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.

2 Shiny Black Bugs (Pic included)
Dear Bugman,
Before you view the picture…I have to apologize. I fear I did not see them till it was too late. On top of that…it looks like they were enjoying one of the finer things in life right before I took it. I am really sorry. But I’m still curios as to what they are. I’m 25, and have lived in Pennsauken all my life, but never seen anything like them.
They have what seem to be wings (or maybey they’re just the shell covering the real wings)…a shiny black carapace with a hint of turquois. Their Antennae are segmented. (I know there is a significant difference between Segmented and smooth antenna…but I forgot what) I didn’t get a frontal shot… But their mouth-parts didn’t have any substantial mandibles. The mouth-parts resembled that of a common grasshopper…for lack of appropriate term. This picture was taken in Pennsauken, New Jersey…about a 20 min drive from Philadelphia, PA. Again, I apologize for their demise. It was not intentional. Hope you can shed a little light on it.
Thanks in advance,
Russ

Hi Russ,
You have an awesome photo of a pair of Oil Beetles who met a tragic end while procreating. Another common name is Short Winged Blister Beetle, Meloe angusticollis. The beetle is found in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It is usually found in crop fields and meadows where it eats herbaceous foliage being particularly fond of potatoes. If disturbed, the beetle feigns death by falling on its side. The leg joints exude droplets of liquid that cause blisters.

Wondering
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.
Thanks,
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 in the world is this thing?
Hello! I hope you’ll be able to help me out here. A friend of mine took a picture of this…insect in her basement, and from the description and the photograph (link included in this message) it looks to be some sort of caterpillar. Of course, that is a maybe. I’ve never seen anything like it before and neither has anyone else I’ve questioned.
Location: Minnesota (St. Paul area)
Thank you for your time and patience.
Sincerely,
Michelle y. Richardson

Hi Michelle,
Sorry for the delay. I am very amused that your friend named her poor dead House Centipede “Satan” which might explain why it is dead. They are harmless, though they often startle people when they run across a floor at night. They are very fast, but will kill and eat spiders and cockroaches and other undesireable household intruders.

Hi, Bugman. I love your site, although I’m glad I don’t have any of those bugs at my place! The one I found is bad enough. I found it in my front yard in suburban Chicago. Can you ID it?
Jerry Palm

Dear Jerry,
You have photographed a dead Caterpillar Hunter, Calosoma scrutator, one of the Ground Beetles from the family Carabidae. They are predaceous, feeding on insects and other small animals. They are especially fond of caterpillars. They help to control Gypsy Moths and Tent Caterpillars. Adults will climb trees and they can also fly, often being attracted to lights in the spring. They are beneficial and should not be killed.