Subject: weird scary bug
Location: cape town
January 10, 2017 3:22 am
I keep seeing this weird dinosaure like bug around.
It has a long skinny curved body, unless it’s a sting (I know nothing about insects), and 6 legs.
We never see it flying but, often completely still. Also it’s very big, and tall on its legs.
let me know what you think 🙂
Signature: Sacha

Robber Fly

Dear Sacha,
This is a predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae, and though there is not much detail in your image, it does resemble this individual posted to iSpot.  While we would not rule out the possibility of a person being bitten by a Robber Fly, we think that is highly unlikely unless a person tried to handle a Robber Fly.  Predatory Robber Flies generally prey upon flying insects that they catch on the wing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: It looks like a tiny bee
Location: Daniels, WV, 37.7432° N, 81.1229° W
January 9, 2017 11:01 am
I see these guys seasonally. Normally when the weather turns cold. They look like small bees. They have wings but they are well hidden and I normally see them scurrying around damp locations. Bathroom. Pet water bowl etc. I have no idea what it is. Do you?
Signature: Rob Thompson

Larder Beetle

Dear Rob,
This Larder Beetle,
Dermestes lardarius, is a common household pest that feeds on stored food products.  Check the pantry to see if you can locate larvae infesting dried foods.  They will also infest dried hides and animal products.

Subject: Scarab rhino squeaker mystery
Location: Townsville Australia
January 9, 2017 6:46 pm
Dear bugman,
We are in northern Queensland Au (nr Townsville) and found this beautiful beetle we can’t find with online searching. It is light brown, body is a little less than 2cm long and it has a very fancy rhino like head. It squeaks like an old wind up toy I think when it feels threatened and tries to dig / nibble quickly through anything.
Signature: Holly and Jake

Earth Boring Dung Beetle

Dear Holly and Jake,
We found some really close images of Earth Boring Dung Beetles in the family Geotrupidae from Australia, but alas, those pages seem to no longer be active, yet the images still exist in the search engines.  This Csiro Entomology page is the best we are able to provide, and it states:  “Members of this family are closely related to scarab beetles but can be distinguished from the later as they have one extra segment (11 in total) on their antennae, and the last 3 segments form a distinctive circular club. They are very stoutly built beetles and range in size from 8-30 millimetres in length. Most adults are reddish-brown to brown in colour, although a few may be black. The head and pronotum of male geotrupids is often adorned with prominent horns and as such members of this species are often called rhinoceros beetles. ”  

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for identifying the beetle for us, we really appreciate it. Nice to know more about it too. Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  We have never heard of a situation where Spiderlings remain together after leaving the female’s protection, and we suspect the “conga line” you witnessed was of creatures other than Spiders.  The behavior you describe is more typical of social insects like ants or immature Hemipterans.  Are you able to provide an image?

Subject: spiderlings traveling in a “conga line”
Location: Chemuyíl Pueblo, México Yucatán
January 8, 2017 10:58 am
There are many unusual bugs in the jungle here, such as spiders and scorpions that carry their babies on their backs.
I was delighted to find your site – thanks!
Can you tell me about spiderlings traveling in a “conga line”, hundreds of them? Why?
Signature: Malcolm

Tarantula Spiderling “Conga Line”

Hi again Malcolm,
Thanks for sending an image.  Our initial response to you expressed our doubt that Spiderlings would travel the way you described.  We retract our supposition.  These do indeed look like Spiders.  We will attempt to find additional internet documentation that can explain it.

Tarantula Spiderling “Conga Line”

Tina Shaddock comments on Facebook
I believe these are plausibly Brachypelma vagans spiderlings and this article holds a bit of info about what is occurring in this photo.

Ed. Note:  Here is a quote from the linked article:  “The spiderlings, which have a body length of about 2-3 mm, stay in the maternal burrow for several weeks. Little is known of this gregarious stage in this species, although spiderlings have been observed moving around the entrance of the maternal burrow, in where their mother is hunting in a sit-and-wait position. They often climb over each other but avoid contact with the mother. During daytime, the spiderlings were known to remain active and visible at the entrance of the burrow for up to one hour after the female had retreated. They were able to move easily through the web covering laid by the female over the burrow entrance (Shillington & McEwen 2006). Authors hypothesized that the silk network around the burrow provides an important chemotactic cue for orientation (Minch 1978) and juveniles probably remain in contact with this network at all times. After this gregarious period, the spiderlings disperse in the form of columns of about 100 siblings walking away from the mother’s burrow (Reichling 2000, 2003; Shillington & McEwen 2006). Shi- llington & McEwen (2006) observed that during the night of May 24 th 2003, spider- lings left the maternal burrow in three lines. Then at random intervals, one individual left the column and headed in a different direction, causing successive forks in the column. The maximum observed distance of dispersal was 9 m from the maternal burrow. Dispersal is observed in several spider species, including several species of mygalomorphae, all using silk for ballooning (Coyle 1983) or orientation (Jean- son et al. 2004). Previous reports on B. vagans mention that the spiderlings walk in line like ants (Reichling 2000), but no work has recorded the use of silk during dispersal. During their gregarious and dispersal phases the spiderlings do not show any aggressive behavior toward each other, as many spiders do (Gundermann et al. 1986; Jeanson et al. 2004).”

Thank you! That description sounds entirely likely – location, environment, and behavior. And attached is a photo of an adult found outside the house. Who would have guessed? I feel happy to understand the critters here in more depth.
For what it’s worth, I’d wager the spiderlings stay in line visually. From their non-colliding dynamics, and seeing individuals lose their place in line and orient from an inch away to rejoin.
Thanks again.


Hi Malcolm,
Thanks for sending an image of what we believe to be an adult male Tarantula.  We will be featuring your posting for a spell.

Subject: Stinging caterpillar
January 8, 2017 1:21 am
Hi here is the photo of the caterpillar. Stinging slug?
Signature: Vaughan

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Vaughan,
You are correct that this is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae.  This individual on iSpot looks very similar, but alas, it is only identified to the family level.  This individual on iSpot is not identified either.  We then located a posting on iSpot that looks very similar that is identified as
Stroter intermissa, but we have not been able to verify that elsewhere on the internet.

Subject: Never seen before bug
Location: Frankston, Melbourne, Australia
January 8, 2017 6:27 am
Hi took this pic yesterday of strange looking bug
Signature: Vanessa

Feather-Horned Longicorn

Dear Vanessa,
We have several images in our archive of the Feather-Horned Longicorn,
Piesarthrius marginellus, from Australia