What’s This?
I found this on the patio this morning. A little more info. I found this on the patio this morning. I am in eastern Washington state. It is about an inch long and could move by crawling fairly quickly. It didn’t fly.
Thanks, John

Hi John,
The Locust Borer, Megacyllene robiniae, one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles from the Family Cerambycidae, is capable of flight. The adult Locust Borer is often found on goldenrod where it eats pollen and nectar. The larvae bore in the wood of Black Locust trees after eating the bark. Thank you for your photo. We like getting good images of signature insects. The Locust Borer ranges throughout the Eastern and Southern U.S. and eastern Canada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider by bedroom window
Dear Bugman,
I’ve just discovered this scary spider outside my bedroom window. Is it poisonous or harmful to either me or my cat? I have just moved to Marin county in Northern California, and my back yard is home to a startling number of spider webs. Could you tell me if there are other spiders I should beware of in this area? We have friends who have small children. Thanks so much for your knowledge and information.

Hi Hilary,
Your Orb Weaver is a Garden Spider or Cross Spider, Araneus diadematus. It can be identified by the median row of diamond-shaped silvery spots on the abdomen traversed by a dark line, hence the common name Cross Spider. According to our Audubon Field Guide this species was introduced from Europe and ranges in the East. Despite California’s strict produce importation laws, new species seem to get introduced. Luckily, this is not a harmful species. The spider builds a large orb web and hangs face down waiting for flying and jumping insects. It is found in city and suburban hardens between homes and shrubs. An unusual habit is that the spider eats the remains of its web and spins a new web each night. Your dangerous spiders are Black Widows and Violin Spiders.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your interesting reply. We will re-locate the spider to some bushes outside of our yard. Although, it has been kind of fun watching it for a few days. It’s amazing how the web can withstand such strong winds.

white triangle on back?
Your site is the most comprehensive collection Ive seen so far. I live in North Carolina. Something has been biting me (but not my wife?) at night. The bites are not painful but can be really itchty at times. I found this spider crawling in our sheets this evening. Given its very distinctive white triangle on the back and striped legs I thought the ID would be cake. After looking at many sites, including yours, I have yet to find a match. We have seen many different kinds of spiders in and around our house so this one may be unrelated to the bites. Still Id just like to know what we’ve got here.

Hi Paul,
We love getting good photos of new species for our site. My old Comstock Spider Book calls your spider Verrucosa arenata and you have a female. Some authors call the genus Aranea. The abdomen is distinctive and triangular in outline. The large triangular spot can be white, yellow, pink or green. It is a Southern species that is occasionally found as far north as Long Island. It is probably not the cause of your wife’s bites. A Google search turned up a site that had this information: “The arrow-head spider, Verrucosa arenata, has three distinct color forms, which occur in the same habitat. Our goal is to understand the ecological and behavioral factors that allow for the maintenance of this polymorphism. More specifically, we are interested in understanding how predation (e.g., crypsis) and assortative mating maintains these color forms.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found your website after finding and killing this wonder in my yard. The body is almost an inch long and the legs are just over an inch long. His smaller top part of his body reminds me of a crab as you can see it’s a little flatter. I’m in North west Georgia and found him on the side of my house. I found no web near him. I was petrified at first then after finding your site I feel bad that it might be perfectly harmless. Please let me know in case I come across more then I can be more informed.
Big doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
Annette Fox

Hi Annette,
Yes, big does not mean bad. You have squashed what appears to be a Whitish Dolomedes, Doloemedes albinus, or possibly a color variation on one of the other Dolomedes. These are sometimes called Fishing Spiders or Nursery Web Spiders. They will not harm you. They do not build webs to capture prey, just to lay eggs.

what’s this spider?
Found this guy hanging out on our siding. Never seen one like this in our area. We live in Upper Michigan .

Hi Mark,
It appears you have a photo of a Marbled Orb Weaver, Araneus marmoreus. These are shy spiders that hide in a retreat, only emerging when prey has been snagged in their web. It is found throughout the United States, north to Alaska.

I just discovered your terrific web site while trying to identify some spiders I’ve seen in my yard. I’m sending 7 images in two different emails. Is it OK to send several at once? I didn’t find any guidelines regarding submittal. I’ve tried and tried to identify these spiders, without any luck. I can send any of these images in a higher resolution if you need them for identification. Thank you greatly for your help.Thanks. I live in Wichita, Ks,, and keep my yard in a naturalized state. BTW, I’m very impressed with your (tactful) efforts to educate those who have (usually out of ignorance) killed the species in the photos they send. I have made it my goal to learn about everything that lives in my yard (flora and fauna). In the process, I’ve grown to love them all, even the scariest-looking insects. Problem is, I search and search and just can’t find any identification for many of them.

Hi Dotty,
Identifying all 7 of your spiders is a daunting task. We will try to get them all for you. This one is easy since we identified it last year. Herpyllus vasifer is found under stones and rubbish on the ground, between boards, and in crevices in dark places. It runs with exceeding rapidity. It is widely distributed in the U.S.

The photo above is probably a Running Crab Spider from the genus Philodromus.

September 9, 2010
Since posting this letter many years ago, we have learned that
Herpyllus vasifer is now classified as Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, the Eastern Parson Spider.