Currently viewing the category: "Other"

What is this?
Location: Kentucky
August 22, 2011 6:11 am
This floated down to a picnic area, seems to have 4 legs, it turned it’s head so we know it was alive. Not sure if is bug or vertabrate creature. An adelgid maybe? But only appers to have 4 legs.
Signature: Curious in Maine

What's That Thing?

Dear Curious in Maine,
We are curious what you were doing in Kentucky.  We are not sure what this is, but we feel greatly confident that this is not an insect, nor do we believe it is an animal.  It is most definitely NOT a Spun Glass Caterpillar.

My friend and her family were picnic-ing in a park. This creature floated down and she got it on her finger. It was definitely alive because it turned it’s head.  I will  ask if she got any other photos of it.

Update:  September 2, 2011
We have a new theory based in part on the comment we received: “Speculation over there is that, like you said, it’s not a spun glass slug caterpillar, but it may be just part of one. Maybe a bird got one and shook it at the tentacle floated down and still had some reflex action that made it appear alive.”  A new letter we just received that appears to be a Spun Glass Caterpillar that is losing its appendages or tentacles has made the comment we received seem correct.  We would amend the theory to allow for the possibility that Spun Glass Caterpillars might shed their tentacles just prior to pupation. 

Giant Bug
Location: Greenville,SC
April 27, 2011 1:55 am
I found a giant bug(?) today that looks almost exactly like a root you would find in a garden. Can you identify it?
Signature: Lydia

Bug Root???

Hi Lydia,
We love your photo of a root that resembles an insect.

Root or Bug???

It was a bug, it crawls and everything. You think it’s just a root?

We have no further comment, but we would love to invite our readership to comment.

Root Bug???

Found in drawers
Location: Western North Carolina
April 17, 2011 8:13 am
I found these in two separate drawers in my house. While they look like seeds, I can assure you they are not seeds. I’m certain that I did not put seeds in these drawers. They are grossing me out and I would like to know what is creeping around my house. Are they eggs or droppings? Who do they belong to?
Signature: Creeped out in NC

What are these things found in the Drawers???

Dear Creeped out in NC,
These do not look like anything of animal origin, meaning we do not believe they are either eggs or droppings.  They really do resemble seeds like black oil seeds to feed birds or caraway seeds for baking.  Please provide us with additional information.  Where were the two drawers?  Were they near one another or in widely separated areas of the house?  Were they kitchen drawers or bedroom drawers or some other drawers?  Were they built in drawers like those in cabinets, or free standing drawers like those in furniture?  Were they empty drawers or were there other things in the drawers like stored food or clothing?  How long did it take these mystery things to accumulate?  When did you last open the drawers prior to the discovery?  Our first inclination is that this is a food stash.  Perhaps a mouse or other rodent is stockpiling seeds in anticipation of lean times in the future.  We hope our readership will assist in this identification which we do not believe has anything to do with insects.

What is this? Please?..
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
March 19, 2011 8:31 pm
I’ve found these in my hair, even DIRECTLY AFTER washing it. It has wings, is VERY small, like a miniature lady bug.. When I try to take a picture of it, it’s so small any camera I’ve used will just make a blurry image of a black bug. When I hold it close though, I can see these tanish stripes going across its back. They’re going horizontally across, and there’s like MAYBE 4 or so stripes. I don’t have any bites or anything, but I do constantly feel itchy. Please help..
Signature: Shea


Dear Shea,
With all the photoshop skills of our staff, we are unable to improve this image.  We are continuing to review the possibilities, but we hazard a guess that it might be a Carpet Beetle.

Carpet Beetle

Well it COULD be this, but I don’t think there were antennas on it’s head, and I also don’t see any white on it. It was just based black, and the stripes were orange/brown/tan going across in zig zags sort of similar to the carpet beetle below.

Seed-like eggs or are these segments
Location: San Francisco
March 5, 2011 10:49 pm
We have a recent bedbug infestation. While looking for eggs, I found one of these seed-like objects in a crack in my desk chair. I then found one in my desk drawer, and about 18 beneath the couch cushion on the couch I sleep on. A few days later I found ~ 7 under my desk on the floor. We have no pets. I do eat pork somewhat regularly, in case this matters. It is currently February here, and I am very curious if these are eggs. Some have said these could be tapeworm segments. There are similar questions on the web, but none have yet been resolved.
Signature: Anon

Sesame Seeds

Dear Anon,
We are uncertain what the presence of pork in your diet has to do with this question, unless you have confused Trichinosis and Tape Worms.  Pursuing the Tape Worm segment line of questioning, Tape Worms are parasites of the gastrointestinal tract, and any segments that have sloughed off the worm would pass out of the gastrointestinal tract during defecation.   We don’t believe that would cause them to be found on your desk chair, in the desk drawer, beneath the couch cushion or on the floor, however, since you didn’t discuss your hygiene habits, we cannot be certain.  You also did not indicate if sesame bagels or sesame seed kaiser rolls are part of your dietary consumption, which we suspect is probably the case, as these appear to be non-threatening sesame seeds to us.  Do you snack at your desk and on the couch?

Many kind thanks for your prompt reply.
I have enclosed a document I composed last night that should shed light on this matter : )
How to completely deceive yourself with your own intelligence.
1. Start with a scary hypothesis (these must be parasite eggs).
(after all, we recently discovered bedbugs in one room)
2. Ignore obvious evidence (they look like sesame seeds).
(because, well, single insane bedbugs lay single eggs in strange places!)
3. Add terror: they look like tapeworm segments!!!
4. Amp terror: tapeworm segments crack open and release micro-eggs which you can easily ingest. When this happens they spread throughout muscle and nervous tissue and form cysts in the BRAIN — and I’ve been handling them with my bare hands not knowing this!!!
5. Read a bunch of internet reports about people similarly concerned/affected.
6. Suffer. A lot. Fear the disease. Fear not being able to get it properly diagnosed. Fear the terrifying treatments.
7. Read more reports. Read people who discover that, even though they were CERTAIN these were not seeds, they were, in fact, seeds.
9. Facepalm.
(Oldsters may need to to a quick websearch to understand this response)
10. Celebrate.

fiji rock bug
February 6, 2010
1.aprox 1inch long.
2.tranparent green color.
3.eyes at tip of antennas that open like little mouths…
4.has a hard stinger that snaps at my hermit crabs.
5.seen it attack a hermit crab and pulled it into its rock.
Gisele Villeneuve

Mystery from Fiji or possibly Canada

Hi Gisele,
Despite your itemized description, your letter poses more questions than it answers.  Is this creature in Fiji or Canada?  Is this creature in the wild or in an aquarium?  Also, your photo doesn’t seem to provide much of a look at this mystery creature.  Is it in that hole?  If this is in an aquarium, did you collect the rock or buy the rock?  If you are worried about it attacking Hermit Crabs, why not just remove the rock?  If it is a purchased rock, can you get information from the supplier?

Mystery from Fiji, or possibly Canada

Additional Information
it is currently in cornwall,ontario,canada.
it is in the aquarium.
in picture 1 the bug is not in hole in picture 2 he is right at the hole the only thing you see of him are his antenna like eyes.
I baught the rock at a local pet store.
And i tried asking them for information but they did not know that is why i am asking you…I will and try to get more pics but he does not live the hole unless he is traveling to another hole in the rock in wich case he uses tunnels within the rock…

One of our Readers suggests perhaps a Mantis Shrimp
It sounds to me as if this is a piece of live rock you bought at a local pet store, that also included a live mantis shrimp. (deceptive name it isn’t actually a shrimp) They do feed on smaller aquarium species, and can either be treated as a pest or a freebie. If it continues to kill off your tank though, I would assume you would consider it to be a pest.
A link to wiki for more info…

Marine Aquarium Mystery Creature

Dear Gisele,
Thanks for sending additional photos.  These images do not look like a Mantis Shrimp, but rather, more like a Coelenterate and the shell looks like a snail.  You did not provide any additional information.  In our opinion, the mystery remains a mystery.

Marine Aquarium Mystery Creature

i know they dont they are something else i found in my tank and you said the shells look like snail how can that be if i have know snails in my tank.

Hi again Gisele,
The people most qualified to identify the creatures in your marine aquarium are the folks at your local pet store where the purchases were made.  Though we attempt identifications, marine invertebrates are a bit beyond the scope of our website.

Update: September 5, 2010
ID for the 2 marine creatures in “Other”
September 5, 2010 7:41 am
I tried to post a comment, but it didn’t show up. I’m unaware of how the comment system here works, or if they need to be approved before they’re posted, but anyways…
In case the message was lost, the 2nd little creature pictured looks to be a Staurocladia hydroid.
The 3rd looks like some sort of serpulid tube worm. I’ve come across the name of it before, but at the moment it escapes me and google searches are turning up dry.
Both creatures are harmless, the former eventually die out as the tank balances out the nutrient levels, and the latter should slowly reproduce, and colonize any shady area of the tank with good water flow.
Signature: Jacob