From the daily archives: "Sunday, April 17, 2016"

Subject: What that bug
Location: Louisville, KY
April 17, 2016 6:17 am
What is this bug?
Signature: Email

Braconid Dead on a Fly Swatter!!!

Braconid Dead on a Fly Swatter!!!

Dear Email,
Though we find the composition and color palette of your image quite nice, we somehow can’t get past the content of the dead Braconid on a Fly Swatter.  Like their close relatives the Ichneumons, Braconids are parasitic on mostly insects but also on spiders and other arthropods, though they are generally very host specific, often to the species level.  Some Ichneumons are capable of stinging, and the same may be true for some Braconids, but not ones with highly evolved, penetrating ovipositors like the one on your specimen.  We believe your individual uses her ovipositor to deposit her eggs in the stem of a woody plant that is infested with the larvae of wood boring insects.  The black and red color pattern resembles this individual on BugGuide, though we are quite certain it is a different species.  We have to label this submission as Unnecessary Carnage, and we hope next time you encounter a Braconid, you will part ways unscathed.

 

Subject: Green spider
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
April 16, 2016 5:32 pm
What kind of spider?
Signature: Tad

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Dear Tad,
This is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, and members of the family can be identified because the front two pairs of legs are much longer than the other two pairs.  Your individual is Diaea livens, which we identified on BugGuideBugGuide only contains reports of the species from California.  Your image represents a new species on our site.