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

Subject: Parasitic larvae explode from lizard a la Alien
Location: Gainesville, Fl
August 25, 2013 8:49 am
So my friend found an ailing lizard (Anolis carolinensis) yesterday in north-central Florida. He thought it might die, so he took it with him in some sort of rescue attempt. Anyway, he looks at it an hour later, the lizard was dead, and the small black dot behind the lizard’s front leg had exploded into a gaping hole filled with large wriggling larvae of some sort. It certainly appears as though they were trying to escape after their host had died. He knew I’m into reptiles, so he showed it to me. The lizard was quite familiar, but the parasites less so. They look kind of like maggots to me, but most fly maggots are in dead things, when these were clearly inside the living lizard and killed it.
Signature: lizard guy

Lizard with Maggots

Lizard with Maggots

Dear lizard guy,
We agree that these look like maggots, but we do not know of any flies that parasitize lizards.  We will continue to do some research, but we are posting your letter and photos in the hope that one of our readers can come to our assistance.

Maggots emerge from Lizard

Maggots emerge from Lizard

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hawaiian Moth
Location: Hawaii
May 31, 2013 7:02 pm
Hello, Mr. Bugman.
My friend saw this moth on the wall on her home in Hawaii. She asked me what it was. I’m from Arizona, so it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before. She said it must have been 5-6 inches across.
Thank you very much!
Signature: Lucille

Black Witch and Lizard

Black Witch and Lizard

Dear Lucille,
Tell your friend this is a Black Witch, and a good source for information is the Texas Entomology page called The Black Witch Moth:  Its Natural & Cultural History
Your submission will go live in early June during our holiday away from the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Luckily we were using a pitchfork instead of a shovel!!!
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 29, 2013

California Legless Lizard

California Legless Lizard


We needed to dig in the garden today to remove a dead kumquat tree, when we noticed a shimmery, slithering creature in the freshly turned dirt.  We thought at first it was a salamander, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a California Legless Lizard.  The last one we found in Mount Washington was released in Elyria Canyon Park in June of 2008.  We didn’t have much time, but we snapped a few photos to document this relatively rare sighting in our lovely rustic neighborhood.

California Legless Lizard

California Legless Lizard

Update:  September 22, 2013
It seems there is more diversity among Legless Lizards in California than was originally believe.  Read about the four new species of Legless Lizards in California on Popular Science and Yahoo News.

Julian Donahue provides information on the Legless Lizard diversity:  September 19, 2013
Just discovered a new paper that splits four species of legless lizards from the one species, California Legless Lizard, making five in all in California.
Ours is now Anniella stebbinsi, the Southern California Legless Lizard. I have just posted this info on the Alliance Facebook page, updated the Mt. Washington herptile list, and attach a PDF of the full article for your files.  Anniella-4 n spp
Julian

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: (Warning: Graphic Photos) Neobarrettia spinosa eating a gecko
Location: Canyon Lake, TX
June 22, 2012 1:12 am
I have to warn you. These pictures are gruesome.

Red Eyed Devil Eats Gecko

Earlier this evening, there was a Red Eyed Devil sitting on the blade of our patio fan. Not wanting it to drop down on us and attack, we turned the fan on, hoping that would dislodge it. After turning it on high speed for about a minute, the thing finally lost its grip and hit a window at probably over 100 mph. The thing acted disoriented for a minute or so, then crawled onto our sliding door.
I saw one of these a couple of weeks ago ferociously eating moths on a window, which was fairly terrifying, considering how fast and powerful the insect was. This one was not interested in moths, though. It disappeared into the frame of our sliding door and came back with the back half of a very large cricket, which it then finished devouring. I came back to check on it later, and that’s when I took these photos. I didn’t see the attack, but I think the gecko was alive, since its foot appeared to be trying to grip the edge of the screen door. It looks like the katydid gave up on trying to eat the head, now, and has moved on to the gecko’s belly.
For scale, the katydid’s body is about 2 inches.
I think I’m going to have nightmares about this.
Signature: -Dave

Red Eyed Devil Eats Gecko

Hi Dave,
We generally don’t think of insects and arachnids being able to eat vertebrates, so the photos are always a bit shocking.  Though gruesome, your photos are a welcome addition to our Food Chain tag.  Folks should be warned to handle Red Eyed Devils with caution as they are capable of biting humans and drawing blood, however, they do not attack without provocation.  Some other chilling arthropod eating vertebrates images on our website include this Giant Crab Spider eating a GeckoGolden Orbweaver eating a Hummingbird, a Preying Mantis feeding on a Hummingbird, a Preying Mantis eating a Mouse, a Preying Mantis eating a Tree Frog, an Australian Redback Spider eating a Lizard, a House Spider eating a Skink, a Fishing Spider eating a Lizard, a Fishing Spider eating a Tree Frog and this House Centipede eating a Mouse.  Thanks again for adding to our unusual documentation of insects and spiders eating vertebrates.

Red Eyed Devil Eats Gecko

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

two tailed alligator lizard
Location: El Dorado county, california
October 14, 2011 7:34 pm
got lots of these and fence lizards running round, but this is the first i have seen with 2 tails.
sorry i couldn’t get more pics of it, my sister took the photos
Signature: adric

Two Tailed Lizard

Dear Adric,
Thank you so much for sending us this photo of the anomaly that you discovered.  Often when a Lizard loses its tail because of an accident or an encounter with a predator, the tail will regenerate, though with a slightly different appearance and morphology.  The tail detaches when enough pressure is applied, and this will allow a Lizard to escape if it is grasped by the tail.  Your individual shows the stump where the original tail was lost as well as the unusual regeneration.  We cannot really speculate on the nature of the original injury and why that resulted in this anomaly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Family Mystery
Location: Sand Dunes, Southeast Idaho, Fremont County, east of Saint Anthony
June 7, 2011 11:08 pm
This photo was taken in 1984 at the Sand Dunes in Southeast Idaho, Fremont County. I watched for 15-20 minutes while this . . . thing made this pattern in the sand. It would scoop up a pile of sand, push it out in the fan/petal shape, scoop up a pile of sand, push it out . . . I have recently re-engaged in my quest to find out what I was watching.
Any ideas what it is?
Signature: Bug Lover’s Cousin

Sand Dune Mystery from Idaho

Dear Bug Lover’s Cousin,
We have no idea what this creature is and we would love to help you solve this more than 25 year old mystery.  We do not believe this is an insect.  You did not indicate the size of the creature.  We are more inclined to believe it is reptilian than one of the arthropods, but that is pure speculation.  We are boarding a plane in a few hours and we will be out of the office for a week, and during that time we will not be checking emails, so we will not be able to provide any further assistance until we return.  Our regular readership will be able to post updates to this posting, however, any new readers will need to wait until next week to have their comments approved.  We hope we are eventually able to provide you with an identification.

Going on my 25 year old memory of this thing I will venture – it was:
maybe 2-4 inches long (not positive I EVER saw the end of it but I think I did)
about 2-2.5 inches circumference
entirely black except for the tip (head?) which was reddish
I saw no legs or mouth
it moved like a worm or caterpillar (a larvae?)
didn’t seem to be ingesting anything, just kept making the pattern
My brother was with me at the time and agrees with this description
Enjoy your time out of the office, I look forward to any info/guesses you might have.
Thank you.

Karl provides an alternate possibility:  White Lined Sphinx
October 26, 2011
Hi Daniel and Bug Lover’s Cousin:
It is a little hard to tell from the photo but based on what is visible and your description I suspect that this is a large caterpillar. There are a number of species that burrow into soft soil or sand to pupate. I suggest that a good candidate would be a White-Lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata). Caterpillars of the species show considerable color variation but are generally striped or mottled green and black, and orange or reddish caudal horns and/or head capsules are quite common (to me it looks like it may be showing a horn). You could check out this interesting video to see if the behavior looks familiar. Here is another image from the Bugguide site. Regards. Karl

Thanks Karl for your alternative possibility.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination