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

Subject:  Flying Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, AZ
Date: 10/06/2017
Time: 03:44 PM EDT
There’s a bug that likes to come through my screens at night – mostly in the monsoon/late summer/early fall season. They like light and seem to be harmless and they have landed on me before with no problems.  They are usually only one or max two that are inside at any given time. They are pretty small. I would say somewhere between a small black ant and small earwig size. They fly and have translucent/white wings that lie flat, folded over one another the length of their body.  The length of the wings seems to line right up with the end of their bodies.  They have little “things” coming off their ends that someone told me meant they were earwigs.  I have seen flying earwigs before and the earwigs we have here don’t look like this guy.  They don’t behave, look or smell the same at all (these guys don’t smell and I think earwigs stink).
How you want your letter signed:  Buggy-Bug-Bug

Webspinner

Dear Buggy-Bug-Bug,
This looks to us like a Webspinner in the insect order Embiidina based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “rapid runners, often run backwards; live in colonies (in galleries of spun silk) and exhibit limited maternal care for eggs and young; winged males of some species come to lights.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  The night stalker
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, California
Date: 09/02/2017
Time: 01:24 PM EDT
Dear Mr. Bugman, it has been very hot here in San Diego, up to 100 degrees F. last night I encountered this little guy crawling on the bathroom wall inside my home. It is about 3/8″ long, 1/2″ if you include the antennae. My guess is that
it is either a drywood or dampwood termite swarmer. However, all of the photos I’ve seen online depict termites having wings that are much longer than their bodies. Also, supposedly the swarmers drop their wings upon landing, this little guy has his still intact. Lastly, I saw only one, not a “swarm.” Mr Bugman, is it time for me to call out an exterminator, or is this night stalker a termite imposter?
How you want your letter signed:  Marc fom San Diego

Webspinner

Dear Marc,
There is no need to call an exterminator.  This is NOT a Termite.  This is a Webspinner in the insect order Embiidina, as you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, they feed on:  “dead plant material plus lichens and mosses found around their galleries” and they are “rapid runners, often run backwards; live in colonies (in galleries of spun silk) and exhibit limited maternal care for eggs and young; winged males of some species come to lights.”  You may enjoy our Webspinner Dynasty posting.

Thank you for responding to my identification request. I am very happy to learn that it is not a termite.
Marc

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a termite?
Location: Florida
January 4, 2015 12:52 am
I found this bug on my wall. Is this a termite?
Signature: Connie

Webspinner

Webspinner

Dear Connie,
This fascinating insect is known as a Webspinner, and we have one contributor who has written extensively about her experiences with Webspinners in her home.
  She even named all her Webspinners.

Thank you so much for your help!!  I had visions of my termites eating my house!  If I find another one, maybe I could send it to her? (just teasing!)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Love Webspinners (the saga continues)
Location:  Henderson, Nevada
December 21, 2014
Hi Daniel,
Sorry this is so long but I have an update on my Webspinner Dynasty ;-).
I had to create a Family Tree to keep them all straight.  The tree goes as follows:
1.  Wilma 12/20/12 – the bravest and least skittish.  Wilma tunneled out from the toilet base and often stood up at the end of the tunnel looking for a male.  I still don’t know how she came to be in my bathroom to begin with, though we did discover a hole in the exterior of the house on the porch that matched the area of the toilet.
2.  Wanda 7/1/2013 – Wilma’s daughter created through asexual reproduction.  Wanda was skittish and would stay only in the grout space I called the “front yard”.
3.  Wendy 9/1/2013 – Wanda’s daughter created through asexual reproduction.  Wendy was also skittish but would peek over the grout wall of the “front yard”.
4.  Wynona 11/21/2013 – the adventurer/explorer.  Wynona was Wendy’s daughter created through asexual reproduction.  Wynona was awesome to observe.  She built and almost connected a tunnel completely around the outside of the base of the toilet.  She also started a tunnel up the front of the toilet a couple of inches.  She nearly connected the “front yard” to the other grout space area I called” the backyard”.  Wynona was all over the place.

Wynona the Webspinner

Wynona the Webspinner

5.  Wylie 3/13/2014 – I saved Wylie from a water-dish on the back porch.  He would have drowned but revived after I saved him with my finger.  I wasn’t sure if he would find Wynona but I placed him at the opening of the tunnel going up the front of the toilet and to my surprise he immediately twisted himself around to go down the tunnel.
6.  Walt – another male webspinner saved from the water-dish on the back porch.  I introduced him to Wynona’s front yard where he immediately disappeared under the linoleum.
7.  Winnie 4/4/14 – Winnie was skittish and possibly the daughter of Wylie or Walt and Wynona.
8.  Willie – another male webspinner rescued from the water-dish that disappeared under the toilet through the front yard grout area.

On 4/19/14 I had to call in a plumber to replace the wax ring on the toilet and I was worried about Winnie, Willie and any possible off-spring.  When the plumber picked up the toilet – I told him to not harm any bugs found underneath.  (I don’t know what he thought was under there but he jumped back after he pulled up the toilet – LOL!)  I did see Winnie hiding against the grout wall of the linoleum and then she went under the linoleum before I could catch her.   If bugs can be surprised she certainly seemed surprised.  A few days later, Winnie appeared.
On 7/2/14 I saw a Spider Intruder.  A couple of times over the last year and a half, different  black house spiders would find their way to the web-tunnels around the toilet.  I worried that the spiders  would eat the webspinners so I would catch them to put them outside.  The last one got away under the toilet so my husband sealed the hole on the porch and I waited for several days before seeing a webspinner alive and well.
9 & 10.  TWINS:  Wilfred & Willard – 7/21/14.  Until the twins made an appearance, I had never seen 2 webspinners at one time.  I believe the twins were Winnie and Willie’s offspring.  I was fairly sure they were males because they made appearances as immature light brown webspinners.  The females only showed themselves as black adults, no doubt looking for mates.  Also, the young webspinners could turn around in the web tunnels which is a male behavior and which females never do.

Webspinner Twins:  Wilfred and Willard

Webspinner Twins: Wilfred and Willard

11.  ACTUALLY TRIPLETS!!:  Enter Wilbert.  Another immature male webspinner.
13.  Wilda – Not sure if Wilda started out as a male and then became a female or if she was a 4th offspring of Winnie and Willie.   Wilda always stayed around the back-yard grout area.
14.  Wally – 7/12/14 rescued Wally from the water-dish and put him in the back-yard grout area where he disappeared looking for Wilda.
15.  Waldo – 7/19/14 offspring of Wally and Wilda.  Another light brown immature male.  Waldo was ready to fly on 8/15/14 so I caught him and released him outside.
16.  Wilbur – 8/13/14 offspring of Wally and Wilda.  Wilbur also stayed in the backyard grout area.  Wilbur was ready to fly by 9/16/14 so I caught him and released him on the rose bush in the front yard.
Apparently, Wilbur was the last of the dynasty.   I can’t believe how much I miss them.  I’m working on a webspinner children’s book which may help children to realize the value of a bug.  The webspinners were with me from 12/20/12 until 9/16/14 – almost 2 years!!  I’ve learned that it is possible to get attached to specific insects and that they have their own unique personalities and habits.
Thought you’d like to know ;-).  I’m attaching a few pictures (this time 😉 ):
1.  Wynona building the tunnel up the front of the toilet.
2.  The “twins in tandem” in Wynona’s web that goes around the base of the toilet.
3.  Waldo saying “goodbye” as I released him outside.
Always,
Kathi

Waldo the Webspinner

Waldo the Webspinner

Hi there Kathi,
Thanks so much for your wonderful update on your Webspinner dynasty.  Good luck with your book.  As with your previous Love Webspinners submission, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This fell out of my friends hair!
Location: Edmonton
September 16, 2014 6:47 pm
Hi,
Not sure what this is? Haven’t never seen one before.
Live in Edmonton, Alberta
Signature: Thanks a bunch

Webspinner

Webspinner

This looks like a benign Webspinner to us.  Some species have wings and others do not.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: We have new friends, what do we call them?
Location: Phoenix, AZ
May 18, 2014 10:09 pm
Dear Bugman,
A few of these just showed up in our house today, we’ve lived here for 4 years and have never seen them before. Could you help us figure out what to call them? They have antennae, what look like little pincers on their back end, and they have wings so they fly. They also seem to like light and they stay in one place for quite a while.
Thanks,
Rachel & Ethan
Phoenix, AZ
5-18-14
Signature: With Love

Webspinner

Webspinner

Dear Rachel & Ethan
We just created a thoroughly entertaining posting on Webspinners like the one in your image, and we hope you enjoy it.  Webspinners are benign insects that will not harm you or your home, so we are glad you made friends.

Wonderful!
Thank you so much, Daniel!!
R&E

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination