Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"

Subject:  bug or seed pod?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mill Creek, WA
Date: 04/20/2021
Time: 09:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I was moving pots around on my deck and found several pods (?) like this in the angle where the deck meets the house. This was the largest but still isn’t very big (the USB connector is provided for scale). They required some effort to remove. This one even took some paint from the house.
Any ideas what this could be? I’ve used various image search engines but keep getting bowls of nuts, berries, and peas. Now I’m hungry! 😉
Thanks for your help,
How you want your letter signed:  PJ

Bird’s Nest Fungus

Dear PJ,
We do not recognize this thing, but if faced with the choice of seed pod or egg case, we believe this is the latter.  It appears to be spun from silk, so that could mean a Spider or even an Orthopteran.  The eggs, if that is what they are, appear more Orthopteran to us but the case appears more like the egg case of a Spider.  Perhaps one of our readers will have a better idea.  So sorry your web search made you hungry.

Bird’s Nest Fungus

Thanks to everyone who wrote in that this is a fruiting body of the Bird’s Nest Fungus.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response! After I sent my ID request to you, I kept searching but switched over to fungi which proved more fruitful and definitely killed my appetite.
Anyway, turns out, this is bird’s nest fungi ( My sample was really dried out due to our unseasonably dry/sunny weather recently, but it’s pretty unmistakable.
It’s amazing how much it looks like a woven egg sac, tho. Fungi are pretty darn fascinating.
Thanks again!

Subject:  Egg cases
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwestern Connecticut
Date: 03/10/2019
Time: 05:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these holding three logs together in my woodpile today, 3.10.19. Not sure if it’s fungal or insecticidal. The woodpile is seasoned and covered. It’s been that way for about 2 years now. Ever seen it?
How you want your letter signed:  Paul Hanlon

Fungus we believe

Dear Paul,
We do not think this is insect related.  It looks to us like a Fungus.

Subject:  insect eggs?
Geographic location of the bug:  King County, Washington
Date: 01/05/2019
Time: 07:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These are growing on the side of 5-gallon plastic pots – any idea? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  nicholas

Slime Mold

Dear Nicholas,
Because we just identified another example of Slime Mold from Oregon, this was a very easy identification for us.  According to the Agriculture and Natural Resources University of California site:  “Slime molds, classified in the group called Myxomycetes, are primitive fungi that feed on dead or decaying organic matter and have elaborate life cycles. The mature fruiting bodies of slime molds are quite diverse and can appear as sheets, mounds, crusts, blobs, and even eggs or structures of insects.”  Smug Mug has numerous similar looking images.

Subject:  Huge possible moth egg cluster
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland, Oregon
Date: 01/05/2019
Time: 09:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  At first I thought this 4-tine garden cultivator had rusted solid from being left outdoors, but upon closer inspection I realized it was entirely covered in dark orange eggs! I think they might be moth eggs. No eggs were present on the wooden handle.
How you want your letter signed:  Pam

Slime Mold we believe

Dear Pam,
Thanks for sending in this fascinating mystery.  While these red “things” do seem to resemble insect eggs, we have our doubts because of the varying size of the individual “eggs.”  We would expect much more regularity in the size of eggs.  Here is a somewhat similar looking image of Slime Mold that we found online and Dave’s Blog has a similar image.  We also found Slime Mole images that look similar on FlickR and on the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources site.  We are inclined to identify them as Slime Mold.

Slime Mole we believe

Oh wow! Thank you so much, I would never have considered a mold, I have never seen anything like it before!
Also, Thank you so much for your blog, I have been using it to identify random “bugs” that I have found for over 10 years, starting when I was just a teenager. It has been an invaluable resource for me.

Slime Mold we believe

Subject:  I think these are eggs….
Geographic location of the bu:  Ontario Canada
Date: 12/24/2018
Time: 05:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I have a vivarium for Poison Dart Frogs and found some small white nodules growing under a piece of wood. My hope is that this is some sort of fungus or mold. But my concern is that these are the eggs of some bug that could do harm to my frogs or their eggs.
The piece of wood was harvested many years ago from a forest in Ontario. I included a picture of the wood with suspicious object, as well as a picture of my cute frog!
Happy Holidays
How you want your letter signed:  Jason Kemp

Growth in Dart Frog Vivarium

Dear Jason,
These do not appear to be eggs, and we believe your suspicion that they might be fungus or mold is probably correct.  Friends of ours in the Los Angeles area formerly bred Poison Dart Frogs.  They had several pairs that bred in bromeliads, but alas, the vivariums were discovered by invasive Argentine Ants that killed the frogs.

Subject:  Fly or parasite
Geographic location of the bug:  Mechanicsburg, pa
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 04:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have found several of these flies on my pepper plants. I am unable to find any information about them. They seem to attach themselves on the leaves with almost a web like thing and than die. Or something. Not really sure.
How you want your letter signed:  Courtney Kerr

Fungus Ridden Fly

Dear Courtney,
Flies and Parasites are not mutually exclusive as there are many parasitoid Flies, including Tachinid Flies.  These are Flies, and they have been infested with a fungus infection.  Here is a similar looking BugGuide image, and your Flies also appear to be Blow Flies.  Many creatures, both plant and animal, can get fungus infections and BugGuide has an entire section devoted to Fungus Ridden Flies. 

Fungus Ridden Flies