Strange bug
I have seen this particular bug in my house two times so far, I can’t seem to find out what it is. This is probably not a very good picture, if I see it again I’ll try to take a better one. It has two spots near the top of the head that glow green when it feels threatened. Thanks for any help.

Hi Wendy,
Your Fire Beetle is one of the Click Beetles from the Family Elateridae, also known as Spring Beetles, Snapping Bugs or Skipjacks (according to Dillon and Dillon) because of a strange habit they have when they find themselves on their backs. The body is bent and then snapped and the beetle flips into the air, hopefully landing on its feet. It will continue trying until it is upright. Some Southern species have luminous maculae (colored spots of relatively large size) and some larvae are also luminous. More specifically, your Fire Beetle is in the genus Pyrophorus. According to the Audubon Guide adults eat pollen and small insects such as aphids and scale insects. Larva are omniverous. Adults are active for a few weeks in May in Florida and late June in the Southwest. “Tropical members of this genus, up to 2 inches long, are known as Cucujos and often caught and worn as a luminous decoration by partygoers. If one beetle is held in the fingers and placed on a newspaper in a darkened room, it can supply enough light to read the print near the insect.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help with an ID please?
I’ve looked at all the pictures on your site, as well and scoured the internet for the last 2 hours, but I am unable to find any photos of beetles that look like the one I’ve attached. I am in Palm Harbor, FL and met this rather buly bugger which I instantly named "Whole COW that’s a big Beetle" If you can tell me the name of it, I would be so happy! I’m a huge research freak and it drive me crazy when I can’t find what I’m looking for HA HA
Thank you in advance,

Hi Heather,
After consulting with Eric Eaton, I’ve got a name for you, Strategus antaeus, but not much information. This is one of the larger native scarabs. Eric says: “Yes, this image is definitely Strategus, probably a “minor” male without well-developed horns.”

Iridescent Beetle?
I found this beetle high up on a plateau near Rock Creek BC. I thought the iridescent greem covering the abdomen an wing casing was beautiful. However, I don’t know what kind of insect it is?
Rick Hartnell

Hi Rick,
We checked with Eric Eaton to get an actual species identification on your Blister Beetles. He quickly responded: “I’m envious. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and never once saw these guys! These are indeed blister beetles, probably Lytta cyanipennis. Blister beetles are very LOCALLY abundant, for very short periods, so the person is lucky to have encountered them. Just don’t grab one, as they will live up to their name by leaving blisters on sensitive areas of your skin.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Could you please identify this for me?
I found this spider in my bathroom. I live in North Bay, Ontario, Canada in a mixed decidous forest, predominately Maple trees. My house is located near but not on a lake. If you could identify it for me I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you,
Sam Hornell

Hi Sam,
I guess your Fishing Spider, Dolomedes species, found itself too far from the lake and decided to try fishing in the bathroom.

Sphodros rufpes
My 7 year old son, and my wife found a great specimen of a Red-legged Purse Spider in our neighborhood here in Mt Juliet, TN. It is a text-book example. I noted on your site that this spider has been found in only 4 locations in Tennesee. I am wondering if Mt Juliet or the Nashville vicinity is one of those areas. Here is the photo of the little critter. He was found next to a scrub at my neighbors front door. I had my 7 year old son put him back and took opportunity to explain about extinction and endangerment….a nice life lesson !! I’ll bug off for now. Hope the photo is helpful.
Bruce, Nathan, and Kathi McLaughlin
Mt Juliet, TN

Hi Bruce,
Your photo is just beautiful. We have been getting many letters regarding this species lately which we originally identified under the scientific name Sphodros rufipes. We have found information in old texts under the scientific name Atypus bicolor. It might be rare and endangered or it might not, depending upon the source. At any rate, it is an awesome spider and your photo is great as well. We have actually devoted an entire page to the Red Legged Purseweb Spider thanks to your letter and image. We have read that June is the month when males leave their webs and search for a June bride.

Dear Sir
My son has today brought in what we believe to be a purse web spider. It is exactly like the one photographed on your site, sent in by “Bruce”. After further research on the internet however, we failed to find any mention of or find any photographs of purse webs with red legs. This one we have has very distinctive red legs and black body. My 11 yr old son who reads nature books constantly, suggests that this may be a female and that it is the males who have the black legs. Could this be true? Other sites state that it is not threatened or on any conservation list. Is this accurate? Also, we read that it is most commonly found in England which is ironic as I am from England & we are in fact visiting next week and so will be carefully looking for more of these little spiders whilst there! Maybe we unwittingly brought one back with us last year! What would you advise us to do with it? Of course if it is not endangered then we will release it, but if there is anything we can do or anyone we should contact here if it is in the spider’s interest, then we will be glad to help. A few years ago, I found a northern brown recluse & after contacting a university in California, mailed it to a researcher. It thankfully arrived alive and well! He was researching how far south the northern recluse was progressing & confirmed that our identification was correct. We will await with anticipation any further information you are able to give us about this spider and in the meantime my son is keeping it safe and well fed! Regards,
Janice Barner
Newnan, Georgia, USA

Hi Janice,
We are getting numerous reports of sitings recently. Our Comstock book identifies this spider as Atypus bicolor and writes: “The male is a very striking spider with black carapace, abdomen and palpi, and the legs carmine-red.” He also says the females average an inch or more in length and are colored dark brown with a black margin on the cephalothorax. There are Atypus species in Europe. Gertsch writes extensively on Atypus bicolor: “This species occurs from Maryland south into western Florida, and westward into Mississippi. They live for the most part in mesophytic woods. … The tube of Atypus takes form in a characteristic manner. the female spins a small, horizontal funnel or cell on the surface of the soil, and from this base works both upward to lay out the aerial tube, and downward into the soil. The funnel is pierced above, and a two inch section of vertical tube is set up against a tree. This design is accomplished by laying down many single lines and spinning the whole together into a strong fabric. The spider then begins excavating and spinning the subterranean part of her habitation. she molds the soil into small pellets, which she disposes of through the opening at the top of the aerial web. The covering of debris over the surface of the tube comes, surprisingly, form within the burrow — instead of being laid on from the outside: the sand and small particles are pressed outward through the web until the whole surface is evenly covered. After the first section of aerial tube is completed, another length is spun and coated with sand. Thus by sections the web moves up the side of the tree, until it attains the full length for the species. Like an iceberg, the finished tube penetrates the ground much farther than the length of its visible, aerial portion. It is heavily lined with silk, which becomes stronger day by day as the spinnerets constantly lay down their dense bands. … The Purse-Web Spider remains just inside the subterranean portion of her nest while waiting for prey, but at the slightest notice of a passing insect she moves into the aerial web. Her course is charted by the movement of the tube, and when the insect crawls over the surface, she rushes to the proper point and strikes her long fangs through the web, around or into the body of her prey. Holding it until completely subdued, she at the same time cuts the tube and pulls it inside. A slight rent is left in the silk, which will later be sewed together, and in due time covered over with sand so evenly that no sign of the break is evident. A tidy housekeeper, Atypus when through feeding brings the shrunken remnant of her prey to the opening at the top of her web ande casts it out. In the same way, she voids her milky white, liquid fecal material through the opening — with such force that it is shot several inches away. In June the males become adult and leave their webs to wander in dearch of a mate. Until the time they become fully adult they live in nests that are to all appearances identical with those of the females, and occasionally in season they can still be found in the tubes. … Females of all the American species are predominantly brown in color, shining, and only very sparsely set with covering hairs. The robust body is provided with quite short legs and long chelicerae, and runs about half an inch in length — although bicolor, the largest known species is often an inch in length. The males are similar to the females in most respects, but have longer legs. … Atypus bicolor has carmine legs, which, contrasting with its deep-black carapace and abdomen, make it the most striking of all our species.”