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: What is this
Location: Virginia
June 9, 2016 1:19 pm
I have killed 3 of these so far
Signature: Betty

Wheel Bug Nymph

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Betty,
This is a Wheel Bug nymph, a beneficial predator.  When they hatch in the spring, Wheel Bug nymphs often arouse attention as they look somewhat like spiders as they cluster around their distinctive grouping of eggs.  They soon set out as solitary hunters, taking small prey like Aphids, a scourge to any home gardener.  It actually appears that the individual in your image is feeding off a small insect, possibly an Aphid.  Mature Wheel Bugs have a distinctive “cog” along the upper surface of the thorax that makes them very distinctive looking.  Mature Wheel Bugs are able to take much larger prey, and they help eliminate many unwanted insects in the garden.  Wheel Bugs are also quite large and they are probably the largest members of the Assassin Bug family in North America.  All Assassin Bugs might bite if carelessly handled, but we almost never receive reports from folks who have been bitten by a Wheel Bug.  If it occurs, a bite may cause temporary local sensitivity and swelling, but it will have no lasting effect.  We hope we have convinced you to refrain from future Unnecessary Carnage of Wheel Bugs.

Subject: What kind of bug is this
Location: Nebraska
June 4, 2016 5:24 pm
Found this in my apartment. Do you know what this is?
Signature: Missydo

House Centipede Carnage

House Centipede Carnage

Dear Missydo,
This poor creature was so severely traumatized when it was dispatched that it is almost unrecognizable, but the large number of long legs indicates it is NOT an insect.  We suspect this must be a House Centipede, and they are much more beautiful alive than they are dead.
  House Centipedes are not dangerous to humans and they are nocturnal predators that will help rid the home of Cockroaches and other unwanted creatures.  We will be postdating this submission to go live during our holiday away from the office next week.  We will also be tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage, and we hope the next time you encounter a House Centipede, you will be Missydon’t.

It was in my laundry and when I took the laundry out of the washer it fell out. Didn’t even know it was in there.

Subject: What that bug
Location: Louisville, KY
April 17, 2016 6:17 am
What is this bug?
Signature: Email

Braconid Dead on a Fly Swatter!!!

Braconid Dead on a Fly Swatter!!!

Dear Email,
Though we find the composition and color palette of your image quite nice, we somehow can’t get past the content of the dead Braconid on a Fly Swatter.  Like their close relatives the Ichneumons, Braconids are parasitic on mostly insects but also on spiders and other arthropods, though they are generally very host specific, often to the species level.  Some Ichneumons are capable of stinging, and the same may be true for some Braconids, but not ones with highly evolved, penetrating ovipositors like the one on your specimen.  We believe your individual uses her ovipositor to deposit her eggs in the stem of a woody plant that is infested with the larvae of wood boring insects.  The black and red color pattern resembles this individual on BugGuide, though we are quite certain it is a different species.  We have to label this submission as Unnecessary Carnage, and we hope next time you encounter a Braconid, you will part ways unscathed.

 

Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: South Mississippi
April 6, 2016 7:55 pm
Hi bugman! There seems to be a lot of debate online about what kind of spider this is. Can you help?
Signature: Very scared of spiders!

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Dear Very scared of spiders!,
This is a harmless Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira, and it appears to have met an unnatural end, prompting us to tag this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison, and we believe most people would agree that the living spider is much more attractive than the dead individual.

Subject: Strange fly/bug
Location: thornlie, western australia
March 29, 2016 4:55 am
Hi, my mum had a bug/fly land on her and swatted it. It died but is dark in colour but when the photo is taken with flash has amazing colours and a very big sting, similar to a bee but much bigger and with barbs on it.
Signature: Email

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Though it appears to be a stinger, the Cuckoo Wasp is incapable of stinging.  The female uses her stinger-like ovipositor to lay eggs and according to the Brisbane Insect site:  “Most species are external parasites of other wasp larvae. Females lay eggs in nest of other wasps (Eumeninae of Vespidae and  Sphecidae) while the nest host collect food for larvae. Cuckoo Wasp larvae hatch and feed on the food or the host larvae.”

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Subject: What is this demon
Location: Newcastle, NSW Australia.
March 18, 2016 1:31 am
This huge bug was found and after taking a beating from a broom was still alive. It was greyish in colour on the back and a lot bigger but unfortunately after a degreaser bath seemed to shrink a little and change colour.
Signature: I need an exorcist!

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Giant Water Bugs like the one you “degreased” are commonly called Toe-Biters in North America.  According to the Australian Museum, other common names include Electric Light Bug and Giant Fishkiller.  A Queensland Museum pdf fact-sheet-water-bugs-water-scorpions indicates it is the largest true bug in Australia and that Toe-Biter is also an acceptable name down under.   Wannabee Entomologist has a fun posting.