clustering is to keep themselves warm, so warm that the temperature in the center of this cluster, where the Queen Bee stays, is kept at about 80 (F). The outer edge of the cluster is about 46 – 48 (F).
The worker bees create heat by shivering and they also move back and forth between the inner part of the cluster and the outer part. In this way no bee will freeze.
On nice sunny winter days you can see honey bees flying a short distance out of the hive and then quickly returning. Sometimes if they go too far out or stay out too long they can get chilled and will not be able to fly back into the hive. The object of these short flights is to eliminate body waste.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange Bug
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
December 24, 2010 5:59 am
We find a lot of these dead bugs in my entrance hall every morning. The only one that was still alive was battling to walk, flopping over, before it died. They look like an overgrown flee or a type of prawn. We live on the side of a high hill.
Signature: Maurae Wooding

Lawn Shrimp

Hi Maurae,
This is a Lawn Shrimp or House Hopper, a terrestrial Amphipod that is native to Australia, but which has been introduced to other regions including South Africa, New Zealand, Florida and California.  They can become quite plentiful in cultivated gardens where they go unnoticed, but after a heavy rain, they seek dry shelter, often indoors, where they promptly die and come to the attention of the human residents.  Though they are a nuisance when they enter the home, they are basically a benign species.

Hi Daniel
Thank you so much, that really explains exactly what we are seeing.
We have been having a lot of rain lately especially at night and have had a lot of millipedes, centipedes and earth worms coming in due to the wet but those are all still alive so we can rescue them and return them to a drier spot in the garden, I could not understand why the Lawn scrimps were all dead or dying.
Thank you for a wonderful website and your quick and helpful response.
kind regards
Maurae Wooding

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this bug?
Location: Sydney, Australia
December 23, 2010 10:20 am
Hi there,
I live in Sydney, Australia. We’ve been getting these bugs under our sofa but have never seen a live one. Usually notice them on the tiles in the morning. They’re about 5-10mm in length.
Any ideas?
Signature: Laura

Lawn Shrimp

Hi Laura,
This is a Lawn Shrimp or House Hopper, a terrestrial Amphipod that often enters homes after a heavy rain.  Your letter is of especial interest to us as Australia is the native habitat of the Lawn Shrimp.  The species has been introduced to other regions including southern California and in the past week, because of the heavy rains in the area, we have been inundated with identification requests from California where the species is considered to be an introduced annoyance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Blue beetle with orange legs
Location: Austin, tx
December 24, 2010 3:51 pm
Hi Bugman!
This beetle was found in Austin TX in the middle of June (mid to upper 90-degree weather) in our elm tree. He was moving very slowly and didn’t look like he was doing well (moving very slowly as if sick). He’s about an inch long.
Signature: Kris

Bumelia Borer

Dear Kris,
Most of the images we receive of the Bumelia Borer,
Plinthocoelium suaveolens, are a beautiful metallic green rather than blue, but BugGuide indicates that it is a variable species that can be “metallic green, blue, or bronze. Femora red.

Bumelia Borer

Rock on! Thanks for the quick response. He’s pretty much the coolest bug we’ve ever seen. Hopefully we’ll see more of them this summer.
Merry Christmas!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Crematogaster Ants on Whistling Thorn
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
December 23, 2010 1:25 pm
Hi Daniel,
One of the favourite stories field guides love to tell guests here in Kenya is about the mutualistic relationship between Crematogaster sp. ants and the Whistling Thorn (Acacia drepanolobium). The tree provides a home for the ants in its bloated, hollow galls (see picture), and the ants provide protection from herbivores (often Giraffe) by attacking the herbivore when it comes to feed on the tree.
One just has to brush past the tree to get the ants excited and running around like crazy.
However, a while ago, I found a very interesting article showing that the relationship may not be completely mutualistic. Go to the following link and scroll down to the yellow box titled: ”Whistling Thorn Symbiosis May Be One-Sided” http://waynesword.palomar.edu/acacia.htm
Whatever the case, it’ll never cease to fascinate me!
Signature: Zarek

Crematogaster Ants

Hi Again Zarek,
You sure are keeping us busy posting all of your awesome images from Kenya.  Thanks for the image of the
Crematogaster Ants as well as the link and the personal observations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination