Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

white spider with round balls on its joints looks frozen almost
March 30, 2010
We have these in our bulked.. we rarely open it .. and this is what we found … they are alive and crawling, seems to cower from the light.. If you need more pictures I am sure I can try and brave the spiders and take some more..
Pam
Bourne, Ma

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear Pam,
Numerous times in the past we have received similar images, and we have maintained that the creatures in the photos were dead and being consumed by fungus.  Readers continue to write to us insisting that the spiders are alive.  Your spider is the first that actually does look alive, and we can only surmise that it will soon succumb to this fungus infection.  We are linking to a similar photo on BugGuide of a Cellar Spider in the family Pholcidae that was infected with fungus.  Your spider is also a Cellar Spider.  It may be Pholcus phalangioides, the Longbodied Cellar Spider, a common household species.
These Cellar Spiders appear to be especially prone to fungus infections, as do many flies. Since it is the final day of the month, we need to select a Bug of the Month for April to sit at the top of our homepage for thirty days.  Your letter and photo get that honor for April.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fly with black and white abdomen…
December 23, 2009
I saw this Fly on the base of my porch light… most of the body of this fly is black or is of a dark color except the abdoman which has white stripes.
The temp. was around 25 degrees outside… the season is winter…
LoLo Monae
Roanoke Virginia

Tachinid Fly, we believe

Tachinid Fly or Fungus Infection

Dear LoLo,
Though we cannot find a match on BugGuide, we believe this is some species of Tachinid Fly.  Tachinid Flies parasitize other insects including caterpillars, and they are important biological controls for pest species.

Karl believes this is a Fungus Infection
I don’t know what kind of fly this is, is but think its flashy appearance could be due to a fungal infection, perhaps by Entomophthora muscae.  There are numerous photos on the internet that look very similar to this this. The white banding occurs as the fungus bursts out between the abdominal segments (presumably just before the victim expires). For more information you could check out: http://www.hort.wisc.edu/mastergardener/features/insects/entomophthora/entomophora.htm or check out the photos at: http://magickcanoe.com/blog/2006/09/07/mystery-fly-and-crumby-internet-connections/
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Harvestman caught in mid-molt?
July 15, 2009
Came across this sight on the side of a tree today, I wish these photos were clearer! The white/clear legs on the bottom caught my eye and I believe this daddy long legs is in the middle of molting. I found other similar photos on the site, thought you’d like a few more.
Kyle C.
Hatfield, MA

Harvestman:  Molting? or Fungus?

Harvestman: Molting? or Fungus?

Hi Kyle,
About a week ago, we posted a very similar image, and Eric Eaton thought the Harvestman was attacked by fungus.  Your photo inclines us to believe that this might actually be a photo of molting, and that the other photo is molting as well.
It seems there are too many legs visible for this to be a fungus attack.

Harvestman:  Molting? or Fungus?

Harvestman: Molting? or Fungus?

Update:  from Eric Eaton
I agree that THIS one looks like it is molting.  I’ll stand by my answer to the last one, too:-)
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wings or no?
June 2, 2009
I came across this guy in my kitchen and immediately snapped a picture of it. I then got it in a jar and released it outdoors. The wing-like tentacles on its back moved around almost like an octopus. I’ve never seen an insect like this.
Curious Dude
Western NC USA

Molting Harvestman we believe

Molting Harvestman we believe

Dear Curious Dude,
Those are not wings, and this is a Harvestman in the order Opiliones, but we need to seek advice on what is actually happening in this photo.  We believe you have photographed the molting process, but we need confirmation on that.  Harvestmen are sometimes called Daddy Long Legs.

Update from Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
The harvestman looks like it has succumbed to a fungal attack.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found possible rare “mold” looking spider in Papua New Guinea
Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM
I recently returned from six weeks of work in the Papua New Guinea jungle, mostly in the Southern Highlands. While we came across many strange bugs and spiders, none were more strange than this one. I have so far been been unable to find any photos resembling anything like this species and am wondering if we may have stumbled upon something very rare or unnamed (I’m sure you get this question often). The spider was about 5 cm across and covered with fine hair, which makes it look out of focus in the photo. Evolution clearly intended this spider to look like a patch of mold. As you’ll see, the abdomen is distinctly concave and looks like a thin plate of mold. It was resting on a live tree covered in red paper-like bark. Even the locals seemed interested, leading me to believe this wasn’t an everyday sighting. As a g eologist, I know it’s imperative to include a scale, but unfortunately I forgot as I was preoccupied with work. I’m very curious to hear what you’ve got to say.
Thanks,
Brian
Near the Tari Basin, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Spider infested with Fungus

Spider infested with Fungus

Hi Brian,
We believe, based on its shape, that your spider is one of the Giant Crab Spiders in the family Sparassidae, but we don’t believe it is a living specimen. It is our opinion that this spider is riddled with fungus, leading to its unusual appearance. Many spiders and insects are killed by fungus infections.

Update:  Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 8:32 PM
Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response.  The possibility of this being a dead animal had not crossed my, nor the others I was with.  After looking at the image again, I noticed the spider is only attached to the tree with four legs, resting in a vertical position on a live tree.  Could he be dead and still be attached with no apparent web etc?  I’ve attached the full-sized image and filtered out some of the noise.  Thanks for your help.
Regards,
Brian Gray
Staff Geologist
URS Corporation

Hi Brian,
We are sticking to our original ID.  The fungus may have grown onto the leaf, attaching the spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sea urchin spider??
Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 10:08 AM
Hi Daniel. What the heck? I found this little guy on one of my house plants. I did not see this spider on your site and I tried looking on What’s that Bug and couldn’t find it. I’m sure it is on that site but I just haven’t gotten the hang of WTB. I get as far as spiders, and look at each group, but I don’t know how to expand it farther.
I just brought the plant in from outdoors not too long ago. I’m in Florence, MA.
Elizabeth

Spider Riddled with Fungus

Spider Riddled with Fungus

Hi Elizabeth,
This looks like one of the Ant Mimic Jumping Spiders, and it is riddled with fungus. We cannot imagine that the spider was alive when you found it, but if it was, it was doomed to an imminent and not too distant death.

How right you are!  It IS dead!  And here we just thought it was being so cooperative.  I did not know that spiders could get fungus and die.  Of course, I know nothing else about spiders either, so no surprise.  Thank you so much for a great website.
Betsy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination