From the monthly archives: "March 2014"

Subject: what’s this bug?
Location: CaboSan Lucas, Baja MEXICO
March 29, 2014 12:39 pm
I saw this human palm sized spider in Cabo San Lucas Baja Mexico in February.
can you identify?
Signature: Okienap

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Hi Okienap,
This male Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, is most likely originally from Central America, however, its range was greatly expanded to many warm climates with harbors because the Huntsman Spiders were transported with shipments of bananas, earning them the common name Banana Spider.  According to BugGuide:  “Can be swift and sometimes aggressive but not considered dangerously venomous to humans. May bite in self-defense if roughly handled; mildly painful bite (can be likened to a bee sting if spider injects venom).”  These Huntsman Spiders are frequently tolerated because they are nocturnal hunters that help to control cockroach populations.

Subject: Mystery Bug
Location: Northeast Kentucky
March 28, 2014 6:44 pm
I happened to see and capture a photo of this creature today (March 28, 2014). It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It was crawling up the block foundation of my house. I first thought it was a hellgrammite because there has been standing water underneath my house and from what I understand, hellgrammites are found in water. I most certainly don’t know enough to say for sure though. Any help with a true identification would be most appreciated.
Signature: Curious

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Dear Curious,
This is probably the larva of a Firefly, but we would not want to eliminate the possibility of it being the larva of a Net Winged Beetle, which you may view on BugGuide.

Subject: They’re everywhere!
Location: Central PA
March 28, 2014 12:41 pm
There are at least a dozen of these bugs hanging out on my front porch.. and they love to hitch a ride indoors by falling/jumping onto my clothes as I walk through the door. What are they?
Signature: Randi

Stonefly

Winter Stonefly

Dear Randi,
This is a Stonefly in the order Plecoptera, and it looks very similar to the Winter Stonefly in the genus
Taeniopteryx that is pictured on BugGuide.  The nymphs are aquatic, and according to BugGuide:  “nymphs of most spp. develop in cool, well-oxygenated water and do not tolerate pollution; therefore, their presence is an indicator of good water quality, and their absence in areas where they previously occurred may indicate pollution,” so you must have clean, unpolluted water nearby.

Subject: Spider in Ghana
Location: Accra, Ghana
March 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Just found this in a web in our backyard in Accra. Hopefully this is an interesting one for you as I’d appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks!
Signature: Accraexpat

Spiny Orbweaver

Spiny Orbweaver

Dear Accraexpat,
This is a Spiny Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  It looks very much like this image of
Gasteracantha curvispina that is pictured on Dijitalimaj.  There is another image on Wikipedia Commons.  Orbweavers are not considered dangerous, and though large specimens might bite a person if carelessly handled, they are very reluctant to bite.

Subject: Large spider from Fiji
Location: Namotu, Fiji
March 28, 2014 6:20 pm
My wife noticed this gigantic spider when she went to take a shower. After assuring that she was ok, I grabbed my camera. It was about 3 inches across.
Signature: Donald Gudehus

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Hi Donald,
This is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae.  Most are harmless, but there are some tropical species that are quite poisonous.  Ryan PHotographic has some images taken in Fiji.

Subject: screwworm?
Location: Oman
March 28, 2014 12:29 pm
Hi. I’m on the Arabian coast (Muscat, Oman) and recently found some feral dogs infected with this fly. It was curious to me because it was crawling underneath the coat, down at the skin level, and crawled on the dog as much as flew around him. Kinda hopeful that this is NOT screwworm, because… poor dogs!
Photos taken today (sorry — the fly’s a bit smooshed).
Signature: Char

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Hi Char,
This looks like a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  Louse Flies feed on the blood of birds and mammals.  According to BugGuide “Most are host specific on bird species, with a few occurring on mammals.”  There are species that feed on sheep and deer, but we believe if they do not find a preferred host, they may feed off other species.