I really enjoy identifying the bugs I rescue from the pool, and I always turn to your site first. You’ve done a great job. Here’s one I can’t seem to find anywhere. They are generally about 1/4" long with two yellow horizontal stripes crossing their wings. I’ve seen them jump/fly short distances when I take them out of the pool. I think they may be the same bugs that scatter when I cut areas of high grass in my yard. A friend tells me that they bite or sting, but I’ve not had a problem. They just don’t swim very well! Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.
Take care,
Len Seamon

Hi Len,
Thank you for the nice letter, and also your kind behavior to hapless victims that stumble or fly into your pool. Your photo, size and description suggest that you have a species of Froghopper, Family Cercopidae, but not one I am familiar with. They are related to Spittlebugs and are small hopping insects, rarely over 1/2 inch in length. They sometimes resemble tiny frogs in shape. Some have a characteristic color pattern. They feed on shrubs and herbaceous plants. Nymphs form a spittle which is a fluid voided from the anus. Air bubbles are introduced creating the frothy appearance. The insects have sucking mouthparts, and I have heard reports of people being bitten. The bite is not dangerous, just an annoyance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I Have No Clue! but we do!
If you can see from the picture- I took some Coquina Shells home from the beach- laid them out to dry and….. I saw about a dozen of these black bugs coming out of the shells the next day- and have no clue if there were brought home from the ocean, or were from my back yard. I’m without an identification book here, and found your site– can you help identify these awful looking things?? All I can say is thank goodness they are outside!!

The real reason you should be happy the shells are outside should be the stench. Obviously the shells stank badly enough to attract flies as well as Carrion Beetles, Silpha americana. These beetles are attracted to putrification in many forms, including dead animals and fungus. They perform a necessary scavanging activity as well as being valuable to forensic science by helping to determine the time of death when bodies are discovered.
P.S. Your photo is awesome.

Thanks for your quick reply!! Yes, I know the smell is unbelievable- I knew that would happen, but the beetles!!!! No Way! I’ve just never seen them before, and my first reaction was, well, a typical “girl” response— Unfortunately, I have noone around with the stamina to dispose of these …. things…..- I assume they will wander away on their own??? Thanks again, just another typical, “you’ll never guess what happened to me” story!
Jill Guenther

This bug was found in Oklahoma…..can you tell me what it is?
Judy Campbell

Hi Judy,
You have Cottonwood Borers, Plectrodera scalator. They are beetles from the long-horned beetle family Cerambycidae. These are very large black and white beetles. We have several photos on our beetle page from last year. Adults are common around cottonwood and poplar trees and the grubs bore into the wood of those trees.

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Thanks to your well-designed site, I was able to identify the large beetle in my driveway as a Prionus californicus. This was in Orange, California on July 2nd, 2004. Thought I’d share my photo with you, in return for the quick and detailed information.
Thanks again!
Marc McNaughton

Thank you for your kind words Marc, and also for the high quality photo. The species, according to Essig: “ranges along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska and is also reported from Arizona, New Mexico, colorado, and Nevada. Adults are nocturnal and fly in midsummer to fall. They are readily attracted to lights. The adults make a loud humming noise on the wing and often strike the windows at night with an impact that almost breaks them.”

Big and Beautiful.
Hiya bugman!
I found this beetle in my garage this evening. We live in Mesa, Arizona. The pic of it with the ruler came out fuzzy, but it’s a little under 3 inches long. That’s about as close as we were willing to get as it has pretty large mandibles. I scooched it along a little to see how it moves, and I think it was asleep because it jolted like I had startled it. It moves slowly and seems feisty, but then it’s easy to get grumpy in this 105 degree heat when all you want is to take a little siesta. I’ve been to about 10 different beetle websites and can’t find it. Can you help? I love your website!!

We stand corrected.
I was just going through the identifications and noticed that someone made an error on an identification: Sheri (Mesa, Arizona) sent in an image of a large long-horn beetle. It was identified as a California Prionus. It is not a California Prionus, but a different long-horn beetle. It is of the genus Derobrachus, and is probably the species geminatus.
Bob Jensen

Update: This just arrived on (08/08/2005)
identifications Hello – I was recently shown your site, and it is excellent. My specialization is longhorned beetles, and in cruising around I notice a number of incomplete or uncertain IDs for this family. I don’t know if you are interested in receiving this sort of input, but if you are, I offer the following additions to your identifications.
The species pictured is what presently is called Derobrachus geminatus, as you speculated– however, for the record, that name has been misapplied, and in fact, the species shown in the photo soon will be given another name.Cheers
Frank Hovore (Prionus) species.

Update: Palo Verde Root Borer
I just wanted to let you know that the beetle on your page 2, Some one gave the correct on the family name, but didn’t give a name on what they are called. I live in Tucson Az. & to my knowledge are mainly known here in the SW They are called “Palo Verde” beetles, because the female will lay their eggs in soil surrounding the Palo Verde trees, which will hatch & live underground for 3 years, feeding on the roots of the trees. They are usually seen in the summer & fly in the early evenings, they are attracted to light, which is why we always find them by our front porch where the light had been on! I couldn’t find anything on your page under that name, so I hope you find this helpful. They are the biggest bug I’ll ever want to see with pinchers! I’ve enclosed a couple pictures.Thanks,
Wendy Warunkiewicz

Great site, I enjoyed cruising through all the pictures. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado and have captured several of these orange and black (ant mimic?) spiders. They are very fast and I feed them small grasshoppers. They are a little bigger than a nickel or so. If you can tell me anything about them as well as what they actually are I would greatly appreciate it. A picture of one of them is attached. thank you,
David Huntwork

Hi David, It appears to be a member of the genus Linyphia. These are Sheet-Web weavers and several species are colored like your specimen, though the coloration is variable. Linyphia insignis resembles your spider most in shape.