From the daily archives: "Thursday, April 28, 2016"

Subject: Fascinating Spider
Location: Fairlight NSW Australia
April 28, 2016 7:05 pm
Have been observing this little guy building silk bridges between our tables and chairs on the balcony this morning and wondered if i should stay calmly seated and curious or run around screaming and flailing my arms in the air because its a man eater. What kind of spider is it please?
Signature: Curious Mich

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Dear Curious Mich,
Fear Not.  This Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae is perfectly harmless.  Jumping Spiders do not build webs in which to snare prey, but rather they jump great distances, pouncing on their prey.

Thank you so much. I will continue observing it spinning silk threads to build bridges between my balcony furniture at a longer distance. Appreciate your time and help.
Curious Mich

Subject: Two beetles from Greece
Location: Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
April 28, 2016 7:18 am
I hope it’s OK to submit two for the price of one, but they are on the same flower! I took this while birdwatching on Kos in the Aegean a couple of days ago (i.e. April 26th). There were lots of both species around, but particularly the stripy ones whose wing-cases seem to have shrunk in the wash.
Signature: Harry R

Two Scarabs

Two Scarabs

OK, I searched your site for ‘spotted scarab’ and the black and white one is clearly some species of Oxythyrea. I’d still like to know about the other one though!
Harry

Dear Harry,
We love your twofer.  Both of your beetles are Scarab Beetles, and we agree that the smaller is a White Spotted Rose Beetle in the genus
Oxythyrea.  We believe your other Scarab may be Eulasia vittata based on this Masterfile image.  There is also a nice image on Dogalhayat.org and the image on Kaefer der Welt – Beetles of the World nicely illustrates the short elytra.

Subject: Madagascar Beetle
Location: Montagne d’Ambre, Madagascar
April 28, 2016 2:52 pm
Hi,
This is a beetle from Amber Mountain (Montagne d’Ambre) National Park in Madagascar. I would appreciate any help with identification. It was a diurnal species.
Signature: Glenn McCrea

Leaf Beetle

Leaf Beetle

Dear Glenn,
We believe this is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  When we tried searching for orange Leaf Beetles from Madagascar and we found this unidentified stock image number 18955051 on Stock Photo that looks like a good match.

Leaf Beetle

Leaf Beetle

Hi, Daniel –
Thanks so much for the prompt reply about this beautiful beetle. The stock image you sent does indeed look to be the same beetle.
Glenn

Subject: pool invaders
Location: San Diego California 92117
April 27, 2016 4:03 pm
These abundant lil bugs showed up in our pool yesterday. What are they?
Signature: swarmed swimmer

Seed Bugs, we believe

Seed Bugs, we believe

Dear swarmed swimmer,
We are not able to provide a definitive species identification at this time, but in our opinion these are either Seed Bugs in the family Lygaeidae (see BugGuide) or Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae (also see BugGuide).  There are species in both families that periodically have tremendous population explosions when conditions are right.  They look very much like the Seed Bugs that infested Burning Man that are profiled on Gizmodo.