From the monthly archives: "May 2012"

Subject: What is Simon?
Location: Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK
May 28, 2012 6:15 am
Simon was found flying around a light last night. Presume he came in the open window from the nearby woods. We lost him for a bit but found him this morning in the cats’ water bowl.
Signature: McSpuddles


Dear McSpuddles,
This is the third request we have received this week from the UK to identify a Cockchafer.  We only posted one other one.  Cockchafers are a species of Scarab Beetle and they are also called May Bugs because of their seasonal appearance.  They are attracted to lights as your letter indicates.

Subject: Wolf or Fishing Spider
Location: north of Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2012 6:52 am
Dear Bugman. This beauty showed up on my parents’ porch in Western PA, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. No water sources nearby, but it’s much larger (and seemed a slightly different shape) than the wolf spiders I’me familiar with in this area. Possibly a fishing spider out looking for prey, since it’s been so dry around here lately? Regardless, after it sat for it’s portrait, we just let it sit there, despite my mom’s dismay.
Signature: Jeff

Fishing Spider

Hi Jeff,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  Though they prefer to live near water, it isn’t always the case.

Subject: Unknown PA flies
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2012 8:51 am
So there are these flies in the back yard and we can’t figure out what they are. They look a bit like deer flies, but have this really bright yellow gold furry thorax. Then we found two engaged in — um — adult activities and it looks like the males and females have different coloring. They are about 3/4 inch long. Any idea what kind of flies these are? Thanks!
Signature: Jeff

Mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies

Hi Jeff,
Your photograph is of mating Golden Backed Snipe Flies,
Chrysopilus thoracicus, and each spring we get a few identification requests and they are often of mating pairs.  According to BugGuide:  “Life Cycle Details unknown. This fly is observed in early to mid-spring perched quietly on low vegetation in deciduous woodlands.”

Subject: At a loss.
Location: Western kentucky/Owensboro area
May 24, 2012 10:27 am
Dear bugman,
Typically your site reveals the answer to my bug question but this time I am stuck. I have looked for three days on What’s that Bug and cannot find the mystery bug that keeps returning to my screen door. I thought it was a beetle because it seemed to have lightning bug qualities *note I am a novice but a good researcher*. Here is a picture. Picture 1.
Picture 2-I have also included the Luna Moth that was here on the same screen door a few weeks ago just for your pleasure.
Thanks and your website is so valuable best on the net!
Signature: Jenn N Kentucky

Banded Hickory Borer

Hi Jenn,
The end of the week was a bit rough for us, and we are trying to answer and post as many letters as possible, hence the tardiness of our reply.  This pretty beetle is one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  After a bit of searching, we identified it as the Banded Hickory Borer,
Knulliana cincta thanks to the BugGuide archive.

Subject: unknown bugs
Location: Belleville Ontario Canada
May 23, 2012 7:41 pm
Hi, i found these 2 bugs in my wood pile do you know what they are? and would they sting you?
Signature: thanks Pam

Stump Stabbers: Giant Ichneumons

Hi Pam,
This is a marvelous photo of two female Giant Ichneumons in the genus
Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus, and they are using their lengthy ovipositors to lay eggs beneath the surface of these stumps.  The larval Giant Ichneumons parasitize the larvae of a Wood Wasp known as the Pigeon Horntail.  Giant Ichneumons are also commonly called Stump Stabbers.  They will not sting you, however, we concede that it is possible that if they are carelessly handled, the ovipositor might pierce the skin.

Megarhyssa macrurus females ovipositing

Subject: Ecuadorian Crab Spider
Location: Ecuadorian Amazonia
May 23, 2012 4:47 pm
Last year I posted an image of this species looking for an identification. In April I was back in Ecuadorian Amazonia and I spotted another of these beautiful orange spiders with bluish legs. My guide, a Shuar indian, said it was a crab spider. This was one of your answers in 2011. I was able to capture the eyes this time.
Signature: John R. Anderson

Orange Huntsman Spider

Hi John,
We will link to your original posting.  We decided to do some additional research.  First we located this YouTube video identified as being in the family Sparassidae, the Giant Crab Spiders.  Then we located this photo on FlickR identified as a Wandering Spider in the family Ctenidae.  Then we found this FlickR image identified as a Giant Crab Spider in the genus
Sadala, and finally, we found the same photo with the same identification on FlickRiver as part of the Bigal River Conservation Project in Northeast Ecuador. 

Did you reach a conclusion?
One problem in the jungle is the lack of good reference materials. An anima’ls name could be passed from one guide to the next (or one generation to the next) with no way to verify the knowledge. When one uses a term like “wandering spider” it seems very general.
In the end, this is one of the most beautiful spiders I have ever encountered. Just curious.
John R. Anderson

Hi again John,
We are more inclined to speculate that it is the Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider family Sparassidae.  As far as verifying the genus
Sadala goes, both sources can be traced to the same original so there is no verification.  In our opinion, you should seek assistance from an expert if you want to confirm any identification.

Karl provides some information
Hi Daniel and John:
Since this lovely spider has made another appearance on your site I felt compelled to give it another go. It is not difficult to find images of this spider on the internet but finding information that is useful for identification purposes has proven to be very frustrating. In addition to the three possible families that have already been mentioned in this and the previous post I also found one site with two photos that looked like they were probably of the same spider, but suggesting it was a Running Crab Spider (Philodromidae). I chose to ignore it and pressed on. I eventually came up with genus Olios, a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae (by the way the eyes in this second posting do look like Sparassidae to me). You can check out online photos identified as Olios sp. here, here, and here. I found several others as well but I was having trouble with the hyperlinks. I checked out several spider lists for Ecuador and it appears that there are two species of Olios in Ecuador, O. corallinus and O. niveomaculatus, but I could find no photos or useful information for either. Until you get confirmation from a real expert, I hope this helps more than it confuses.  Regards.  Karl

Thanks for your research Karl.