From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  Mysterious insect or arachnid
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange county, CA
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 06:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I found a dead bug today and it is very very small, the pictures I took are through a basic magnifying glass with my cell phone.  What is throwing me off about this guy is that it looks a lot like a little spider, but from what I can tell, it’s only got 6 legs.  It’s too small for me to really thoroughly inspect it (which is really bugging me!), but with some tweezers I can tell that it’s kind of flat like an unfed tick, and the pincer-looking things might be curled antennae. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Emily

Possibly Wall Spider (far right)

Dear Emily,
Did you find this creature indoors, possibly on a window sill?  Though your image clearly illustrates scale thanks to the inclusion of a penny, it is difficult to make out any details.  We believe this might be a Wall Spider in the genus 
OecobiusBugGuide has some detailed images for comparison.

Subject:  Strange green insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Rural western Pennsylvania, Somerset county
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 06:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little critter in my bathroom, hanging out on my wall.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, and blessings. Stan.

Male Drumming Katydid

Dear Stan,
This is an introduced male Drumming Katydid,
Meconema thalassinum, which you may verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “A tiny, sea-green katydid with a tympanum fully exposed on each foretibia. Forewings longer than hindwings. No stridulatory area apparent at base of male forewings. Male cerci long, slender, tubular, curving upwards” and the range is “Europe. Introduced into North America; currently Michigan & Ohio east to Atlantic coast; sw. British Columbia to w. Oregon, and likely still expanding. See also BugGuide range map for an indication of the expansion of the range into neighboring states.”

Subject:  Misumena vatia romance
Geographic location of the bug:  SW Virginia, USA
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 03:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, this lovely yellow crab spider has been hanging out on a metal picnic table all week. I’ve visited and photographed her over several days. Yesterday, she had what I at first took for a baby but now think is a suitor! He’s just a fraction of her size and his coloration is considerably different. I am not sure how he found her, as there are no flowers or yellow colored items close by. You can just see her hiding under the leaf in the 3rd photo. I did not see them interact. What do you think? Also, what are the indentations that make her abdomen look upholstered? Thanks! Love your site!
How you want your letter signed:  Crab spider fan

Crab Spider

Dear Crab spider fan,
Though we cannot recall reading about pheromones and Spiders, there must be some means by which a male spider is able to locate a mate.  Your images, though they do not document any actual mating activity, are still a wonderful addition to our Bug Love page.

Pair of Crab Spiders

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Durham, NC
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 11:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell me what this is?  Saw it it a parking lot.
How you want your letter signed:  Deb


Dear Deb,
Your image is lacking in critical clarity, but it also beautifully illustrates a Crayfish (AKA Crawfish, Clawfish or Crawdad) in a threat position.  Though not considered dangerous to humans, Crayfish will defend themselves with their claws and a large individual might deliver quite a pinch.  We love the images on of a Fight between cats and a crayfish.

Thank you!  That’s exactly what it is.  Just don’t know why it was in a parking lot no where close to water!

That is odd, though Crayfish can survive for long periods of time out of water.

Geographic location of the bug:  MICHIGAN
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:04 PM EDT
How you want your letter signed:  DEAR

Western Lyric Cicada, we believe

Dear DEAR,
The short answer is that this is an Annual Cicada or Dogday Cicada in the genus
Neotibicen.  Its markings are quite unusual, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a Western Lyric Cicada, Neotibicen lyricen lyricen, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults often congregate in large numbers during the heat of the day to feed/drink on the sap of several hardwoods (preferred adult hosts seem to incl. Pecan, Hickory, Walnut, Wild Cherry, Apple, Pear + many other species in the rose and walnut families).”  Are you certain it was dead?  It legs appear to be in different positions in your images, and according to BugGuide:  “Behavioral note: When ALIVE, lyric cicadas will usually tuck their legs tightly to the sides of their body and ‘play dead.'”

Western Lyric Cicada, we believe

Subject:  What kind of Beetle is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Creswell, MC
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell me what this is and if I have anything to worry about? Rather large and we have had alot of rain this week. Any info would be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Michelle

Triceratops Beetle

Dear Michelle,
We are speculating that you are in Creswell, North Carolina, and if that is wrong, please clarify where MC is located.  This is a Triceratops Beetle,
Phileurus truncatus, and it poses no threat to you or your home.   According to BugGuide:  “Adults will take fruit and meat in captivity; may feed on other insects” and “Adults come to lights. Larvae in rotten logs, esp. oaks. Adults can live up to two years in captivity. Have structures for sound production (stridulation) and stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, 11.vii.2007).  Larvae and adults are also ‘carnivorous’ and will – if not preferentially – feed on grubs & pupae of other scarabs.”