What is this bug?
I have hordes of this bug nesting in my patio which is made of stone blocks. They are going in the cracks and are huge! They never bother us but I am concerned that they could be destructive in some way. I have seen them taking green “grasshoppers” in with them. Sometimes they hover over the cracks between the patio tiles and then lower themselves into the ground. The one in the picture is about 1.25” long but I have seen smaller ones also. I forgot to tell you I live in Michigan and we have been seeing this bug for a good month or two. My dog keeps chasing them and occasionally catches one. They don’t seem to try and go after him when he antagonizes them. If it is a common flying insect, is there some kind of "bug killer" that won’t be harmful to my dog?
Thanks in advance,
Sherry Obershea

Hi Sherry,
You killed Sphex pennsylvanica, the Great Black Wasp. They are hunters of katydids, and they nest singly in burrows in the soil, not in mud nests. They are very non-aggressive. They are actually beneficial in keeping the destructive insect population down. You should learn to coexist.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large yellow beetle
Bug Man,
My four year old son found this bug while camping… he quickly became attached to it and played with it for most of the morning! (a budding entomologist??); unfortunately the close up photo did not come out very clear. It was approx 1 inch long, bright yellow and unlike anything I’ve seen around here (central Saskatchewan , Canada ). The bottom was furry, much like the “Watermelon Bug” on your beetle page – though not striped. It had large legs that it used to help right itself when flipped on its back. Quite entertaining for the crowd of kids it attracted. A lady on the beach thought it was a “Japanese Dung Beetle” which she claimed to have encountered while farming cotton in the southern US – I’ve looked up pictures and this does not seem to be the case. Assistance with identification appreciated.

Hi Guy,
Identification is difficult because of the blurriness of the image. We sharpened it as much as possible, and believe it is a member of the genus Cotalpa. Here is a link with some good beetle photos, including Cotalpa lanigera and Cotalpa consobrina.

I was wondering if you could tell me what the attached bug is. We are in our late 50’s and have never seen this bug before. It is on our morning glory vines in Oklahoma. The gold spots are very bright.
Thanks for any information.

Hi Gary,
You have a photo of a Mottled Tortoise Beetle, Deloyala guttata. The species is often found on the foilage of Morning Glories. They are also called Gold Beetles by some people.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

California colorful jumping spider
Hi, Can you help us identify “Volfie?” He was found jumping and web-spinning among some Chocolate Cosmos in Sonoma County, CA. Thanks.
Tracy and Matt

Hi Tracy and Matt,
Sorry about the delay. We don’t have an exact species name for you, but we suspect your Jumping Spider belongs to the genus Phidippus and that she is female.

Need Identification Help on Spider
Dear Bugman,
I was wondering if you could help me identify this particular spider. I live in Northeast Texas, about 10 feet off of a river. I at first thought it was some sort of wolf spider but its coloring was not the brown I am used to seeing. The silver color really jumped out and caught my attention, especially against the brown background. I can’t imagine this sneaking up on anything! J Also, does his stance (4 front legs together and forward) imply anything or is he just resting? Thanks for your time and help.
P.S. The board he is hanging out on is a 2×4 underneath my porch.

Hi Gina,
You have a fishing spider from the genus Dolomedes. These large spiders are usually found near water and are capable of catching small fish. I’m guessing your species is Dolomedes albineus, commonly called the Whitish Dolomedes. “This is a large species,” according to Comstock, “closely allied to D. tenebrosus. The female is easily recognized by a yellowish longitudinal band edged with black on the ventral (ed. note: your view is dorsal) aspect of the abdomen. … This is a Southern species. Hentz states that it does not dwell habitually in caves and cellars, but is usually found on the trunks of trees, yet in dark, shady places.” The stance appears to be a resting position.

What is it
Sorry about not sending this last with this last email. Do you know what this is? It was on my car under a bunch of Chinese elm trees.
Suzanne Koglin

Hi Suzanne,
This is a photo of the larva of a green lacewing (family Chrysopidae, order Neuroptera). Also called “aphid lions.” They eat large quantities of aphids. Adults are sometimes called “Golden Eyes.”