From the monthly archives: "October 2011"

What type of fly is this?
Location: South Central Texas
October 28, 2011 9:22 pm
Mr Bugman,
I notice these flies mainly during the summer months…they’re not prolific, nor do they sting or bite…I’ve always just been curious as to what name and type of fly they are.
Signature: Mark Warfield

Ensign Wasp

Hi Mark,
The Ensign Wasp, as its name implies, is not a fly.  These parasitic hymenopterans lay their eggs in the ootheca or egg cases of cockroaches, helping to control the numbers of the infesting insects.

Oversized Earwig
Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
October 28, 2011 3:42 am
This scary looking was walking over my floor. At first I thought it was an oversized earwig but then I thought it was unlikely.
When I caught it, the bug tried to squirt this black ink at me which was caught by the plastic container. It is a bit over 40mm from feelers to tail.
Do you know what type of bug would get around Adelaide, South Australia, Australia (and would it be dangerous)?
Signature: Bug Pro

Mole Cricket

Dear Bug Pro,
You had an encounter with a harmless Mole Cricket.  The are found in many parts of the world, and we frequently get identification requests from Australia, the Middle East and many parts of North America.

Luna Moth
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
October 28, 2011 8:58 am
Dear bugman,
We had a visit from a luna month this morning. Is it common to see them in Tarpon Springs, Florida? I live in Tampa but work here and I have never seen one of these before!
Signature: Amber

Luna Moth

Hi Amber,
The thing about Luna Moths is that they are quite common in parts of their range and noticeably absent from other parts of their range.  We don’t know how frequently they are sighted in Tarpon Springs.

I’m freaked out. There were two of them.
Location: Souther California
October 27, 2011 9:41 pm
I just moved to L.A. I didn’t have much furniture so I ran to the Goodwill and grabbed a rolling cabinet for the kitchen. That was last week. And today I was greeted by two of these terrifying creatures. I’ve been searching and searching online and am beginning to get suspicious. Some places say it’s harmless, some say it’s an immature female black widow. What is it?? Can it hurt my cat?
A picture of its top and its bottom.
Signature: Freaking Out

Immature Black Widow

Dear Freaking Out,
This is an immature Black Widow, most likely the Western Black Widow.  They are quite common in Southern California.  They are not aggressive.  They rarely leave their webs.

Immature Black Widow


Orange brain bum spider
Location: Ottawa, ON
October 26, 2011 11:17 pm
Hi! I’m in Ottawa, Ontario and found this spider lolly-gagging out my front door. It’s about 3 degrees celsius tonight and it was moving incredibly slow, so I scooped it up and took some photos.
I’ve never seen a spider like this around my house. He has a bright vibrant orange spot on his abdomen, and i.m.o. the whole back end looks vaguely brain like. It was biggish (about the size of a toonie). Even though winter will be settling in, I let him go in my front garden.
Please help me identify, I haven’t had much luck searching myself!
Signature: Finnegan


Hi Finnegan,
This is a harmless Orbweaver in the genus

Oh wow, thanks for the quick reply! Although spiders sometimes give me the willies, they can be rather beautiful in their own creepy crawly kind of way. Will look up more info on orb weavers just for fun. Great website, love it!

need bug ID-ed
Location: Columbus, OH
October 26, 2011 10:06 pm
What is this bug??? It moved like a stink bug (I have gotten very familiar with stink/squash bugs this year). I found this on a grave monument in Columbus, OH. Fascinated by its crazy spiked mohawk thing.
Signature: ohiodave

Wheel Bug

Hi ohiodave,
This amazing creature is called a Wheel Bug and your observations about it looking like a stink bug is justifiable since they belong to the same insect order Hemiptera.  Wheel Bugs are predatory Assassin Bugs.  In the past two weeks, we have received numerous identification requests for Wheel Bugs from many parts of Eastern North America.