From the monthly archives: "May 2014"

Subject: What the?
Location: Bellport, NY
May 30, 2014 1:50 am
I found this thing embedded in my skin. Wasn’t easy to pry off me. Pinched when i tried pulling off. I might have brought it inside while working in the garage earlier this evening. I thought it was a scab, but when i turned on the light, I saw this weird shiny looking thing. What is it?
Signature: BB

Tick

Tick

Dear BB,
You are lucky you were able to dislodge this blood-sucking Tick without the head remaining behind.

Subject: Scary tenant
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
May 28, 2014 1:57 pm
I have just moved into the Hilton Head Island area and am seeing all sorts of crazy bugs. The one attached is concerning as I found it on the steps of my house. It is dead, but scary to me none the less. Is it poisonous? Any idea what kind of spider this is? Found it today 5/28/14 and it is warm and humid here.
Signature: New HHI resident

Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Dear New HHI resident,
Your spider is a Giant Lichen Orbweaver,
Araneus bicentenarius, and you may compare your image to the ones posted on BugGuide.  Like most spiders, Orbweavers have venom that they use to dispatch prey, but they rarely bite humans and the bite is not considered dangerous.  Should you crave additional information, Bugs in the News has a highly entertaining page on the Giant Lichen Orbweaver.

Subject: A mystery caterpillar on our raspberries…
Location: Osaka, Japan
May 28, 2014 10:16 pm
We’re in Osaka, Japan, living in a 10th floor apartment, so whatever laid that egg was a good flier. It’s about 7 cm long, and chowing down on raspberry bushes. Any idea what it will become? The picture was taken about a week ago (May 24th).
Thanks!
Signature: Chris Gladis

Inchworm

Inchworm

Hi Chris,
This appears to be an Inchworm or Spanworm in the Moth family Geometridae.  Most caterpillars in this family have only two pairs of prolegs which causes them to move in a most characteristic manner, where the caterpillar stretches out with is true legs and then moves the entire hind section in one step, inching along and causing the body to loop.  We are not certain of the species.  Most Geometrid Moths are dull in color, but some are quite colorful.

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Findlay, OH
May 28, 2014 7:15 pm
This bug was found in a Findlay, Ohio pond. No one knows what it is. I live in Florida and have no cue, either. Can you help?
Signature: Lynn

Dragonfly Naiad

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Lynn,
This is a naiad or aquatic nymph of a flying insect, and we believe it is a Dragonfly Naiad.  Each species of Dragonfly has a different looking naiad, but we haven’t the skill to identify most to the species level.

Subject: what bug is this
Location: San Diego, California
May 28, 2014 9:19 am
While walking to my car yesterday I came across this huge black bug that had a body like an ant with long legs and mulitcolored wings. It was about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. It moved VERY fast on the ground and then at one point flew away. What is this???
Signature: Freaked Out In San Diego

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Freaked Out In San Diego,
This impressive wasp is commonly called a Tarantula Hawk.  Here are some images from our archives of a Tarantula Hawk hunting with its prey.
  The sting of a Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful.

Subject: Wasp or Hornet and nest???
Location: western Pennsylvania
May 28, 2014 9:31 am
My son and I watched a wasp or hornet create its intricate nest but are not sure which insect it is, so am seeking your wonderful help as I did so a few years ago with another insect. Thank you for any help you can give us.
Signature: Marge

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Dear Marge,
My that queen BaldFaced Hornet is building that nest fast.  She will soon have a first generation of sterile female workers who begin hunting for food and enlarging the nest, freeing her to just lay eggs.  Are you able to avoid this part of the house until the first frost?  If not, you should consider more drastic measures and evict her so she finds a more secluded location for her nest because, according to the Penn State University Entomology website:  “In Pennsylvania, a large colony will have upwards of 300 individuals.”  BaldFaced Hornets are capable of stinging repeatedly and they will defend the nest.
  We will be flying into Pittsburgh in the middle of June.

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Thank you Daniel,
You are right, she did build it fast.  I took photos and we watched almost every other hour.  (Few photos attached.)
We “evicted” her–sort of hated to do it, but that spot is on our back “stoop” and between my son cutting our grass and me working on 4 different gardens (I plant for birds, butterflies, etc.) we felt she needed to build her large but intricate nest/home somewhere else and wanted to evict her before she laid many or any eggs and started the process.  I don’t like to kill anything including bugs and their homes, so felt it better to encourage her to build elsewhere before she had a real home/palace : )
Thanks for your help, I did see that my oldest son had a fairly large nest in his backyard last year but it was not near where they were active themselves and we think it was “done” (at the beginning of fall).
Have a safe and joyful flight.
Marge from westernPA

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Hi Marge,
We believe the eviction was a smart move due to the heavy foot traffic at the site.  Because of your thoughtfulness, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest