Tiny Mystery Insect
Hello there,
First off, I have to say I love the site. Great work. I also appreciate the unnecessary carnage page. I have a little insect that has me absolutely baffled… I found him one afternoon when I picked up a half-damp wash rag off the bathroom counter. He was under it… he was so tiny, I thought he was a little spider at first. I snapped a few pictures of him, which was difficult due to his size. When he sits bunched up with all of his legs together, he’s only about 2mm wide and long. With his pincers out and extended, he’s about 5mm wide and 3mm long. He has eight small legs and obviously, the two pincers like a scorpion. I’m located in Howard City, Michigan (which is just North of Grand Rapids a bit). We don’t have very many insects with pinchers up here, which is why I’m so fascinated with this little bugger. I currently have him in a large plastic freezer bag filled with air and pieces of paper towel for him to walk on. Thank you in advance for any help you might provide.
Elizabeth A. Fisher

Hi Elizabeth,
Your photo of a Pseudoscorpion is wonderfully detailed. These are harmless predators that can capture winged insects much larger than their own diminutive size. They can even capture houseflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

do you know what bug this is
Attaching a copy of a photo of a bug I’ve never seen before. Do you know what it is and whether it’s harmful to plants, etc.
Thank you,
Marilyn Bradley

Hi Marilyn,
This is a Painted Arachnis, Arachnis picta, and it is freshly metamorphosed. The wings will soon expand and harden for flight. This is a type of Tiger Moth and it does not feed as an adult. The caterpillars are Wooly Bears and feed on a large variety of weedy plants.

Something else…
To add to your mating bugs photos. I took a trip down to the Dayton, Ohio area last summer during the emerging of Brood X Cicadas. They only come out every seventeen years, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness it. It was truly an awesome experience.
Elizabeth A. Fisher

Hi Elizabeth,
We are truly honored to post your mating Brood X Cicadas. The one time I saw them was 34 years ago in Ohio and it was spectacular. Thank you again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What the heck is this?
Hi there – after some screaming kids got my attention this morning I captured this into a jar and found your site via Google. Centipede of some sort I suspect – we seem to have a number of these lately – maybe the cooler weather is pushing them inside? Live in Springfield, Missouri – as you can see this puppy is about 2 to 2 3/4 inches long. The photo shows scale tick marks with overlay I did in Photoshop. The picture was taken looking into a gerber baby food jar with macro mode on camera – kinda unique. If you place a bic pen between its tail – at least I think it’s the tail, it will snap the pincers shut and you can feel the clamping force it exerts. I’m not brave enough to try with my finger. So, what is it, besides a centipede and is it harmful at all? thank you – great site – we appreciate your efforts.
Steve Hargis
Springfield, MO

Hi Steve,
BugGuide just lists this as a tropical centipede in the Family Scolopendridae. Their example is from Georgia which is only slightly more tropical than Missouri. I grew up with similar ones in Ohio, but not as large. Centipedes do have poison, and it will cause discomfort. Sorry we can’t be more specific.

Correction: (01/20/2008) Two Centipedes
Regarding centipedes, that from Springfield MO is Theatops spinicaudus Wood, 1871 (order Scolopendromorpha: family Cryptopidae: subfamily Plutoniuminae).
Rowland Shelley
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences

What kind of spider?
What kind of spider is this?

Hi John,
Nice photo of a Rabid Wolf Spider.

What’s this?
Would please tell me about this spider in the attached picture. I almost mowed it down with my tractor, but I’m glad I saw it first.
Thank you very much

Hi Barbara,
Nice photo of a Banded Argiope, one of the larger North American Orb Weavers.