Large black beetle?
Location: East-Central New Jersey
November 17, 2010 9:47 am
Found this while gardening. It’s about an inch and 1/2 long. My hand is included for scale. Looks like a cross between a large ant and a wasp. Couldn’t find it in my Mid-Atlantic field guide — what is it?
Signature: Jennifer

Oil Beetle

Hi Jennifer,
The large, black, flightless Blister Beetles in the genus
Meloe are known as Oil Beetles because they are able to secrete a substance known as hemolymph.  The hemolymph is somewhat oily and it contains a compound known as cantharidin which can cause blistering of skin.  You should avoid handling Oil Beetle as well as other Blister Beetles in the family Meloidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird bug!!
November 17, 2010
Found on 11/16/2010 in Superior,WI. I’m not sure what it is and have never seen anything like this in my life before!! I have a 7 month old daughter and I’m very concerned there could be more and could be harmful to her? Please help!!
Sent from my iPhone


What a beautiful image of an Earwig.  They are not considered dangerous, however, Earwigs often seek out enclosed, dark places for security.  The name Earwig is allegedly derived from the Anglo-Saxon word earwicga, which according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, refers to the notion that the Anglo-Saxons slept in sod huts with straw mattresses and “the warm and tight ear opening of a slumbering person might well have been a snug hiding place for these crevice-loving creatures.”  We can imagine an Aryan giant leaping to his feet screaming “earwicga” after an Earwig ventured toward his eardrum.  Earwigs, especially male Earwigs, have forceps at the end of the abdomen that can pinch lightly.

Scorpion looking thing.
Location: Monee IL
November 17, 2010 8:56 pm
Hi Bugman. This is the 3rd one of these little guys i have found in my bathroom it has always been on the wall. he is no bigger than 4mm total. He looks kinda scary but im sure he’s harmless. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Brian


Dear Brian,
The Pseudoscorpion got its name because it looks like a Scorpion, but it is not a Scorpion.  It has no stinger nor does it have venom.  You are correct that it is harmless.  Pseudoscorpions are able to capture large prey with those animatronic-like pedipalps.  Pseudoscorpions are also capable of phoresy, an activity by which they hitch rides of off other creatures, often flying creatures.  We have numerous images in our archives of Pseudoscorpions engaging in phoresy.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

gorgeous spider
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
November 1, 2010 1:26 pm
My teacher found a spider with a reddish coral colored body (cephalothorax), red and white/clear striped legs, and a black and yellow abdomen that looks like a Rorschach test. The spider was about .5 inch long.
Signature: spider nerd

Marbled Orbweaver

Dear spider nerd,
Sometimes we go back a ways through unanswered mail to find an interesting letter to post, and today we happened upon your lovely image of a highly variable Marbled Orbweaver,
Araneus marmoreus.  This is only one possible color combination, but it is a distinctive one.  You can compare your photo to this image posted to BugGuide.

Location: Polk County, Florida USA
November 12, 2010 2:31 pm
These bugs appear annually in the area of Polk County, FL, in mid-November and seem to feed on shrub flower nectar. Thanks for you help.
Signature: John in Central FL

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Hi John,
Though it resembles and mimics a stinging wasp, the Polka Dot Wasp Moth is not a dangerous insect, except possibly if eaten.  The caterpillars feed upon poisonous oleander leaves, and it is uncertain if they retain the poisons in their systems, providing a layer of defense based on inedibilty.

Australian bug
Location: Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia
November 17, 2010 8:21 am
This little guy was on a rock by the beach in australia. He had a partner with smaller antennae and whenever I got the camera too close he turned around and took an agressive stance while the other one made an escape…
Signature: Gav S

Marine Isopod

Hi Gav,
This is a Marine Isopod which is also known as a Slater, however the coloration and markings are quite unusual.  We did not have any luck locating any images that looked quite like your photo.