Good morning!
Hi there. This fellow was extricated from underwater brush in a lake nearby which is mostly frozen over though thawed in places. At first I believed he was a "Walking Stick." However, the legs seemed wrong. Scanning internet images led me to now believe he may be a Water Scorpion. (And to think I kept repositioning him, which he seemed to tolerate cheerfully enough!) I’d really like your confirmation, please! Thanks for your tremendous site!
Michelle Mahood
Shingletown, California

Hi Michelle,
We always enjoy getting interesting images from you. Yours is the first photograph we have gotten of a Water Scorpion, though we have gotten several letters. Your specimen looks like a Western Water Scorpion, Ranatra brevicollis. They get to be about 1 inch long with an additional inch of breathing tubes. They are found in shallow ponds amid debris. They will bite painfully if provoked.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

new pics
you identified this beetle for me last year and posted pics i’d sent you (beetles 2004). thought i’d send these close ups of the same beetle.

Thanks Alan,
Have you kept this beautiful male Stag Beetle as a pet for the past six months, or are the photos from last year?

did NOT keep the stag beetle…
…as a pet! i wanted him to live life as it should be – free. i took about a dozen pics, though. i thought you’d like a glamour shot of, “volks – the stag beetle.”

some comments about camel crickets
My hubby and I visited a WV cave last year. The tour guide told us to beware the "cave cricket", that it had been known to bite people and cause serious infection due to the fact that it feeds on carion, refuse, etc. It so happens, that a few month later, this huge camel (cave) cricket was in our kitchen. Having believed the tour guide, I tried to crush it with one of hubby’s large boots. The next morning, it was no longer under the boot, nor anywhere else to be seen. Thank God, it got away and apparently, wasn’t injured. I never saw this huge cricket again, however, there have been two smaller ones that come up often to the kitchen. Unfortunately, the smaller of those two was apparently bitten by a spider. I found it wrapped up tightly and hanging in a spider lair beneath the cupboard, just yesterday. (Dang spiders, but I guess they have to have food too.) The other one, however, (both are males), and I know which one it is because it was suddenly missing it’s left rear hopping leg, yes, the big hopping leg … anyway, this one still comes to the kitchen every 2 or 3 days, late at night. I always look for it and I offer it multigrain bread, which it really chows down on, big time! Assuming they have some hearing ability, I speak softly to it when offering the bread. It seems to have lost any fear, since it doesn’t jump away now like it did at first, apparently becoming accustomed to receiving food. I find these critters to be quite interesting and have done what research I can online about them. Meanwhile, I found a neat photo of one that look like the ones we have here, except it’s definitely a female and I have permission to use the photo to create a logo for the graphics business I’m trying to get started. (Lotta nice people on the net willing to share, and for certain, I will give the photographer credit for his great picture, which I haves included below. His name is Bob Patterson.) Isn’t she lovely? I think so! Not to belabor an issue, but somewhere I ran across a site where they were discussing whether or not camel crickets were satanic! Can you believe it? If I can find that site again, I intend to post a comment there about how goofy they all are, (the people, not the crickets). I’ve also seen sites that say the crickets eat carpet and clothing … sheesh! My crickets never come on to the carpet … they stay on the kitchen vinyl and look for crumbs. Perhaps all crickets are not alike … but I always hate the thoughts of misinformation on the net for everyone to read. Why on earth would a cricket chow down on synthetic fibers??? Makes no sense. Anyway, you have a wonderful site and I truly appreciate it! Please keep up the great work!
Warmest Regards,

Thank you for your great letter Bunny.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this ??
My 6 year old daughter is fascinated with insects. She found this in our front yard and I have no idea what it is. Will you please help us shed some light on what this insect is? Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you!

Hi Dana,
Your daughter found a Tersa Sphinx Pupa, Xylophanes tersa tersa, a member of the Family Sphingidae also known as Hawk Moths or Hummingbird Moths. Here is a link that will show you the life cycle of the moth. According to the site, ” Pupae probably wiggle to surface from subterranean chambers or leaf litter just prior to eclosion.” This could explain its appearance as your photograph indicated, which will also mean the adult moth will soon emerge. You didn’t state your location, but the site also maintains the moth “flies from Massachusetts south to south Florida; west to Nebraska, New Mexico, and southern Arizona; south through Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America to Argentina. An occasional stray makes its way into Canada.”

new pic of bug
hey thanks for your help i found a dead bug after spraying and got a couple of better pics of it this one is one of the little ones i had mentioned i hope these pics are better in helping you tell me what they are like i said before i have only found five now and i have sprayed three times. thanks for all your help
thank you

Hi Amos,
Your new photo definitely is of an immature cockroach. It looks to be a German Cockroach, Blattella germanica, which is an insidious pest. It is recognized by the two darker longitudinal stripes on the head shield. Better find the breeders as well or you might quickly be overrun.

unknown bug
Dear Bugman,
Orlando, FL is the location. Found this winged bug (attacking???) fuzz ball in the eaves of garage. The fuzzballs appear to be attaching a hibernating caterpillar of some sort to the eaves. I am not sure if this winged black bug was helping the sleeping caterpillar or trying to eat it. Neither was very active. Can you ID and/or explain?
Thank you.

Hi Niteowl,
Your insect is a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais. The caterpillars eat leaves from oleander. I’m guessing your specimen is newly emerged from the cocoon in the eaves.