From the monthly archives: "December 2011"

Bugs on Outside of home
Location: Central PA
December 4, 2011 12:36 pm
Hello, I have these little bugs all over the outside of my house. I am not sure what they are. There are a lot of them and I didn’t know if I should get them taken care of the issue or not. Thanks for your time.
Signature: Ryan Lucas

Small Winter Stonefly

Dear Ryan,
This is a Small Winter Stonefly in the family Capniidae and this past January, a submission from Pennsylvania was our featured Bug of the Month.  Small Winter Stoneflies, which are sometimes called Snowflies, will not harm your family nor your home.  They are harmless creatures that need fresh unpolluted water to survive, so their presence in large numbers is an indication that you have unpolluted running water nearby. 

Thank you for the quick response!!
It is good to know that these are safe bugs and that the stream nearby is not polluted.  It’s a great site you have and is very helpful.
Thanks again!!
Ryan Lucas

What is this?
Location: Alabama
December 2, 2011 10:19 pm
What kind of bug is this? I saw it in central Alabama – Cheaha State Park, about 2,000 ft elevation. It was crawling along the forest floor. It was about 3.5 inches long.
Signature: With Ink


Dear With Ink,
You have submitted a photograph of a Southern Two-Lined Walkingstick, Anisomorpha buprestoides, and it is also known by the common name Muskmare.  The name Muskmare refers to two characteristics of this species.  Adults are frequently found in a mating position with the diminutive male riding atop his mount.  The species is also capable of spraying a noxious substance with amazing accuracy, and there are reports that damage to the cornea can occur if the musky spray hits the eye.

Thanks!  I’m glad I didn’t get sprayed.

December 6, 2011
We just received a species correction that this is a Northern Two-Lined Walkingstick, not a Southern Two-Lined Walkingstick.  It is interesting that BugGuide does not recognize the common name Muskmare for either species or the genus.

Nasty Wasp
Location: Hawkesbury, Sydney, Australia
December 4, 2011 5:19 pm
Hello again,
Wondering if you can identify this wasp. Sorry the picture is not too clear, but these are aggressive wasps and they’re deep in a fairly dense garden. I didn’t want to get any closer or move the bushes around in case I provoked an attack. The nest is in a geranium bush, but quite low to the ground and is around 8-10cm across. The wasps themselves are about 2.5-3cm long. My boyfriend was gardening there and was stung on the knee when he accidentally disturbed them. The sting was extremely painful and shortly afterwards he came over very hot for a while. The sting area was painful for about 2 weeks.
We are in the Hawkesbury region, a rural area about an hour out of Sydney.
Signature: Tracy

Paper Wasps

Hi Tracy,
These are Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes.  They are not normally aggressive, but they will defend their nest.  We just finished posting another submission of Paper Wasps from Australia.

Location: key largo, fl
December 4, 2011 8:51 pm
Hey guys! Here’s a cool flattie spider hanging out on my bathroom wall. I live in key largo and I was wondering if I could get more specific species info from you 🙂
Signature: wheezy


Dear wheezy,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo.  From what we have been able to glean from BugGuide, Flatties are in the family Selenopidae, and new world species seem to all be classified in the genus
Selenops.  According to BugGuide, there are:  “7 species in BugGuide’s range (North America north of Mexico), but many species in Central America that can be possible imports.”  We are unable to provide you with an accurate species identification at the moment.

Wasp Nest.
Location: Nsw, Australia, Near the coast.
December 2, 2011 3:02 am
Hi. I thought you might like some pictures of what we’ve always called a paper wasp nest, although I don’t know if thats what they actually are. I was very frightened that they would fly at me and start stinging me every time the flash whent off. I hope you like the pictures.
Signature: Emma

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi Emma,
Thank you for braving danger to take photographs of these Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes working on constructing their nest.  Paper Wasps are not normally aggressive, however, they will defend the nest.  We believe, based on photos posted to the Brisbane Insect website, that your wasps might be the Common Paper Wasp or Australian Paper Wasp, Polistes humilis.  There is a page dedicated to the species on the Brisbane Insect website.

Paper Wasps and Nest

Hi! I think the reason they didn’t attack me is because it was a rainy day. They seemed to be sleeping, they weren’t moving much. Thanks for letting me know what they are! I’ve found three nests around the farm already, without even looking very hard.

Location: Dominical, Costa Rica
December 1, 2011 10:20 pm
This moth was found (already dead) in Dominical, Costa Rica. Which is on the central pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Is that large head a part of the moth? Something its emerging from? It is smaller than the body though.
Anyway, have been curious what this was.
Thank your for any help and your time.
Signature: Lenee

Peanut Headed Bug

Dear Lenee,
This interesting creature is a Peanut Headed Bug,
Fulgora laternaria, and it is not a moth, but rather one of the Planthoppers.  It is also known as a Lanternfly, a name that originated because it was believed erroneously that this species could glow in the dark.  You may read about this species on the MSU website.