Beetle with EYES!
Hi Daniel, We have many different beetles on our land. The one we saw today (photo attached) is by far the most interesting. The body is around 3cm long. Do you have a good online source recommendation to ID future beetles that we find? (Besides your fab site, of course!)
Thanks, Sandra

Hi Again Sandra,
We are still trying to get a positive species identification on your green horsefly. Your beetle is an Eyed Elator, Alaus oculatus. These are members of the Click Beetle family Elateridae. According to Dillon and Dillon: “If, by accident or through human agency, one of these beetles finds itself upon its back, it has a very singular method of righting itself. The body is bent upward on a loose hinge between the pro- and mesothorax. Then, with a sudden snap, it bends itself in the opposite direction with such force that the whole insect is tossed several inches into the air, turning over and over as it goes. Occasionally several trials are necessary, but it is amazing how frequently the insect will land upon its feet the first time.” The “eyes” are not true eyes, but in fact markings which might startle birds or other predators into thinking the beetle was larger or fiercer than it actually is. The larvae are called wireworms. Adults are usually found beneath the bark of dead pine trees and are common in the southern states. Though we do much online searching for identification, we don’t really have a beetle site we visit.

Thanks for the fast response. Wish I’d know about the flipping part. Not to be cruel to beetles, but I’d have loved to see it! I’m sure there will be another time. Maybe I can catch it on film. I knew they weren’t real eyes! I don’t think it would stop our chickens from picking on it. They are young & into everything as they have just started free ranging. Unfortunately, the diversity of insects we see at the barn is diminishing the larger the hens get. At least we only have 7 of them, they can’t eat everything!
Thanks again,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

It has stickery feet that tickled on your hand. He isn’t afraid of anything. I found him walking on the parking lot at Wal-Mart down here in Lumberton, Texas. Sorry about the clarity of one photograph he kept moving and I am just leaning how to use this camera.
DeeDee Revia

Hi DeeDee,
Thank you for the photo of an Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus, also known as a Unicorn Beetle. Unicorn is something of a misnomer, since your side view reveals additional horns. These are among the largest American Beetles.

I recently found the spider in my enclosed porch in detroit mich. I have tried to find out what the is to no avail. If you can tell me what it is and if it poisonous I would appreciate it as my son wants to keep it as a pet. Thank you

Hi Michael,
It is a harmless jumping spider of the family Salticidae. It looks like Phidippus audax, which is common and widely distributed throughout the east and as far west as Texas and Colorado. These are very active spiders that hunt down their prey. They do not build permanent webs. They have excellent eyesight. They will jump on flies from quite a distance. It should make an excellent pet.

Thank you for the Excellent advice. My son will be very pleased that I will let him Keep his pet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this weird bug on my bathroom wall, it freaked me out because I am scared of spiders and it looks like a cross between a spider and a scorpion. I live in Maine and one of the reasons I love living in Maine because there are no scorpions. Tell me this isn’t a poisonous scorpion bug so I don’t have to move to Alaska or Antarctica.
PS are there any human habitable areas that do not have spiders?
Dale Richardson
Addison, Maine

Hi Dale,
While you are right that Pseudoscorpions look like a cross between spiders and scorpions and spiders, both of whom are related, you can rest easy that they are totally harmless, unless you are a small insect. They have no poison glands unlike both spiders and scorpions. I doubt there is a place on earth that does not have spiders, except the bottom of the ocean.

Thanks so much for answering my question so quickly! I was a bit worried about those pinchy looking things, good to know they’re harmless.

Egg case, Cocoon, Chrysalis?
I’ve found a few of these around the house (a couple on the house), and I’m wondering what they are. Ibelieve I opened one up a couple years ago without seeing one single ‘thing’ inside, which lead me to believe that it was some kind of egg case. ‘little help? btw, just discovered the sight; thanks for being here!

Hi Gerrold,
It looks to me like you might have Preying Mantis egg cases. The females spray a type of foam to insulate the eggs against a severe winter and also to protect them from other harm.

Mantis egg-cases hatched!
Thanks again for your response, and I thought you might be interested in what we discovered this morning.

As the attatched pictures show, we have baby mantises! My camera wouldn’t get quite as close as I would’ve liked , but you might be able to make out a baby hanging entangled from the case in picture #1. He was small, ill formed, and not moving, so I put him on the bench & shot him away from the case. Then I noticed he was moving, ever so slightly(possibly they emerge from the case in a state rather like that of a butterfly leaving the cocoon, and need some time to ‘puff up and dry out’. Afterwards, we found one of his brethren on our Buddleia (butterfly bush), and I managed to snag a couple of pics of him scouting her new ‘digs’. This guy is about a quarter of an inch long, the eggling was maybe an eight of an inch.

Wow Gerrold,
That is so exciting. Thank you so much for the follow-up letter and the beautiful photographs. We are posting them immediately. Please continue to send us mantis photos if possible. We would love to post some eating photos as well as fully grown specimens.

(06/14/2004) Mantis Brood Update
Are you a victim of success? Couldn’t get to the site today, but here’s an update for you on my baby mantis brood. I found one of the ‘kids’ on my Hardy Hibiscus today; (S)he’s a hair over half an inch, eyeballs to end of abdomen (if it was held oyt straight, instead of canted up like that). No dining pictures yet–That’d be a stroke of luck, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

I am wondering what kind of spider this is. I haven’t found any reference to the blue markings on the ventral surface. I took the photo of the spider on its web between two trees. There was a second of the same species close by. The location was in woods in Northern NJ , USA .

Hi Barry,
You have taken a photo of Leucauge venusta, or the Beautiful Leucauge. The scientific name venusta means beautiful, and well deserved, for it is one of the most beautiful of all our spiders. I have also found this spider called the Orchard Spider. It is a common and widely distributed species, extending beyond the limits of the United States both north and south. It is a bright green and silver-white spider, tinged with golden, and sometimes with orange-yellow or copper-red spots. Red spots seem to be common in the south, but in the north, they are usually absent, as in your photo. The spider builds an orb-shaped web that is nearly horizontal, or slightly inclined, in open, well-lighted situations. The web can be more than a foot across and is built in shrubs and trees.

Thanks so much for your quick reply. I will be using this photo along with a number of other wildlife photos in my daughter’s classroom and I will certainly be letting them know about your help and your website. Thanks again Barry