From the monthly archives: "April 2005"

Very Large Spider in Garage
I was getting my lawn mower out of the garage this morning and came across this big guy. Can you please Identify and let me know if it’s dangerous?
Thank You.

Hi Michael
Though startlingly large, spiders from the genus Dolomedes, commonly known as Fishing Spiders, are harmless. They do not build webs but hunt for food. They are often found near water and they can dive below the surface and remain there for thirty minutes. They often catch small fish while underwater.

Dear Mr. Bugman,
I cannot say how much I love your site. I have three pics for you, I hope that’s ok? The first is a decent picture of a marbled orb weaver (I recognized it from your site), I just thought you might enjoy the picture.
Atlanta, GA

Your Marbled Orb Weaver photo is awesome.

big spider
I took this pic at my mother’s house in Mobile, AL, about 2 yrs ago. I was just wondering if you knew what it was. the body was between 1-2 inches and the spider itself would take up most of my hand.


Hi Mary,
Your spider is an Orb Weaver known as the Silk Spider, Nephila clavipes. It gets its common name from its strong gold silk. It is also called the Banana Spider.

Need ID of This Beautiful Nocturnal(?) Moth
Hi There Bugman,
Just discovered your funky bug site. I need an ID on this critter that crossed my path (literally flew into my face) one warm evening in August of ’03. I live on Long Island NY and never in my 42 years seen one of these kind of moths flying around. I initially mistook it for a small brown bat! I then figured it for a Luna moth but after seeing one ID’d on your site I have not a clue. Please Advise.

Hi R.P.
Your Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus, belongs to the same Family as the Luna Moth. Both are Saturnids or Giant Silkworm Moths. Caterpillars eat leaves from many deciduous trees and adults do not feed, living only a few days to mate and reproduce.

black-orange bug?
Hello: your web site is really cool. My son and I found a bug outside and we don’t know what it is. We live in Phoenix, Arizona. The bug is pretty big. Maybe 1 inch long. Black body with an orange head. We found it on a leaf on our Magnolia tree. Just like to know anything about it. Is it harmless? I haven’t seen one of these bugs after living in Arizona for 10 years. So I am curious as to what it is and if it is common around here.
Paul Avona

Hi Paul,
You have a photo of an Arizona Blister Beetle, Lytta magister. It is found in deserts in Arizona. Much of the life cycle is still unknown, but adults eat plant tissues of desert shrubs and larvae attacks grasshopper eggs in soil. Blister Beetles secrete a chemical cantharidin which causes blisters on human skin.

Type of bug eating the leaves of my tree?
The attached picture of these little bugs that are eating the leaves of one type of tree I have. They are about the size of your little finger’s nail. They are only attacking this one type of tree I have, not sure what kind of tree it is, but I have Elms and Oaks and they don’t mess with them. This tree is very large, probably about 4 foot in diameter. I’ve been constantly spraying the trunk up to about 12 feet up and so far are controlling them…but my neighbor has the same kind of tree and they are in it too but he’s too lazy to spray them. I cannot find any evidence of the bugs borrowing out of the bark, I can’t find any holes anywhere, but the bark is very coarse. Any idea what these bugs are or how to better controll them?
Robert Downey

Dear Robert,
We wanted to be sure about the identity of your beetles, so we wrote to Eric Eaton who quickly responded: “Well, if they are from the U.S., then they are leaf beetles in the genus Calligrapha, family Chrysomelidae. All bets are off if they are from outside North America north of Mexico:-) Neat insects.