what’s the rating on your site R?
Love the sight, but glad I checked it out before my budding entomologist 6 year old. see here
https://www.whatsthatbug.com/maggots.html David’s letter is a bit out of the rating "range" of most of your other letters. I do have a few shots of Mantis bug love if you’d like see attached. I have more if you are interested.
Leanne

Hi Leanne,
Your photos are pretty awesome. I sure hope they did not end in cannibalism, though that often happens to ensure that mother mantis is strong enough to lay eggs. In our defense, we do not consider our site R rated, but it is for mature audiences. We speak like adults and we do not edit our letters. In responding to letters, we remain polite, but love a good witticism. Also, between adults, we know that the mantids are not in love, but really having sex. We thought carefully about the name for our Bug Love page and decided against the word sex because we didn’t want to get barraged by junkmail from porn sites, performance enhancing drugs and physical endowment alternatives. In the general scheme of things, our site, despite the occasional use of profanity from a poor homemaker who is plagued by flies, does not contribute to the delinquency of a minor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Some type of cricket….
I spotted these large crickets at a rest stop near Winnemucca, NV. Their bodies resemble the cave crickets or camel crickets but the legs are not so long and are not striped. Their bodies were between 2-3 inches long. They are large and sturdy, and that ovipositor is pretty amazing. The birds liked ’em even more than I did. The last picture with my foot is just to give a sense of scale. What kind of cricket are they, anyway? Thanks!
Michelle

Hi Michelle,
This is a Mormon Cricket, Anabrus simplex. It is found from Missouri to Southeastern California and north to Alberta. It will devour many types of grains. According to legend and the Audubon Guide: “This common cricket got its common name after thousands suddenly attacked the Mormon pioneers’ first crops in Utah in 1848. Fortunately, many California gulls arrived in time to devour the crickets and save the crops.”

spider/ brown anole carnage
Dear bugman-
We saw this spider kill a brown anole in a swamp in Big Cypress National Preserve. It was about 4- 4 1/2″ in diameter. We couldn’t figure out exactly what species it was, we were hoping you could help. These spiders are all over this part of the preserve, would they ever bother humans? We also just thought it was a cool picture for your website, we hope you use it. Thanks bugman.
Lisa and Jimi

Hi Lisa and Jimi,
Awesome photo of one of the Dolomedes Fishing Spiders. They walk on water and dive below the surface to catch fish as well as catching lizards on trees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spiny-back orb weaver
Hi – just wanted to add to your spiny-back orb weaver collection. Wish I had known about this site last year when I first found this guy and didn’t know what he was! Decided to feed him anyway and got some pics. Enjoy!
Gregory

Hi Gregory,
What a nice photo of the Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver.

Ed. Note:  August 16, 2011
This spider is more commonly classified as
Gasteracantha cancriformis.  See bugguide.

monarchs on my milkweed
I still like the milkweed beetles more, but this is the initial reason I decided to let the milkweed grow rampant in my garden (despite my neighbor’s request that I pull it all in the spring). I hope these are indeed real monarchs, please let me know if they aren’t.
Thanks,
John

Hi John,
The Monarchs have landed. We hope you get caterpillars.

Black Bug w/attachment
Please find attached some pictures in a zip file of this black bug I can’t identify. It prefers shady areas and when threatened it either flips on its back and feigns death or it raises its tail up much like a scorpion. I’m not sure if its tail is barbed though. I’m in ireland and haven’t seen this type of bug around here before. Could it posibly be a more exotic species come in on imports of fruit or such? Thanks for your time, much obliged.
Conor

Hi Conor,
I have Devil’s Coach Horses, Staphylinus olens, in my Southern California garden. It is native to Europe, but was introduced to Southern California in 1931. They are great in the garden because they eat snails and slugs. Though they have a frightening defensive posture, they have no sting, but can emit a malodorous fluid leading to its scientific name which means stinking.