house centipede shots
Hi folks! Well your site allowed to immediately identify my bug. I am an amateur macro-nature photographer, and I cleaned out an unfinished musty basement after 30 years of unuse. I thought I had gotten rid of most of the bugs, and then as I tried to open a stuck window, and had my face really close to the pane…BLAMMO, there was this 2-inch monster, unlike any of the zillions of bugs I have seen. This is a really large pic — but I thought I’d give you the full resolution, and you can do what you want with it. I took like 20 pics and could not get my camera to focus until I switched to "spot-focus" and pointed at the center of the stripey fella. He stayed completely motionless until I really jolted the window — his motion was fast and fluid and scared the crap out of me. I think I may win the best house centipede pic trophy! well enjoy!
Bryan Jaicks, Jersey City, NJ

Hi Brian,
I don’t know which is better, your superbe image or your colorful written account. At any rate, we are declaring you the winner in the House Centipede photo contest, though it really didn’t exist until your photo arrived. We are going to give it a permanent place at the top of our Centipede page.
.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Any ideas what type of centipede this is? Is is harmful? It was found in a garage in a subdivision about 20 miles south of Tucson, AZ.

I don’t know your species but it is surely beautiful. If it bites, you will probably have minor irritation because of the poison fangs. Not serious though.

Ed. Note: WE just received this letter with an identification.
(08/11/2005) Centipede species ID
Hi, Great site! The link was posted on an arachnid (mostly couple subforums devoted to vertebrates, myriapods, and other insects) forum that I frequent (Arachnoboards). Spent about 20 minutes looking through the beetle pictures and found it instantly helpful for a beetle my gf found in our apartment a couple days ago (false bombardier beetle, I forget the scientific name I’m better with tarantula/scorpion names). Anyway, the main reason I’m sending you this email is that there is a picture of a centipede that you have listed as unidentified. Orangish-red body, yellow legs, black head and the submitter being from the desert southwest ( Arizona to be specific) it is a Scolopendra heros but I’m not sure on the subspecies. I wanted to say S. heros castaneiceps but the color pattern is almost reversed as they have a black body/tail with a red head, then again with centipedes and especially Scolopendras, color patterns aren’t the most reliable L Anyway, you should be safe to say it is a Scolopendra heros, we have S. polymorpha here in the US as well but their color patterns are significantly different as far as I know. Regardless, Scolopendras have some rather nasty venom and centipede size is often proportional to amount of venom injected, S. subspinipes from the tropics are reportedly as painful as a male platypus (some say they wouldn’t wish it on their enemies or would’ve rather cut the offending limb off) even morphine has little to no effect on the pain. I did read some medical articles that were published on the internet and one was a study of centipede envenomations in the United States . Heat would actually reduce the pain such as a warm wash cloth. If you would like more info on this genus let me know, I know some people on that forum who are quite knowledgeable in regards to centipedes (one of the mods is working on a master’s in Entomology, scorpions, as well). And again, excellent site and very helpful as a quick reference I’ve been looking for one for a few months now but no luck through Google somehow lol. Best Wishes,
Josh

Identify this bug please and thankyou.
Hello:
I have come across several of these bugs in my backyard today, that I have not seen before and I am curious to what they are. They are very beautiful and only about 3/8" to 1/2" long. They fly. They have yellowundersides, legs and head with 2 pink spots on top of their head. The wings are a deep pink with lighter bluish pink stripes. They have a black stripe going from one side of the head all the way around to the other side of the head, thinning out around the mouth area. Sorry, that I couldn’t get better photos, only have a video camera and it cannot take closer shots. Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

I got a much closer look at these bugs and they are a deep fushia pink with lighter blue stripes on the wings. Sorry about that. I had to use the zoom on my camera and the defination is not very fine. On the back view of the bug the lighter pink stripes are actually blue. Thank you very much.
Darlene Johnson in Mt. Elgin, Ontario, Canada

Hi Darlene,
This is one of the Leafhoppers in the Family Cicadellidae. It looks to be the Red Banded Leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea. Though beautiful, they can be destructive if numerous since they are sucking insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can also spread viruses from plant to plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown ant
Hi,
I found your site while trying to identify this ant; hoping you can help. We have lots of black ants and tiny brown sugar ants. This one is about 8 – 9 mm long; never saw anything like it around here. It was on a desk in the office.
Thank you,
Roger

Hi Roger,
We were pretty sure this was one of the flightless wasps but we checked with Eric Eaton for confirmation. Here is his response: “Ding-ding-ding! Right AGAIN! It is another species of velvet ant, possibly Dasymutilla bioculata (spelling on the species?).” Velvet Ants are actually wingless female wasps and they can sting painfully.

Update: (04/02/2008) ID for insects
Hey, my name is Will, this is a list of the ID’s for the velvet ant page. image 36. Dasymutilla alesia. hope this helps a bit.

You saved a life! A bugs life that is….
Bugman,
I live in the Northeast US and tonight I saw what I thought was a deer tick on my counter after just coming in from cutting the grass. My concern came from the prevalent Lyme disease in this region and my friends recent unfortunate diagnosis. Being a techie I trapped it and g00gled >"eight legs" claws< and low and below your site comes up first. I follow the link and *whamo* I see the bugger there in your photos. A pseudoscorpion! Glad it’s not 50 times bigger cause it would be an adventure to deal with… mean lookin bugger. Your statement that he eats other critters saved its life and got it a first class seat on a solo transport to my basement to wreak havoc on the other critters down there. Must be my critter week as yesterday I moved a 6 foot black snake to the woods behind my house?… I beleive your site and concept here is very benefitial to others, I want to thank you for your services. As a thank you I have provided photos of my bugger in its first and last – most likely – photogenic moment. Look close I believe it is smiling! :]
Thanks Again,
Bo Kohut

Hi Bo,
Happy we could be of service.

some type of clearwing moth from Fairbanks Alaska
Hello,
I took a picture of this little guy on one of the leaves of my tomato plant. He was less than an inch long.
Erik Anderson
Education Associate
Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Fairbanks Alaska

Hi Erik,
Your Clearwing Moth is one of the Wasp Moths in the Family Sesiidae. They often have dark bodies banded with yellow, red or white. Adults fly diuranlly and visit flowers where the wasp mimicry is a protective coloration. The caterpillars are borers and sometimes do considerable damage in orchards where they damage stems, roots and bark. Sorry we can’t give you an exact species.

Ed Note:
January 17, 2009
Thanks to taftw who identified many of our unidentified Sesiid Wasp Moths today, we now know that this is a Fireweed Borer, Albuna pyramidalis.  The species is well represented on BugGuide
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