What is this bug
I just moved into a new home and there are a few trees that need cut down. I am currently cutting down some Shagbark Hickory trees and this bug is all over the trees. We live in Western Pennsylvania. Could you please tell me what it is and if it is harmful? Please see the attached pictures.
Thank you,

Hi Neal,
Judging by the mating activity evident in your photo, you might soon have a new generation of Painted Hickory Borers, Megacyllene caryae. They attack hickory, black walnut, butternut, osage orange and mulberry. The female lays eggs after cutting deep pits in the bark. Larva bore inward and pupate under bark. Adults emerge in the spring.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange Fly
Can you tell me what this is? I noticed a lot of them flying around this weekend (May 7-8) where I live in Newport News, Virginia and tried looking them up on the net, but the closest I could find was a Pyrgotid Fly, mostly because of the wing shape and coloring. It is about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. A local entomologist said it could be a seed maggot fly.

Hi Harry,
We contacted Eric Eaton for assistance with your photo. He writes: “The fly may be an Otitidae (aka Ulidiidae) species rather than a Tephritidae. I am just learning about the flies, though:-) Try the Systematic Entomology Laboratory at the Smithsonian, going to the Diptera pages. Also try Bugguide, as I have seen this critter there, again, in Otitidae.” We did some additional internet checking, and while we couldn’t locate your exact species we did find that this family is known as the Picture-Winged Flies as well as this information: “Larvae of most Picture-winged Flies feed on decaying vegetation while a few are root feeders.” There is also some confusion between the Platystomatid and Otitidid Flies as both are commonly called Picture-Winged Flies. Your fly is definitely not a Pergotid.

NOTE: Delphinia picta
(05/11/2005) Hi, I saw the photo submitted on 05/09/2005 by Harry of the picture-winged fly. I’ve photographed several of these in Atlanta. They were identified as Delphinia picta.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, GA

Thanks for the assistance Bill.

Brown Recluse -like spiders
Will you have a page dedicated to the brown recluse anytime soon? I used to live in Moses Lake, WA where we had many spiders that looked similar to both the Brown Recluse and the common Wolf spider but I can’t tell them apart. My grandmother was bit by a recluse somewhere in the vicinity and I can’t tell which spiders are which! Now I’ve moved to Edmonds (just north of Seattle) and I recently found another spider similar to our Wolf spiders, but it was slimmer and held it’s front legs in a tighter, more predatory manner (though it could have been a "defensive" manner cause I had tried to squish him twice and failed). Any pictures and size approximations would be wonderful. I would also like to tell you that you have an extremely useful site. It happened to be the 3rd hit on Google for "Small bug with pincers" when I was searching for a pseudoscorpid that I had just found. Oh, and my grandmother is ok, by the way! She was bit on the scalp, and was noticing that her heartbeat had sped up and she was losing mobility in part of her face and went in to see the doctor within 3 days of being bit. The doctor was the one who classified the bite. — Thanks much!

Hi Megan,
We cannot be comprehensive. We post images and identification sent in by our readers. We will post a Brown Recluse photo as soon as we get one. Glad your grandmother is OK. Because we print our readers’ letters verbatim, the search engines find our site based on layman’s terms, and not scientific terms, which is why we get so many site hits.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

i think its a giant water bug
I found this but at my cottage on Georgian Bay , I think that it is a Giant Water bug, it has 4 legs, 2 “pincers” at the front, and looks like it has “fangs”. It was pretty large, and hopefully you can identify it from the pictures. Can you send me some information about this bug please?

Hi Brett,
You are correct. This is a Giant Water Bug also known as a Toe-Biter. You can find many photos and much information on our Toebiter page by clicking the link in the alphabatized list on the left side of the www.whatsthatbug.com homepage.

What’s the bug in the pictures called?
We were wondering what the bug showed in the pictures is called. We found it on a wooden fence in our backyard. They scurried out when we banged on the fence, and it was hard to catch them because they moved very fast.
Thanks a lot,
Pranav & Prag

Hi Pranav and Prag,
We usually get reports of Silverfish from people with household infestations. They are household pests that like damp dark areas, usually basements and bathrooms. As yours is outdoors, it is not really much to worry about. They are very primitive insects.

Interesting one…
Hey “Bugman”,
I must tell you that I was pretty surprised (And happy) to find a site where I could just send a picture of this interesting bug I just found, and someone would identify it for me. I’m not naturally particularly interested in bugs, but this site is still going on my “Favorites” list. Anyhow, I live in South Carolina, and last night I saw this interesting looking bug, about 1.5” long running around on the sidewalk. I went to push it with the side of my foot into the middle of the sidewalk so I could see it better, but I accidentally squished it’s abdomen, and to my surpise it made a loud popping sound, just like those little white paper things that pop when you throw them on the ground (That you can get around 4th of July, usually…I hope you know what I’m talking about). Well, when I realized that it had something that looked quite a bit like claws, I decided I had to find out what it is. Here are a couple of pictures of it. Thanks for your time.

Hi Gabriel,
You accidentally trampled a Mole Cricket, Family Gryllotalpidae. These insects are usually found burrowing in the ground. Some species can fly.