From the monthly archives: "November 2015"

Subject: Is this a kissing bug?
Location: Southern New Jersey
November 26, 2015 6:07 am
My husband found this in our bedroom closet in New Jersey. Is it a kissing bug? Our recent travels have included Texas and Florida. I am afraid it may have hitched a ride back with us.
Signature: Don’t Want to Be Kissed By a Bug

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

This is a Wheel Bug, not a Kissing Bug.  We are quite curious why there is suddenly so much curiosity and concern about Kissing Bugs as we have been receiving numerous Kissing Bug queries daily for the past week.

Thank you so much for your quick response! There have been many articles on Facebook lately about the kissing bug carrying Chagas disease. Maybe that is why? It certainly was for me.:)

Subject: Hello and hairy spider
Location: Hollywood California
November 25, 2015 8:24 pm
Hello bugman! So at work today we found a nice sized brown spider, and it is not one I have seen before. I work in North Hollywood California at a warehouse near the Burbank airport. We get shipments in from Japan, Korea, & China (and I mention this only if this species is found outside of the US). It is fairly active, and I am assuming that it is a male due to the size of its Pedipalps (I can be totally wrong tho haha). As for its description, it is brown, hairy, roughly about 2 inches wide (with legs spread out). It has eight eyes, 4 in a row stacked (Top are larger, with the 2 center being the biggest)and the 4 below it are much smaller. Its fangs rest underneath it, folded in. I decided to take it home and made a small enclosure for it which is roughly 4x4x8. I have a few more pictures of it if needed, and I hope I can get an ID with the info that I provided haha. Thanks a bunch! You are the best!
Signature: Jeeb

Spider

Spider

Dear Jeeb,
You have us stumped.  The only spider we can think of with this general size and coloration that we would expect to find in Southern California is a Giant Crab Spider,
Olios giganteus, but the front two pairs of legs on your individual look far too short and the chelicerae seem much too light.  What your spider really reminds us of is a Nursery Web Spider like this lovely golden Pisaurina mira pictured on BugGuide, but they do not range into the western states.  It doesn’t appear your individual has spun a web, so we are concluding it is some species that hunts rather than a species that waits to snare prey, but we do not believe this is a Wolf Spider.  We are contacting Eric Eaton and Mandy Howe for some assistance.  Stay tuned.

Spider

Spider

Eric Eaton agrees with our ID of a Nursery Web Spider
Daniel:
I agree it looks most like Pisaurina mira.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Spider

Spider

Mandy Howe confirms identification
Hi Daniel,
Weird! (In California, I mean.) It looks like a Pisaurina mira to me, too. It’s a penultimate male and it seems “big” so I tried to use the ruler to estimate the size and looks like he’s about 15mm in body length, which is the upper limit for the males already (they’re described as being 10-15mm full grown). Never really seen one of these get transported before, but anything’s possible! Maybe in shrubs or plants from a nursery or something? There are some similar-looking spiders in the family Pisauridae from around the world, but I’d guess our native P. mira would be more likely. I’ll ask around and see if anyone else has seen these in CA. The last time I was surprised was when I saw some hobo spiders from Pickering, Ontario and it turned out to be a “known” established population that arachnologists just hadn’t published or publicly talked about. So I’ll ask about this one too and see if anyone “knows” anything.
(The eye arrangement rules out the Ctenidae species from Central/South America; I just mention that because some ctenids can look similar to this too, and occasionally get transported.)
Happy Thanksgiving to the both of you, too! I’m still in a turkey coma at the moment….
Mandy

Thanks for the confirmation Mandy.  We will attempt to get additional information from Jeeb, or request that he keep an eye out for any females to determine if there is an established population in Southern California.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for this update and I hope you had a good thanksgiving! This has been pretty exciting ha ha, i’ll keep an eye out to see if there are any other of these guys at work, especially if its a female. Where is this species normally found?
I am glad to help out in anyway I can, please let me know if you need anything from me. As for housing it/keeping it, let me know if there is any place I can take it to, or if you guys would be interested in taking it. Ha ha, if I hold onto him it would most likely be as a pet, so if I can take him somewhere that would benefit any sort of research I would be more than happy to oblige.
Thanks again!

Hi again Jeeb,
Pisaurina mira is found in eastern North America and it is nit reported west of Texas according to BugGuide.  We don’t believe Nursery Spiders are commonly kept as pets as they do not live very long.  You can try contacting the LA County Museum of Natural History Spider Survey.  We recently conated a large gopher snake that was struck by a car in front of our offices and we got a very nice behind the scenes tour.

Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Lancaster pa
November 25, 2015 9:16 pm
I found this in my living room. I think it may have been hiding in some wood that we brought in for our fireplace. Now I am freaking out here! 🙂
Signature: Pam

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Pam,
This is a beneficial, predatory Wheel Bug, not a Kissing Bug.  We have received at least six urgent request to identify suspected Kissing Bugs in the past two days which leads us to believe there is some news story currently circulating.  Are you able to provide us any information on why you suspected a Kissing Bug?

Dear Daniel,
Thank  you so much for your prompt reply! I have grandchildren and I am very concerned because they play in our living room frequently!
Yes, there is news articles on line how they are spotted in Pennsylvania! I also saw the pictures of the wheel bug, but I did not see the helmet type of spine sticking up on this one’s head.
I will try and forward the segment that I saw on Facebook to you. It was on Fox news. Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer this!  It is very much appreciated!

The initial picture shown in this article did not look like the bug in my house, but another pic did! I literally had just found the bug the day before and killed it!I have spent a lot of hours looking at pictures as well and it’s very confusing! I guess that’s why I should leave it up to the experts LOL! Thank you again! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pam

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Hi Again Pam,
The Kissing Bug in the FOX image you forwarded is an immature Kissing Bug, which may explain part of the confusion.  Sometimes immature True Bugs change in shape and color as they mature and grow wings.

Subject: What is this colorful bug/insect?
Location: Laurel, MD
November 22, 2015 4:54 am
I was about to open this organics baby spring mix greens, triple washed, sealed in plastic bin, when I noticed this bug (beetle, perhaps?) in the container. I would love to know what this bug is and likely that it is not dangerous or anything, since I know nothing about insects really, but do find them interesting. The bin does say, product of USA.
The bug crawls slowly, like a beetle crawls.
Thank you for any help with this identification.
Signature: Suzanne Arnold

Harlequin Stink Bug

Harlequin Stink Bug

Dear Suzanne,
This is a Harlequin Stink Bug,
Murgantia histrionica, and though it is a variable species with regard to markings, the orange, black and white coloration is quite distinctive.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  Finding it among organic greens makes perfect sense because according to BugGuide:  “hosts: primarily Brassicaceae (horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard, Brussels sprouts, turnip, kohlrabi, radish); may also attack tomato, potato, eggplant, okra, bean, asparagus, beet, weeds, fruit trees and field crops.”

Dear Daniel – Thank you so much!  I still have him/her, so will release him/her to the outside.  I will go look that Bug Guide up as well.   I am so appreciative of your help; I have been looking, but had not come across this particular bug, and there are so many, many quite beautiful types, species, out there; it is just amazing.  Thanks again.

Subject: Grashopper
Location: eastern Botswana
November 24, 2015 1:04 am
Dear Sirs
I would like to know, what kind of grasshopper is on the attached photo?
It was ca. 7 cm in lengh.
Signature: Mannanna

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Dear Mannanna,
The flat antennae on your individual are quite distinctive, and though members of the Stick Grasshopper subfamily Acridinae all have flat antennae, we are not fully confident that is the correct taxonomy for your individual.  We are relatively confident the family Acrididae is correct.  Here is an image from iSpot of a Stick Grasshopper in the subfamily Acridinae that looks somewhat similar to your individual.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply us with additional information.

Subject: Please Help Identify
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
November 24, 2015 8:12 am
Hi There,
A colleague found this ‘bug’ dead in a outdoor store room. We have never seen anything like it and it sent everyone running for the hills. Any idea what it is?
Thanks
Signature: Claudia Handschuh

Centipede

Centipede

Hi Claudia,
We love your submitted image.  For the moment, we can tell you that this is a Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha, and we will attempt to determine a species later in the day.

Wow thanks for the reply! I will let everyone know. I had guesses that it was a cross between a centipede and a scorpion, a little dramatic 🙂