From the monthly archives: "April 2012"

8 legs Plus pinchers?
Location: SE PA, 20 miles west of Philadelphia, 15 miles north of Wilm, DE
April 29, 2012 9:34 pm
Found on shower wall. Body width about 1mm. Shown with 1.75” safety pin, about 1/4” showing. Width of pin about 0.95mm.
Signature: Shower Psycho


Dear Shower Psycho,
You have discovered a Pseudoscorpion, a harmless arachnid that has no venom unlike its stinging namesake.  Pseudoscorpions are cosmopolitan in distribution and they are rarely noticed because of their tiny size.  They use their claws to capture prey, and they are beneficial predators.  They can also use their claws to attach themselves to larger flying insects that they use to transport them to new feeding grounds, a phenomenon known as phoresy.  Since it is the end of the month, we need to select a Bug of the Month for May, and we are choosing your submission.

Something like a Crowned Slug Caterpillar?
Location: Rolla, MO
April 29, 2012 11:49 pm
There were several of these on the Chinese lantern plant I purchased last year. I thought I’d removed them all, only to find they had multiplied and prospered at the expense of my plant while I was on vacation last year. The neat thing about them is that they carry some sort of baggage! They usually have it settled across their back, but sometimes carry it up high in the air. Perhaps they’re trying to camouflage to look like some sort of excrement?
Signature: Michelle Nash, Rolla, MO

Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Michelle,
You are being troubled by the larvae of a Tortoise Beetle, most likely a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  These beetles feed on plants in the tomato family including Chinese Lantern.  You may also compare your photo to this image posted to BugGuide.  Your observation about the baggage is correct.  According to the Featured Creatures website:  “The larva is a typical tortoise beetle type, but very unlike most other beetle larvae. The last abdominal segment has a special “fecal fork” which permits the attachment of dried fecal matter. This fecal mass is carried over the dorsum in the same form as “trash bugs” (Neuroptera), and presumably offers a degree of protection through camouflage. The body is green, flattened, and almost entirely fringed with whitish multispiculate projections.”

cool bug
Location: Central Iowa
April 29, 2012 7:24 pm
Hey! My son spotted this ”June-Bug” looking bug on our patio here in Central Iowa. I picked it up & it froze up & played dead. It left a pretty potent stench on my fingers…like manure. Can you help me out on the name? I called it ”April”.
Signature: Melissa & Blaedyn

Burying Beetle

Hi Melissa & Blaedyn,
You have discovered a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  With the exception of social insects that form an organized colony like Ants, Bees, Wasps and Termites, Burying Beetles exhibit among the greatest parental care in the insect world.  A pair of Burying Beetles will work together to locate and bury a small animal carcass, like that of a bird, mouse or other small vertebrate.  They then guard the carcass with the eggs and developing larvae and they even feed their brood regurgitated carrion.  You may read more about Burying Beetles on BugGuide.

carnivorous cricket ???
Location: caprock canyon stae park ,texas
April 28, 2012 10:22 pm
We were camping in caprock canyon state park in Texas for the fourth of July weekend in 2010 when we found these bugs. We were catching them and using them for bait. On the last day there we noticed one attacking a grasshoppers and eat it.
We were very shocked to see it do that and have been trying to figure out what they are ever since.
Signature: curiously, Amanda

Shieldback Katydid

Dear Amanda,
What you believe to be a Cricket is actually a Katydid.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can identify the species.

Piotr Naskrecki provides an identification
Hi Daniel,
The poor katydid held by his legs and looked upon disapprovingly is Pediodectes, almost certainly P. haldemani. The short winged katydids are Dichopetala, but it is impossible to say which species from the photo (and the male is still a nymph.)

Thank you Piotr.  According to BugGuide, they will prey upon other insects:  “Omnivorous, will eat plants, carrion, and will catch and eat smaller animals. Often come to lights at night to hunt.”

general info on this bug
Location: central valley in Atwater, ca
April 29, 2012 2:04 pm
Can u please help on general info on this bug???? thank you…
Signature: I took this picture

Red Shouldered Bug

Your insects are Red Shouldered Bugs, Jadera haematoloma, and they sometimes appear in great numbers.  You can get additional information on BugGuide.

What kind of spider?
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
April 29, 2012 1:25 pm
Dear Bugman, We found this spider in a plastic bag in a drawer. Can you identify it? Many thanks!
Signature: Jacob Adler

Nursery Web Spider

Hi Jacob,
The manner in which this spider keeps its front legs together as well as the general shape of the spider indicates it is a Nursery Web Spider,
Pisaurina mira.  The markings are atypical of most images of this species we receive, however, there is a photo on BugGuide that matches your individual.