what is this thing??
OK….I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I work for a pest control company!
It’s brownish and black, has four distinct wings (rather large, too), and they’re not touching, it’s eyes are on either side of it’s head, two big big mandibles with sharp serrated like things inbetween them. His body has a head, neck, two body segments, and then a long tail piece. He has 6 legs. I know my nomenclature is totally off, but what do you think? He’s about 2.5 inches long. Need a picture?
Thanks so much!

Hi Suzanne,
You most definitely have a dead female Dobsonfly. The photo I sent to you was of a male, which have bigger jaws. Your photos are awesome, and I’m sure they will have our readers screaming.

Thanks so much for ID’ing it. We thought we’d found some sort of prehistoric creature 🙂 I guess I can toss it now, it’s getting kind of stinky 🙂 Thanks

Actually Suzanne, prehistoric is not so far fetched. Dobsonflies are nerve winged insects of the order Neuroptera and are among the most primitive insects that undergo complete metamorphosis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I was out pulling weeds in the garden and something stung me or bit me and this is what we found any Ideals as to what it is? Conserned for my grandchildren is it dangerous?
Mary Thank for your time.

Hi Mary,
It is a species of Assassin Bug, but I can’t tell which because of the poor focus. They give a painful bite, but are actually harmless. They are good in the garden because they will eat other insects that damage plants. Just learn to treat them with respect and you won’t be bitten again. Teach your grandchildren not to handle them and they won’t be bitten, but again, they are harmless.

Nocturnal Ants
In my kitchen, at night, large ant looking bugs scurry about when the light is turned on. They are not too shy and do not act like nornal ants. They seem independent of each other and more intellegent than regular ants. Please can you help me identify this bug and how do I rid my home of them? Thank you,

Hi Dana,
Carpenter Ants of the genus Camponotus are the largest ants in our part of the world. The largest species, C. herculeanus pennsylvanicus is a large black ant. There are several smaller species that are red and black like your photo, including C. vicinus, C. semites taceus, and C. clarithorax. They build their nests in wood, often inhabiting preexisting termite galleries, and often burrow into rotten wood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Extremely Large Beetle!!!!
Although your site was informative and quite fascinating I was unable to identify a very large beetle. This beetle was actually found on my sisters shirt right at the base of her neck. I however spotted it before she could freak out too much… it was really quite hilarious to see her dancing around trying to reach it. I did of course pluck it off her and rescue the poor thing. I live in British Columbia, Canada and have not seen a bug like this before, and doubt that I ever will again. It was very sleek in body style and looked like it had a velvet shell and was soft to the touch. It was none aggresive and quite content to just sit on my arm. However if you touched it or prodded it would scurry with surprising speed on its padded feet. I believe it was about two inches long if not more… and was neat to watch. I got about 10 photos of it so hopefully you can help my curiosity by telling me what it is.
P.S. : I hope you like the photo, which I shall send in the email follwing!
Tracy Sherwood

Dear Tracy,
I can’t believe you didn’t think I would love your photo of a Larger Flat-headed Pine Borer, Chalcophora virginiensis [*Correction: Chalcophora angulicollis]. It is a species common in pine areas. They are members of the Metallic Wood-boring Beetle Family Buprestidae. The larvae bore under bark or in wood, attacking either living trees or newly cut or dying logs and branches. Adults run and fly rapidly. I found a website which states: “Individuals may be seen resting on sidewalks, on walls, and may actually land on people, especially if they walk around in bright clothing. This may be quite disconcerting to those that are intimidated by large insects.”

Thank You ever so much for replying so quickly! And you are right it is definetly a large pine borer. And I am also happy you liked my pic! Just graduating from high school ( Grade 12) and am planning on following my dream of becoming a professional photographer, I am tickled pink to hear that you liked it! Once again thanks ever so much for helping me out! And thanks for the awesome and informative website!

Re: help identifying beetles when i looked at the beetle pix previously the only missID i saw was chalcophora virginiensis since the bug was from BC it should be c.angulicollis. no big deal u did a good job on the others but i would be very careful putting species names on any beetle because there r usually many closely related sp. in any given genus feel free to send me some puzzlers if u get any thx dan

Hello Bugman,
I think I’ve discovered a new bug, but maybe it has already been discovered and you could tell me. I call it the "Red Jelly" bug from the Los Cabos Area of baja. This bug only comes out after big rains or hurricanes and is gone a few days later when the ground starts to dry up. It has 6 legs and two large antennas, or maybe it is a spider with 8 legs but it is hard to tell. It’s body is bright red and shiny like velvet, looks a little like a brain formation with legs and it is soft and almost "jelly like". It’s about the size of half a pea and seems non-aggressive. Please write me back to tell me what you think it is and if it could be poisonous due to it’s color. Thank you very much.
Paul Kops

Hi Paul,
We would have been able to give you an identification without a photo thanks to your vivid description, but we are thrilled to be able to include your photos with your letter. These are Angelitos, or Velvet Mites, Angelothrombium species. They attract attention when they emerge following rains. According to Hogue: “The larvae are parasites on grasshoppers and adults are predators on subterranean termites.” Velvet Mites are not poisonous and pose no threat to humans.

Hurrah for you guys!
I just wanted to compliment you on your fascinating site! I’m a student in Oxford studying Environmental Biology (my speciality being spiders – recently identified 807 of them for a research project!). I’ve often used your site for information in essays, and i think it’s a brilliant resource for everybody.
You must thoroughly enjoy running it.
Keep up the good work,

Thank you so much for the sweet letter Olivia. I am amazed that a prestigious institution like Oxford has benefitted from our humble site. My biggest thrill in the spider identification category was the Red Legged Purse Web Spider. That photo was so beautiful and I was obsessed with identifying it. Have a great day.