Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.

Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Lancaster pa
November 25, 2015 9:16 pm
I found this in my living room. I think it may have been hiding in some wood that we brought in for our fireplace. Now I am freaking out here! 🙂
Signature: Pam

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Pam,
This is a beneficial, predatory Wheel Bug, not a Kissing Bug.  We have received at least six urgent request to identify suspected Kissing Bugs in the past two days which leads us to believe there is some news story currently circulating.  Are you able to provide us any information on why you suspected a Kissing Bug?

Dear Daniel,
Thank  you so much for your prompt reply! I have grandchildren and I am very concerned because they play in our living room frequently!
Yes, there is news articles on line how they are spotted in Pennsylvania! I also saw the pictures of the wheel bug, but I did not see the helmet type of spine sticking up on this one’s head.
I will try and forward the segment that I saw on Facebook to you. It was on Fox news. Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer this!  It is very much appreciated!

The initial picture shown in this article did not look like the bug in my house, but another pic did! I literally had just found the bug the day before and killed it!I have spent a lot of hours looking at pictures as well and it’s very confusing! I guess that’s why I should leave it up to the experts LOL! Thank you again! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pam

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Kissing Bug courtesy of FOX

Hi Again Pam,
The Kissing Bug in the FOX image you forwarded is an immature Kissing Bug, which may explain part of the confusion.  Sometimes immature True Bugs change in shape and color as they mature and grow wings.

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Corte Madera , California
November 20, 2015 4:58 am
Found this crawling on floor inside home. No others found as of yet. About as long as adult thumb.
Signature: Jackie Wilkinson

Potato Bug Carnage

Potato Bug Carnage

Dear Jackie,
Clearly you can stand your ground against Potato Bugs which are harmless, subterranean dwellers that become more active in California with the winter rains.  We try to promote tolerance of the lower beasts and we hope next time a Potato Bug wanders indoors, you consider relocation over squashing.

Subject: What spider is this
Location: Victoria
October 27, 2015 5:58 pm
Hi I found this guy running outside on a hot night. I have an idea of what it might be was hoping if you could tell me. Hopefully it’s not what I think it is
Signature: ?

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

We thought this looked like a male Trapdoor Spider, and when we began to research its identity, we thought we found a match with the Sydney Funnel Web Spider, Atrax robustus, which according to the Australian Museum site:  “are shiny, dark brown to black spiders with finger-like spinnerets (silk-spinning organs) at the end of their abdomen. Males have a large mating spur projecting from the middle of their second pair of legs. If threatened, Sydney Funnel-webs show aggressive behaviour, rearing and displaying their impressive fangs.”  Regarding the bite of the Sydney Funnel Web Spider, the Australian Museum states:  “Again, it is true that Sydney Funnel-webs have one of the most toxic venoms (to humans) of any spider. However, it is not true that all funnel-web bites are life-threatening. The venom of juvenile and female Sydney Funnel-web Spiders is much less toxic. Nor do they jump onto, or chase people, or live in houses – these are all urban myths.”  We then checked Animal Diversity Web and learned that Sydney Funnel Web Spiders are:  “Found only in Australia within a 160-kilometer radius of Sydney. There are other species of funnel-web spiders in Eastern Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania” so we suspect your individual is a different species of Funnel Web Spider.  Since we will be away from the office for a few days and we are currently post-dating submissions to go live in our absence, we thought this would make a great Halloween posting, a holiday you probably do not have in Australia, as well as a good Bug of the Month for November 2015.  Poor spider appears to have met an untimely end, so in the spirit of promoting appreciation of the lower beasts, we are also tagging your submission as Unnecessary Carnage.

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

Thank you so much for the quick response.  I thought it was a Sydney funnel as well I’m not disrespecting you at all I have read the same information but I just don’t believe that they couldn’t be here in Victoria. I have sent the pics to several different sights and exterminators and they all say Sydney Funnel Web too so I don’t know what to do I’m just worried about my kids. So if you think it might be another type it would be fantastic if you can find out and let me know. Thanks again. Happy Halloween
Hayley Saunders

Hi Hayley,
If it is true that Sydney Funnel Web Spiders are found only within 160 kilometers of Sydney, then your spider is probably a different species.  It would stand to reason that other Funnel Web Spiders, especially if they are in the same genus, would look very similar, but perhaps do not have as dangerous a bite.  We would suggest taking it to your nearest natural history museum and ask if there is an arachnologist that could verify its identity. 

Subject: Packing the Garage
Location: Arizona
October 27, 2015 10:27 pm
I was packing the garage and saw this on the ground I was kinda scared of it and assumed it was a bad bug like a cockroach sac or something and squished it and was very confused to have green liquid come out. I don’t think there was anything in it so I am worried about what it was.
Signature: Scared of these things

Moth Pupa

Moth Pupa

This is a squashed Moth pupa.

Thank you for responding. So that is common for them to have green liquid on the inside?

When a caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis and enters the pupal stage, the interior organs break down into what scientists refer to as “soup” and here is the explanation from Scientific American:  “But what does that radical transformation entail? How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?  First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process. ”

Subject: Large bug in suburbs
Location: Orefield Pennsylvania
October 11, 2015 4:02 pm
Hi,
My husband and I just purchased a home in Orefield Pennsylvania right outside of Allentown Pennsylvania. About two weeks ago our son was playing in our player outside and I saw a very large bug crawling on his back I’ve never seen anything like it and it scared us. I then found the same bug along our screen door and the next day it had jumped on my mothers arm outside our screen door today the same kind of bug was sitting on top Of our screen door. We have an inground pool we live by a tree line in a very large neighborhood which sits along side of the forest. I grew up in this area and I’ve never seen anything like it. Would you be able to let us know what this is? thank you so much
Signature: The Claytons

Wheel Bug Carnage

Wheel Bug Carnage

Dear Claytons,
This is a predatory Wheel Bug, and though one is quite capable of biting a human if it is handled carelessly, they are not aggressive and they are not considered dangerous.  We hope you learn to co-exist with this beneficial predator because it sounds like you have a healthy population in your vicinity.  One of our missions is to try to educate the public on the interconnectivity of creatures on our planet and to encourage tolerance of the lower beasts.  This poor Wheel Bug looks like it met an untimely death, which we consider Unnecessary Carnage.

Subject: Wasp
Location: Pennsylvania
August 19, 2015 1:51 pm
We have these wasp in our yard think they have a nest underground how do we know for sure and get rid of it
Signature: Sharon

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Dear Sharon,
This is a solitary Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and it is not an aggressive species.  They develop underground, but they are not social wasps with hundreds of members of a colony.  According to BugGuide:  “Males and females have a courtship dance, flying close to the ground in a figure-8 or S pattern. Females burrow into ground in search of grubs, especially those of Cotinis and Popillia japonica. She stings it and often burrows farther down, then constructs a cell and lays an egg on the host. Larva pupates and overwinters in a cocoon within the body of the host. One generation per year in North, more in South.”  Any insect that preys on the invasive Japanese Beetle is a friend to the gardener.  We do not provide extermination advice.