this one bites me Hi. Pls. (!) tell me the species name. They have been biting my legs when I mow for too long now! They have hundreds of webs all over the lawn which are characterized by a funnel or cone down which they retreat.
Tnks! Shaun

Dear Shaun,
Grass Spiders are members of the Funnel-web Spider Family, Agelenidae. Your spider looks like a Grass Spider, Agelena naevia. It is a large spider, often reaching an inch in length. They build abundant webs of the funnel type in grass, low shrubs and occasionally near buildings. Few people realize how many webs are in the grass until the webs are made visible in the morning by the dew. Grass Spiders live for a year and often occupy the same web unless it it disturbed. They have a retreat in the web, the funnel, where they hide until prey falls into the web. They then run accross the web and drag their prey into the tunnel, which often has a rear door if the spider needs to retreat. We suspect your bites have a different cause. Have you actually seen the spider attack you?

Thank you Daniel for this. While I have yet to actually see one bite me, I have to strongly suspect this may be the villain. I have two or more years track record of bites on my legs. No-one else in our family experiences this. This is an outdoor/a summertime specific phenomenon. After mowing I come in, and bites begin appearing that day and over the days following. Last year I had ten. I do not wish to repeat that. Almost all the webs (there were/are many) on the lawn, made visible by the morning dew as you quite rightly say, are of the funnel variety. What else would be doing this? As a person who is allergic to a number of things, I feel fairly confident this (correct me if I am wrong) relatively harmless villain is something to whose bite I experience an allergic reaction. There usually is a necrotic or cytotoxic reaction unless the bites are responded to promptly with effective medication. ‘Save me’ if my discomfort is pushing me into a rush to judgement or knee-jerk type of thing, although my thoughts on this ‘aggressor’ here is ‘if the shoe fits, wear it!’ Did you think of anything further in the light of all this? When the web page wouldn’t open (the error message said something to the effect of: ‘the site has exceeded monthly quotas,’ and that seemed to me to be odd as we are approximately in the middle of the month) I ‘googled,’ and google had a cached page. Scrolling down the left hand side ‘revealed’ your address, so this was how I was able to reach you. I was crushed when I had finally gotten the photo and couldn’t find the site, something I had originally done via a portal, the Microsoft Network or msn.com home page search utility. Cordially, Shaun

Hi Shaun,
While the Grass Spider is normally thought of as harmless, it is entirely possible that you have a sensitive reaction. All spiders have venom and all are capable of biting. Sadly, we are willing to agree with your theory.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi,
I hope all is well with you. Last night I saw this big guy hovering around the flood light on the back of my house. I tried to get better pictures, but he moved around pretty fast.
Best Regards,
Ed Cogan

Hi Ed,
Thank you for the photo of a Fishfly, Chauliodes species. These are relatives of Dobsonflies, both belonging to the family Corydalidae. They can be recognized because of their comblike antennae. Larvae are aquatic predators, and it is likely that adults do not feed.

I use World’s Best Cat Litter. It’s an organic product made from corn. I have bought bags before that contained these small, elongated, lighter brown, hard, beetle type bugs. They don’t seem to be able to fly. I think they might develop into some sort of tiny moth, because I have seen the little (tiny!) moths in the litter enclosure, but nowhere else. I have tried freezing the bag before I use it in the litter box, but sometimes this does not work. What are these bugs and how do I get rid of them? Are they harmful to my cat? Could they get into the rest of the house? Sorry I don’t have a picture.
Christa Moeller

Dear Christina,
Both meal moths and pantry beetles will infest stored corn. Neither will harm your cats, but they may invade stored grain products in your pantry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pointed head bug
Dear bugman,
Perhaps you can identify this bug picture I sketched. I cannot find a close match anywhere to say that I am sure what it is. It is a 6 legged bug VERY tiny, about 1/10". I can tell you that not only did they show up in my kitchen, but there were literally millions in a bag of birdseed! There were so many that you could hear the bag rustling. Gross! I looked in the bag to see millions of these creatures with their pointed heads and antennae. I hope you could steer me as to what these bugs are.
Thanks!
Tom Bartman
Pottstown, PA

Hi Tom,
Weevils are one type of Pantry Beetle whose shape matches your description and drawing. Weevils are a type of beetle belonging to the family Curculionidae. Grain Weevils belong to the genus Sitophilus and have the head elongated into a snout.

Yesterday, July 7, 2004, I was walking out of my garage with my two young sons (ages 20 mos. and 3 yrs.) and I turned my back for literally 20 seconds. My three year old comes running up to me and says his hand hurts. It looks dirty so I asked if he fell and he says, “a bug.” I asked if the bug bit him and he says no, but insists that his hand hurts. In order to distract him, I suggested that we get the mail. On walking to the mailbox, he says, “there it is!” I look to my right and see this bright red bug walking on the driveway. The bug was 3/4 inch long, I would guess, and the brightest red I have ever seen. Mostly red with black legs and, I would guess, three black stripes. I was startled and afraid as I do a lot of gardening and have never seen anything like it, so I stomped it with my shoe. I had to run an errand, but about 30 minutes later I checked my son’s hand as I was worried because the bug looked so wicked. His right thumb had swelled to about 1.5 times the size of his other thumb and was very hard/tight. It also had a white tiny pin prick in the middle of the fatty part of his thumb. I started to panic a bit, but within another half hour, the swelling started to go down and he said he was “all better.” When I got home, I started to dig for information on the internet and after two hours found your site. Part of my problem was that I thought I had seen a beetle of some sort so I typed in red bug (which came up with chiggers), red beetle (which came up with a red milkweed beetle, sort of close but not quite right) and red locust (which was definitely not what I saw). The body was segmented in three parts and I thought since it was crawling that it could not be a bee. After finding your site, I took tweezers and a white envelope and went to see if the bug parts were still in any shape to take a photo. I collected the bug and noticed it was very furry and in particular it had sort of longer legs than I had originally thought that were also furry. It was not as red as when I saw it walking, but it had been about four hours in the hot Georgia sun. I showed it to my husband when he got home and he said it looked like a wasp or hornet so I came back to your site and saw a picture of the bug I think I saw – a Velvet Ant, listed under wasps. I have become fascinated with your site since yesterday and read many clips just to learn more. Once I had a name for the bug I saw, I tried to find more information via several search engines, but with little success other than some pictures. My son seems fine now, but more of the story continues to come forth. He told me today that “the red bug was walking in the grass and (he) tried to pick it up.” Yikes! He also told me that he isn’t “supposed to touch bugs without asking Mommy because it might bite (him).” I guess maybe a good lesson for him since he is fascinated with all wildlife and touches without thinking usually. Anyway, none of the sites I could find really listed if a sting by a Velvet Ant is harmful, other than the pain. Do you know? Are they common in Georgia (we live in Forsyth County, north of Atlanta)? Do they change color (become a brighter red than normal) when they have been messed with or picked up? Are the males the same bright colors as this female was? Do you think I will see more? If I do see another one, I will try to snap a picture to send to you. After seeing your site, I felt guilty for killing it. It would have been a very good picture, I think. Thanks for your site!! Sorry for the “long version” of my story,
Stephanie Moore
PS. I saw an email by Eric Eaton referring to www.bugguide.net as a good source for info. In this case, it was not very helpful for me (I am a bug idiot, more or less). Although, I did see that some of the pictures of the Velvet Ant that were posted were taken in Georgia, which answers that question I guess.

Hi Stephanie,
Velvet Ants are female flightless wasps. The males are smaller and have wings. There are many species of Velvet Ants, and some are bright red, others orange and still others yellow. The sting is painful, but not serious unless there is an alergic reaction. I love the name Cow Killer for the species Dasymutilla occidentalis, which is common in the South. Perhaps another websearch with the scientific name will give you additional information. I am very happy our site was helpful.

What’s this bug?
Dear Bugman,
I found this bug on some tomato and eggplants that were growing on my porch. I’m really wondering what they are. We live in central Pennsylvania . Your website is great and I’ve been telling people about it :~) Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge,
Leslie Howard

Dear Leslie,
At first we thought this was a Slug Caterpillar, but the curious thing about your image is the debris on the back. We enlisted Eric Eaton’s assistance to identify a Tortoise Beetle Pupa, and then Nathan wrote back correcting this misidentification.

Update (04/17/2006)
I believe, now that you were able to identify the tortoise beetle larvae photo I sent you can also put the following entry to rest as well. I found it under the first Caterpillar listing. It looks very similar to an already identified toroise beetle larvae photo found on one of your beetle pages – it too was green like this one. Again, great site!
Regards,
Nathan Cook