From the yearly archives: "2012"

Subject: Weird bug.
Location: Texas
December 30, 2012 6:59 pm
Found this little guy on my sons binoculars. Grossed me out. I’ve never seen a bug like this. I asked friends and family if they’d ever seen a bug like this and they all said no. I would live to know what kind if bug was on my 6 yr olds binoculars. This was not in our house, thank goodness.
Signature: Becca

Lacewing Larva

Dear Becca,
This is the larva of a Lacewing, and it is considered a beneficial predator that can help control Aphids and other garden pests.  We have personal knowledge that the bite of a Lacewing Larva, while not dangerous to humans, will result in an itchy annoyance for several days.

Subject: Bug stick on my leg returning from costa rica
Location: Guanacaste, Costa Rica
December 31, 2012 3:22 pm
I returned from costa rica yesterday, and that bug was stick hard to my leg.
Mesuring about half of a centimeter.
We did a lot of hiking in the guanacaste region. Just want to ensure that it is not dangerous.
Thanks a lot
Signature: email


This is a Tick.  Ticks are blood suckers that are known to spread pathogens.  Some Ticks are disease vectors like the Deer Ticks of North America that spread Lyme Disease.  You might want to seek professional help if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Subject: Small bug in Canada
Location: Canada
December 31, 2012 2:45 pm
I just spotted this bug crawling on my shirt (ugh). My shirt was just taken out of my closet. I’m located in Ontario, Canada where the temperatures are quite cold right now. Never seen a bug like this before, so am hoping you can help identify it. Sorry for the low-quality pictures…we took the bug off and it crawled onto bubble wrap.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!
Signature: An


Dear An,
We just finished posting another Pseudoscorpion submission and you can read about this harmless and beneficial predator in that posting.

Subject: Tiny with large pinchers/antannae
Location: Rhinelander, WI
December 30, 2012 10:24 pm
I found this on the wall in a cabin in northern Wisconsin. I was struck by the large pincer/antannae-like things in front. It was about 1-2mm minus the long things. Does anyone have any idea what it is? I don’t know much about bugs, but no one in my family had ever seen anything quite like it before. Thanks!
Signature: KO


Dear KO,
This is a harmless Pseudoscorpion
  Pseudoscorpions are not considered Household Pests.  They are generally outdoor creatures, but since they are so small, they are rarely noticed outside.  Only when they enter homes do they become more visible.  They can survive indoors where they feed on a variety of unwanted Household Pests like cockroaches and other undesirable intruders, so they can be considered beneficial.  Unlike their namesakes, Pseudoscorpions do not possess venom and they pose no threat to humans, pets or household furnishings.

Thanks for taking the time to reply! Happy New Year!

Subject: Worms on trunk of citrus tree
Location: Central coast of Mexico
December 30, 2012 11:23 pm
These worms all line up next to eachother and stick together making a wide band around the trunk of my citrus trees. They move at night and eat leaves off the tree leaving the branches leafless. The pictures show small ones, but sometimes they’re as long as 2” or more.
Signature: Dobie

Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars, possibly

Dear Dobie,
We believe these are early instar Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars,
Papilio anchisiades.  The species is common in Mexico, and its caterpillars are feed on citrus and are social, most likely for protection.  Butterflies of America has nice images of the life cycle of this lovely butterfly. 

Hi Dan,
Yes, the first photo in the link shows them exactly the way they look here. The butterflies are very common here. I’ve seen lots of them, and also the tiger swallowtail. It’s nice to learn how the butterflies start out and what they change into. Fascinating. Thank you so much for your quick reply and your wonderful website!
Happy New Year,

Subject: what is this bug?
Location: St Lucia, Kwazulu Natal, East Coast, South Africa
December 31, 2012 12:36 pm
I found this on a walk through a butterfly santuary
Signature: any

Unknown Robber Fly

Dear any,
You submitted two nearly identical emails, and on the first you stated:  “I found it inside a butterfly dome.”  Between your two emails, we are concluding that this was an enclosed structure with butterflies, in which case this unknown Robber Fly might present a bit of a problem.  Robber Flies are predators that take prey on the wing, and we suspect this individual might be preying upon butterflies in the enclosure.  We haven’t been able to identify which species of Robber Fly this is, but hopefully we will eventually be able to provide a species.