Hungry Jumper

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana eats moth

Hungry Jumper
Location: Mid-Missouri
October 27, 2010 3:44 pm
Hello Bugman. I came across this jumping spider (Species: Thiodina sylvana is my best guess) a few weeks back on a Friday evening after work. He was scurrying around rather frantically and as you can see, he was looking in dire need of a meal. I snapped a few pictures before he hid out. I went out shooting the next afternoon and I found what I think is the same jumper snacking on a moth. I love these little jumping spiders so I was happy to see him getting fed (at the poor Moth’s expense of course). It was really neat to be able to see her activity over the period of a couple of days.
Signature: Nathanael Siders

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana

Dear Nathanael,
You are just about the perfect contributor.  You have a catchy subject line for grabbing our attention.  Your letter has content and you have identified a difficult challenge, though we still have to verify if we agree with your identification.  You have gorgeous, perfectly sized images.  In the past, we have cropped out copyright information if we needed to crop into the photos for posting purposes, but your images do not need to be cropped.  The compositions are incredible.  Thank you for taking the time to make such a valuable contribution to our website.

Jumping Spider: Thiodina sylvana

Ed. Note: We decided to verify the identity of this Jumping Spider on BugGuide, and we found Nathanael’s photos already posted.  We agree with his identification but we think it is important to also indicate the variability of Thiodina sylvana by linking to this image of a black individual on BugGuide.  We wonder how Nathanael is certain that this is not Thiodina puerpera.

Thank you so much for the nice comments.  I am glad to hear you appreciate my contributions and will keep them coming if that’s okay.  I had forgotten all about submitting those to  I did consider Thiodina puerpera but there are a few significant differences that I noticed.  Mainly, the coloring on the top of the head is different between the two female species.  In Thiodina puerpera, the top of the head seems to be mainly white and black whereas the Thiodina sylvana has orange areas mixed in.  The orange present on the head of the spider in my photos, among some of the subtle patterns on the head are what led me to Thiodina sylvana.  Not being an entomologist, I rarely feel confident enough to feel 100% sure, but I did a good bit of searching to find an ID on this “lady” and the Thiodina sylvana was the only species that fit all the characteristics of my spider as far as I could tell.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my judgment call.  Do you know if some female Thiodina puerpera that have orange on their head as well?

Thanks Nathanael,
We hope you realize that we are not entomologists.  Daniel teaches photography, and his assessment of the quality of your photographs has much more validity than any confirmation we might attempt regarding this species.  We have located a photo of
Thiodina sylvana that has orange coloration on the head, but it is a male, and it can be found on bugGuide.

I actually did think you all (or some) were entomologists.  Daniel’s compliments on my photography mean that much more to be coming from a photography teacher.  I appreciate all the interaction you have given me with my submission.  You definitely have a wonderful site and I am happy to be able to contribute some of my photos.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found in Central Hungary
Location: Kecskemet, Hungary (central plains)
October 27, 2010 2:19 pm
I saw this on my walk home from work on October 25, 2010. Specifically, it was crawling along the sidewalk in a residential area behind a poultry processing plant and close to the train tracks. The pen I added for scale is 14 cm long.
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Franny

Mole Cricket from Hungary

Hi Franny,
The Mole Cricket which is pictured in your photograph and the Toe-Biter are probably two of the most frequent identification requests we receive.  If our memory serves us correctly, we have received requests for the identification of the Mole Cricket from every continent but Antarctica.

Scary 5inch long caterpillar!!
Location: Crete Greece
October 26, 2010 11:30 am
Dear Bugman,
Again I need your expert help to identify this very large caterpillar which arrived on my patio under the Bouganvillia after strong winds in the night. At first I thought it was a snake! Hawk moth again maybe? Five inches long, a horn at the rear and cream colour underneath. I live on the island of Crete. Thanks for all you do to enlighten us amateur nature lovers!
Signature: Cathy P

Death's-Head Hawkmoth Hornworm

Hi Cathy,
You are correct.  This is a Hornworm as the caterpillars of the Hawkmoths are frequently called.  Alas, we do not know the species and a cursory search of the internet did not turn up any matches.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck identifying the species.

Hi Daniel and Cathy:
It looks like a brown color variant of the Death’s-head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, which is widespread throughout Europe and Africa. As with many hawkmoth (Sphingidae) caterpillars, it comes in a large variety of body colors and patterns. Wikipedia provides lots of interesting information about the species. Regards. Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Mid-Missouri
October 26, 2010 12:50 pm
A friend of mine suggested that I submit some of my photos to your site (love the site by the way). I found these a few days ago all over the Amur Honeysuckle berries that line my woods. I believe it to be a Lovebug and they are sure interesting looking creatures. These were the first that I have seen this year
Signature: Nathanael Siders

March Fly

Hi Nathaneal,
This is definitely a March Fly in the family Bibionidae which includes the Love Bugs in the genus
Plecia, but we haven’t the necessary skills to identify the genus or species.  That would require an expert and most likely a physical specimen.  We can say that she is a female because the eyes of the male are much larger.   Presumably, if he could speak, he would inform his mate that they are:  “All the better to see you with, my dear.”  You may see some additional examples of March Flies on BugGuide.

March Fly

Update:  October 2, 2016
In creating a new March Fly posting, we realized that this fall flying species is probably
Bibio longipes based on BugGuide information that it is a fall flying species.

Location: north west sydney
October 26, 2010 9:12 pm
we found this spider in our ride on mower and was wondering what type of spider it was, it was about the size of an average hand.
Signature: tash

Mountain Huntsman Spider

Dear tash,
You are correct.  This is a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae.  We located a visual match on the Insects of Brisbane website that is identified as the Mountain Huntsman Spider,
Isopeda montana and it is also pictured on the LifeUnseen website.

Swarm of small black beetles
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
October 26, 2010 5:08 pm
Every year in Santa Cruz, CA we get a small flood of these small black beetles in our upstairs bedroom. They seem to congregate under skylights and near windows (lots of sun). They are looking for mates, as I can see a number of them paired end to end, while others wander searching. They never have wings and don’t look like termites we see elsewhere around the yard. We just had our first big rainfall and it’s sunny and warm today.
Signature: Thanks, David

Termite Alate

Hi David,
This is the third email we looked at this morning with similar Termite Alates from California which just had an unseasonal rain.  None of the images contained winged specimens, and we do not know if there is a species of Termite that does not have a winged reproductive form, but we doubt it.  See our previous posting for additional information.

Update:  June 17, 2012
We have been doing some research based on a comment from Sonfish that this is a Devil’s Coach Horse.  While we were confident that it wasn’t a Devil’s Coach Horse, we began to have doubts that this was a Termite and that it might be a Rove Beetle, so we contacted Eric Eaton.  He confirmed our original identification.

Eric Eaton confirms Termite Identification
June 16, 2012
Yes, these are alate termites that have shed their wings.  The one in the bottom image has her abdomen in the air because she is “calling” males with her pheromones, released from glands near the tip of her abdomen.  They do look remarkably like rove beetles when they do that!