From the yearly archives: "2012"

Subject: Creature from Italy
Location: Rome (Italy)
December 29, 2012 5:07 am
Hi bugman,
My sister found this creature on her balcony. Looks like a slug, but I have never seen one with this head. It looks like an alligator or a dragon.
Do you know what this is?
Thank you, as always, for your help!
Signature: Saverio


Hi Saverio,
You should have trusted your instincts.  This really is a Slug, and we are very curious how it got up to your sister’s balcony as they like to maintain contact with damp earth.  We love the Happy New Year greeting.

Location: Houston Tx
December 28, 2012 12:00 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this guy in my sink. As soon as i noticed it was there it ran and hid in the crevice under the countertop. I was only able to get a picture of the back end of the spider because of its stealthiness. Please help me identify what kind of spider it is because I am mostly worried it may be some kind of widow spider. I have 3 children in the house that I have to keep away from my bathroom area for fear of getting bit.
Signature: Thank you ever so kindly. Iris S.

Ant Mimic Spider

Dear Iris,
This is a harmless Ant Mimic Spider in the genus
Castianeira.  You can verify the ID on BugGuide.

Subject: Skull butt Grasshopper?
Location: Malaysia
December 28, 2012 8:57 am
I’ve only seen one reference to a grasshopper with this Skull butt name and with similar markings from someone else online but I’ve not been able to see a second ref to confirm what I photographed. I’m curious if this is the correct name and if there is a scientific name for this guy. He was photographed in the Malaysian highlands meaning cool temps and drizzly weather. He was alone and completely still.
Signature: David

Monkey Grasshopper

Dear David,
We did a bit of research and found a matching photo on FlickR that was identified as a Monkey Grasshopper in the family Eumastacidae.  There was a link included another FlickR posting identified as being in the genus
Erianthus.  Since we do not like taking for fact any information we find on FlickR, we then researched that genus name and found another photo on Wild Borneo.

Thank you so much for the ID and for sharing your search method.

Subject: Small bug found inside
Location: Tulsa, OK
December 28, 2012 1:21 am
We live in Tulsa, OK and today I found this small bug. His body was perhaps 1/4” long. And no, we do not have a live Xmas tree.
Thanks for your help identifying this visitor!
Signature: Trixie in Tulsa

Cockroach Nymph

Dear Trixie in Tulsa,
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have an immature Cockroach.  Since it is not mature, you do not have to worry about it reproducing, however, it may have siblings or parents also living in your home.  It appears from your second photo that the Cockroach is contemplating a dash into the kitchen where there is food stored, no doubt.

Cockroach Nymph

We have been fighting the cockroaches for months thanks to some trashy neighbors, but this one looks different than the others.  Also, we haven’t seen any roaches for several weeks so we were sort of hoping we were finished with them!

Subject: Unidentified wasp?
Location: Southeastern Ohio
December 27, 2012 10:28 am
This pollinator appeared for only a few days, feeding on the sedum in my garden in southeastern Ohio. Have not been able to find a photo of this particular critter. Maybe not a wasp?
Signature: Toni Leland

Four Toothed Mason Wasp

Dear Toni,
Since we just learned that nearly a foot of snow has been dumped on eastern Ohio, we suspect this is not a real recent photo.  If possible, can you let us know which month the sighting occurred?  This is a Four Toothed Mason Wasp,
Monobia quardidens, and according to BugGuide it is “Usually seen in open habitats with flowers” just as your email and photo indicates.  BugGuide also notes it:  “Usually nests in wood borings, but sometimes burrows in dirt banks. Sometimes takes over abandoned nests of carpenter bees or ground bees, also Sceliphron (mud dauber) cells. Nest is provisioned with caterpillars, and cells of nest are separated by mud partitions.” 

I am no longer in Ohio, thank goodness! Yes, lots of snow, and yes, this photo was taken in September of 2010.
Thanks very much for the ID. I do a lot of work with gardening sites and need to be as detailed as possible with my photos.
Toni Leland

Subject: FUngus
Location: San Diego
December 27, 2012 12:49 am
I have this on wall in basement garage on cement and something similar came up in sink perfectly round as it must have been packed in pipe. I know you are bug folks but you did have a fungus link too. I also was thinking it was a larvae issue possibly as I have had what looks to be caddisfly or fungus gnat and fruit fly
the picture of what looks like headless shrimp isnt clear but the shape may offer clue
I also know pic isn’t perfectly clear but any advice would be helpful if this helps, the ramp on other side of the basement wall at night will grow algae and lichens through deteriorations Building was built in 2004 on site of a home built in the 20;s
Signature: Terence

I sent my pics to you but forgot to include this one. so I will resend all three. One is on garage basement wall the other washed up in sink in kitchen and other i thought you could have idea of what it may be.. i know none are perfect pictures but even a guess so I know how to proceed I had caught a caddisfly in my bathroom which i thought was odd and lots of tiny little flies some fruit. also on other side of the garage wall picture where its growing on or through cement is the driveway to underground garage and has many deteriorating holes growing algae and lichens at night
Signature: Terence

Termite Damage, we suspect

Hi Terence,
Thanks for sending the third photo.  As you indicate, all are out of focus, but the new photo does offer some clues.  We suspect this is Termite Damage.  If the foundation is damp, that would support the habitat for Termites.  We would recommend an inspection.  Here is a Stock PHoto of what Termite Damage can look like.  All that you have written supports Termite Damage as a strong possibility.

Thank you. I never thought about termites doing that.  I had same look in my AC vent intake.  It has similar look to some slime molds /lichens   I couldn’t think why it would wash up in chunk in my sink though
Thanks, Terence