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I just want to thank you for providing such a good resource for bug identification!! I searched and googled and searched over and over again for help identifying a hard shell worm/beetle infest, and thankfully I finally found your website!!!!!  It seems one out of ten questions is on the same pest as I have, but, it was very hard to find anything on it at all.  You provided detailed information, actual pictures to look at, and other recourses to search on the pest. This is greatly appreciated. Many thanks to  Ed Saugstad for offering opinion and providing  info (over and over again, it seems to be a popular pest) I am so happy to finally find something useful and direct to the point.  Many thanks to you!!!!   Glenda from Minnesota

Hi, 
I just wanted to say. Your website is amazing! I visit it so often that I've recommended it to others too. It is clear that no other website can compare to it. And does Ed Saugstad help with the website too? He pretty much answers everyone's questions and if it's just a hobby of his to answer bug questions for others then he's amazing too. Big thanks to you and Ed for keeping the website alive.
 Cheers!
Christine

Dearest Mr. Cross
I live in Mass. and have been terrified that I have been getting kissing bugs and have even contacted the CDC then I stumbled on to your site and began searching.  After over one hundred bugs later I found the Western conifer seed bug and I began to breath again.  Thank you so much for this site.  It is a true blessing.
Sincerely
Martha

THANK YOU!  I tried over a dozen bug ID sites.  None were as helpful as yours.  We ID'ed "our" bug based on your response to someone from Manchester, England. The Drugstore beetle was a match.  The hint about dog food and sry goods helped us find the infestation in the dog bisuits.  We have been finding them all over the house, but mostly on light colored surfaces or near lighting fixtures in the evening.  I feel so much better having figured this out, which I could not have done without your site. THANK YOU!
Katy

Thank you for maintaining this fabulously informative web site and thanks also to Ed Saugstad the retired entomologist, who replies with such useful information so freely!  It is all very much appreciated. Sandra. Quinte West, Ontario. 

 

 

 


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Click on the photos  to enlarge. They are usually much clearer.

#200    Found in my home (on the floor, under the edge of the carpet, near my bed), downtown Toronto.   G.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Appears to be the larva (caterpillar) of a small moth. One possibility is that it is the larva of the webbing clothes moth (see http://www.insectslimited.com/wcmcl.gif ). In this case, you should find evidence of feeding – including some webbing – on woolen items (including the carpet) in the vicinity of where you found it. If no damage associated with additional specimens is found, your critter likely simply is an accidental intruder of no real consequence.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV
#199.   Hi:  We live in mid-France, Creuse, and today picked up a piece of wood in one of our sheds and underneath were these giant grubs. I didn't want to kill them if they are not going to eat our old farmhouse which is full of oakwood. Be pleased to have any comments.  Thanks.  Juliet Scanlan
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

These are larvae (grubs) of large scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The larvae of some species of this family, as well as those of some stag beetles (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) feed on decaying wood (including that found in cavities in living trees), but are no threat to sound wood. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV

See
www.ptes.org/publications/Beetle_Proceeding_pdf/Paul%2520Whitehea%E2%80%A6%2520noble%2520chafer.pdf for an example. 
#198  I found this little guy just a short way from my home here in Northern Newfoundland Canada. 
I have lived here all my live and this is the first one I have ever seen, what is it.  Preston Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
 
This is the larva of a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). These larvae sometimes are called ‘horntails’ because of the fearsome-looking but harmless spine-like projection on their tail end.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV 
#197  This spider was on my covered deck in Southeastern Michigan earlier today. I don't know whether it came from the ground below or from the roof up above. I used the zoom on my digital camera in the second photo. I just want to know if the spider is poisonous or not. Thanks for your time and attention. Any help you can give will be GREATLY appreciated. Barb Cox.
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a jumping spider (family Salticidae). These spiders are active hunters with excellent eyesight. They do not spin a capture web, but often use a ‘lifeline’ when they jump. Like virtually all true spiders, they are venomous, but only a very few species are large enough to be able to penetrate human skin. None are known to be truly dangerous, but a couple of United States species can deliver a painful bite if mishandled (they are not aggressive, and will not bite unprovoked).  See
http://www.fact-index.com/j/ju/jumping_spider.html for more details on these fascinating creatures.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV


Click on the photos  to enlarge

#196  Can't say I have an idea what this is... although it seems to have some similarities to the glassy wing sharpshooter.  I'm from Stockton, California and it was found in my back yard.  Any help is appreciated.  Thank you.  MARC
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

This is a bee, but I cannot be certain of the family. It might be a Megachilid, commonly known as leafcutter bees.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV

It has probably been awhile since you posted your question #196 but I believe that is a Ambush Bug is the name no it is not a bee.  D. A. 
  

No offense to D.A., but that is definitely not an Ambush bug.  Ed is correct that it is a bee, and I agree that it is of Megachilidae.  Although making an ID from the picture is difficult, I have to say it looks very much like a Megachile maritima.  J.D. Roberts, Entomologist
 
 (New posting) 
It occurred to me that this could very likely be a sexually dimorphic male of the Xylocopa genus (Carpenter bee).  After further research, I think it could possibly be Xylocopa brasilianorum, X. varipunctata (http://www.insectaculture.com/xvaripunctata.htm), or X. frontalis (http://zoo.bio.ufpr.br/hymenoptera/maracuja_visitantes.htm).
J.D. Roberts, Entomologist
    

#195  I live in Florida - These bugs are climbing my walls in my home - I think its some sort of tick but I'm not for sure. We have been flushing them down the toilet or popping them (which then blood squirts out) They are light in color - maybe a light grayish, they are not black - It makes me nervous and I'm unable to go to sleep tonight - I just found them tonight and I'm washing my sheets as we speak! Can you please help me identify these very tiny little creatures - I need to know what I need to do to get rid of them and fast!  Thanks,  D.W.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Although i am not sure my best guess would be that you have a case of bedbugs... they most often prefer to feed on human blood but im not sure how to get rid of them you could probably find some information on this website.. they often live in and under beds cleaning that area very good would be a good start.  Joshua.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Have a look at The Bed Bug Page
#194  Hi:  I live in Woodstock Ontario rural area and these bugs have invaded my property by the thousands. They started at the end of July and fly around between 3 pm to 6 pm, they are attracted to beer, wine and vinegar. There size varies from !/8 - 1/4 of an inch in length. Sitting outside during these hours is imposable. If someone can tell what they are and how to control them, I would be very grateful.  Thanks Tom
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   

This appears to be a picnic beetle (Glischrochilus quadrisignatus; Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) Other members of this family collectively are known as sap beetles. They often are pests in gardens where they feed on ripe fruits (such as strawberries) and some vegetables (particularly sweet corn that has been damaged by earworms or corn borers).  They appear attracted to the chemicals given off by ripening or fermenting fruit/vegetable matter. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2047.html for a fact sheet that includes some control recommendations. Please bear in mind that they are extremely common in the general environment, and complete control likely is impossible.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV

#193  hello, from Brewster, NY, these bees always come around when there is food....what are they?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is not a bee.   It is a Yellowjacket wasp.  They are a real nuisance around food in the late summer.
See this page for more information and help:
  Wasp and Hornet control 
#192    Here is a picture of an insect that was brought to me for identification.  From the mouth parts and antenna I believe that it is a moth of some type, but the transparent wings are throwing me off. The edges of all four wings are scaled. It was caught in south Alabama following hurricane Ivan.   Rad.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

This appears to be clear-winged moth (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae). The adult moths often are brightly colored, and sometimes mimic wasps in appearance and flight behavior. The larvae are wood-borers, and some species are important pests on trees and shrubs.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV      
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This moth is the Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora), it belongs to the family Arctiidae subfamily Syntominae. The link leads to a picture and a distribution map.
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/moths/usa/19501.htm
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Corrigendum to Number 192 – My thanks to Dr. Hauser for correcting my careless mistake. I had totally forgotten about Synotomids, but the shape of the abdomen alone on this specimen should have warned me off Sesiidae. 

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV

#191    We have about half a dozen wicked looking black spiders drown in our pool per week. They are mostly black with a large body where the legs are attached and a relatively small light brown abdomen (back bit). I know it has 8 legs but the front arm things are very long and sturdy giving the appearance of having 10 legs. They appear to have two eyes on raised bumps close to the front (I know they have 8). Finally they have very sharp and relatively long fangs 2mm or so. The spiders are about the size of a toonie and look like pictures of the Sydney funnel web and trapdoor spider. I know the Sydney funnel web is indigenous to Australia but it is a similar shape.
I can send a picture if it helps. I am not too concerned about them in the pool, they are dead, it is the live ones I am concerned about since we have a large yard and two young children.   Ian., 
Tsawwassen, British Columbia.
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

This is a male spider (you can tell by the enlarged pedipalps that look another pair of legs at the front). Because you could see two  relatively large eyes, I suspect that it most likely is a wolf spider (see http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/SS/wolf_spider/small_lycosid_face.gif), in which case it is unlikely to be of human health concern. In fact, with the exception of the hobo spider (an introduced species now found in the northwestern United States and adjacent areas of Canada), I am not aware of any large spider in Canada that is of medical importance. Like the Australian funnel web spiders, the male hobo spider is more dangerous than the female. A large adult male hobo spider can have a leg span up to 2.5” – see
http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1548/fig7.jpg
for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist Sinks Grove, WV
#190     Photo was taken 09/19/04 in Clinton, TN. Caterpillar is about 4" long and about 3/4" diameter. It was found on a Datura stem. What are the white nubs it is covered with?  Thanks.  Deborah
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I believe what you are seeing are the eggs of a parasitic fly (order diptera) that uses the caterpillar as a live host on which to lay its eggs. Upon hatching the larvae will feed on the caterpillar eventually killing it.   Bob.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The caterpillar in question (a large sphingid, likely a tomato hornworm), has been parasitized by a small braconid wasp (Apanteles sp.). The white objects are the cocoons spun by the wasp larvae after they emerge from the host’s body. The large number of cocoons is the result of a phenomenon called polyembryony, in which a single egg develops into two or more (sometimes hundreds) genetically identical individuals.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist Sinks Grove, WV
  #189.   Hello,  Please help me identify this horrible flying bug. It's nearly 1" in length and after I captured it in our rec room, I noticed it covered with red spider mites. It's the 3rd one we've found. Should we just move residence or is it harmless? Thank you.  Lynn D, 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a carrion beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in the genus Nicrophorus. Also known as Sexton beetles or burying beetles, these interesting creatures perform a useful (by human standards) role in nature by consuming carcasses of small dead birds and animals. They are becoming increasingly scarce in the United States, and at least one species is considered federally endangered (see http://www.northern.edu/natsource/ENDANG1/Buryin1.htm  for details). As a child 50 years ago, I saw them quite frequently on our farm, but now, to find one is a real treat. By the way, the mites you see on the beetle apparently help keep the beetle’s food supply safe by feeding on fly eggs and also clean bacteria from the beetle itself. They ‘hitch a ride’ (phoresy) on the beetle to ensure that they arrive at the food site.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.   Sinks Grove, WV
#188.   Hello,  This bug bit me on the back of the neck. Found in New Berlin, Wisconsin on 09/16/04.  Can you help me to identify it?  Thanks,  Tim
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Appears to be an assassin bug (Hemiptera Reduviidae). Most species are predaceous on other arthropods, but, except for some Latin American species that transmit Chagas' disease, mainly are harmless to humans. See also number 182. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.   Sinks Grove, WV
 
#187.  I found this spider while I was mowing my lawn. I live in Buchanan, MI. It was on my stone wall of my house... It is about the size of a closed matchbox (like you would pick up at a bar or a casino). Just curious as to what it may be... I looked into it a bit, and it looks like a "house spider"? Anyone know what it is, and if it's anything to worry about? It was near where my 2 year old likes to play...Thanks.  Tom
 #186.  We have found several of these in our home.  We live in central NC.  They are 1/2 inch to 1 inch long.  What are they? Richard
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Definitely a beetle larva; most likely a Carabid (ground beetle) or close relative. Carabids comprise a very large family of beetles, most members of which are predaceous on other small arthropods.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.   Sinks Grove, WV

 #185 This insect has the shape of a fly, is about 2 cm long and maybe 2.5 cm across. The design on its wings is striking and probably makes it easily identifiable to someone trained to do so. I found it in late afternoon, in a meadow near Kingston Ontario which is on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. It flew from flower to flower, apparently feeding. Many thanks to Sandra C. and Martin Hauser for helping me with an earlier identification.  Steven Burke
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Number 185 – Appears to be a large bee fly (Diptera: Bombyliidae). The adults often are found on or around flowers; the larvae are parasitic on other insects, including caterpillars and the egg cases of grasshoppers. See http://vidal.med.puc.cl/insectos/BombyliidaeSp2.jpg for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove,


Click on the photos  to enlarge

#184.  Hi - We found this guy crawling around our design studio this morning. Our studio is in a very wooded overgrown area in the hills of Los Angeles, close to downtown. This guy is about 7/8" long. Hope you can help us. We have a pool going to see who is right.
Thank you.  Glenn
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a nasty house centipede... I've been having a problem with those critters on the third floor of my house because I'm pregnant and cant use pesticides, but I've been told they become less of a problem if you use a dehumidifier because they hate dry places. Barb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), common throughout much of the United States and Canada. They often are found indoors, especially in basements and bathrooms. They are much faster movers than most centipedes, and are predators on many other arthropods. See http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/housece.html for a fact sheet. 

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV 

 #183  This interesting looking spider has made quite a large web outside of our home in the back of our house.  It has been there for about a week now.  It's body is about the size of a dime and the picture is obviously from its underside.  We live in the Hudson Valley in New York State.  Do you have any idea what type of spider this is?  Thanks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is an orb weaver spider (Araneida: Araneidae). These spiders usually are noticed in late summer/early autumn as the females fatten up prior to depositing their egg masses. Many species feature banded legs such as are seen in your photo.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV

 #182  Hello.  We've found 2 of these bugs in our home so far.  they resemble cockroaches with an elongated snout.  They fly.  Do you have any idea what they are?  We have found them upstairs in our spare bedroom and our computer room in the window sill.  They are apx 3/4 inch long.  These were the best pictures that I could take. 
Thank you very much.  I have looked on the 'net to get an idea as I live in the lower mainland of BC.  We have not found any in any food areas.  We keep our kitchen clean.  They have been found during the daytime.  Thank you very very much.  Heather Lee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
#182...Looks like a "Kissing Bug". Hope you kept it for I.D.
reference! These can be hazardous to your health. Better do your research on this one.  Randy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Appears to be an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). These are predaceous on a wide variety of other arthropods. Some larger specimens can deliver a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled, but species in your area are otherwise harmless to humans. Some species in Latin America transmit Chagas’ disease, caused by a protozoan pathogen.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist.  Sinks Grove, WV

       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

....looks like a "Western Conifer Seed Bug". I have recently seen more and more of these over the years. They seem to show up early in the fall. (Toronto,Ontario) Check out these sites, they have great pictures!  Carter
 #181  Hi there,  About 3 months ago these little brown bugs started showing up in our bathroom and kitchen.  We also had a baby 3 months ago and, of course, have had lots of new stuff coming into the house:  furniture, clothing, etc.  I suspect they came in on something, or maybe in the cardboard boxes things were packed in.  
One night we killed 20 of these things in the bathroom.  Usually we only find 5-6 per night.  The bathroom is directly above the kitchen and we think they are following the pipes, though when I startle them at night they run under the door frame in the bathroom.  We have seen the odd one in other parts of the house but suspect our cats are catching them and playing with them.  They are very small.  At first we could barely see them.  Now they are about a quarter of an inch at most.  They are medium brown with long attenae and move quickly and erratically.  They do not stay along the walls but move across the floor in zig zags and circles.  They only come out late at night and are initially 'frozen' by light but then start moving very fast.  They can be easily crushed with a paper towel or piece of toilet paper. 
I suspect they are German cockroaches, but they do not behave anything like the big black cockroaches I have encountered in apartments in the past.  They have been ignoring the cockroach bait stations we put out and have not shown any interest in garbage cans or any food left out in the kitchen.  My husband and I have started covering everything and taking away the cats food and water at night and putting the plugs in the sink drains to ensure that these bugs don't have any obvious source of food or water.  Things are not getting worse, but we aren't getting rid of them, either. 
Can anyone tell me what these are and how to get rid of them?  I found one in the baby's nursery (next to the bathroom) the other night and that was the last straw for me!  Thanks.  Angela
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You likely are correct in believing that you have German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), although because of the blurriness of the photo, there is a remote possibility that they might be brown-banded cockroaches (Supella longipalpa), which also are small and fast-moving. See http://pested.unl.edu/bbroa.jpg  for links to images of both species. Also see http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2099.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist Sinks Grove, WV
#180   These flying insects are all over our yards and came out all at once in the past 3 weeks.
What are they? are they harmful?  Thanks for your help.  Paul
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Crane Fly. These Daddy long legs are not much of a problem, except they will lay eggs in your lawn which will develop into leatherjacket larva.  In large numbers the leatherjacket larva can kill large areas of the grass by eating the roots. Unfortunately in many parts of Canada it is against the law to use pesticides to control this pest. The larva  develop into Crane flies in the late summer and are quite noticeable because of their size. More information on this web page:  http://www.hdra.org.uk/factsheets/pc13.htm
                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A follow-up to the answer already posted: Although the larvae of a few species of crane flies (largely of European origin) can indeed damage roots of plants including many grasses and some young conifers
(see http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/fetch21/FRST308/lab3/tipula_paludosa/leather.html ), the larvae of most species are detritus feeders in aquatic or semi-aquatic environments, and those of a few aquatic species are predaceous on other arthropods. Because so many other insects can cause damage patterns very similar to that attributed to leatherjackets, some caution should be exercised in determining the culprit responsible. For more general information on this family of insects, see
http://lakes.chebucto.org/ZOOBENTH/BENTHOS/xv.html and http://collections.ic.gc.ca/biodiversity/family/Tipulidae.html 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
 #179 I've lived in Miami, Florida in the US all my life. After purchasing a new home recently, we've been finding these nasty little bugs all over the place outside. They seem fond of our basil plant, mango tree and are usually clinging to our walls outside. The bug is approximately 1 cm long and flies. I've been baffled because I've never seen them before and have not been able to find them on the net. Any clue?
And yes, I put it in a ziploc bag :)  Thanks, Juan
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A snout beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea; some species are called billbugs). Snout beetles form a very large complex of beetles in several families, and many species are of economic importance. I am no expert in this group, and so, although it bears a resemblance to Artipus floridanus (see http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/images/artipus.jpg for an image), I suggest that you take some specimens to the Miami/Dade County office of Florida’s Cooperative Extension Service for assistance in identification and control measures if necessary. See http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/  for contact information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
  #178  Can someone tell me what this beetle is? I live in Greely, Ontario, Canada, near a sub watershed, so I suspect that the bug came from the open windows. They tend to like lurking the in carpet, but it does not look like a carpet beetle.  It is about 1/4 inch long and does not seem to like to fly.  Pauline
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius; Coleoptera: Dermestidae). They are cosmopolitan in distribution, and will feed on just about anything that contains protein. In the days before home refrigerators were common, these beetles often infested dried meats. Today, they can still be found in many homes, but usually are not a serious pest. We still find the occasional specimen in our house.
For more details see:
www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/larder_beetle.htm
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
  #175  Hi.  We found this one at the swing set, in our backyard. We found a second one at the other end of the same swing set. We did not notice any food in either (large) webs. The bodies are approximately 1 1/2 cm, with legs 3-4 cm across. We are concerned because we have curious young children and dogs. We live in rural Quebec, 40 minutes northwest of Quebec City. It is middle September, 2004. What is it and more important, could it be poisonous? Thanks.   Sincerely, The Lauckner Family
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An orb-weaving spider (Araneae: Araneidae), a very large family of spiders. Although some can get rather large, none are known to have a particularly potent venom, and most have ‘jaws’ (chelicerae) that are quite small for the animal’s size. However, as in most instances of stinging/biting arthropods, some individuals may be hypersensitive and could suffer an allergic reaction to a bite. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
  #174  Hi there, we have found seven of these rather large slugs in our garden in Port Elgin, Ontario. The largest measured over six inches and appears to resemble "tiger' slugs found in British Columbia. Have these slugs migrated from B.C. and more importantly will they survive the winter conditions found around Lake Huron ? Thanks Len.
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  I’m no expert on gastropods, but this specimen bears a strong resemblance to Limax maximus, sometimes known as the giant garden slug, leopard slug, or spotted garden slug. This is a species introduced from Europe, and now widely distributed in North America.
See
http://www.carphunters.com/Foto-arkiv/Snails%26slugs/Limax-maximus-00259_RJ.jpg for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
  #173 This dead one was found, along with a few other live ones of similar size on the basement floor of a home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It appeared dried out....much like a castoff snake-skin.
 The white spot on it's back is just light reflection.     Any ideas?  Heath
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Appears to be a very dead and desiccated small centipede, possible an immature house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. These are commonly found in basements of houses. These basically are harmless to humans, but are general predators on a wide variety of small insects and other arthropods. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV
#172  Here is a caterpillar we found boring into a (pressure-treated) post on our deck in Massachusetts, US (September, 2004). Any ideas on identity?   David Larson,  Bradford, MA
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Appears to be the larva of a wood-boring wasp (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). They may be distinguished from caterpillars by the presence of prolegs on the first two abdominal segments. Although widely distributed, these insects never seem to get abundant enough to be serious pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV
#171  Hi: I found this dead thorax (fly) today (Aug_25_04)in the backyard of our home in Acton, ON. It is very big, the length is ~2.25''. I have never seen such a big "fly" before. It would be good to know how this insect behaves, what it likes and dislikes, etc. Thanks, Will
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This is an annual cicada, also called Dog-day cicada. These insects suck on trees (you can see their long proboscis on the underside), but they can not sting humans. They are producing the constant buzzing sound you hear outside your house in the evening and during the night.
http://www.cicadamania.net/
http://www.wnrmag.com/stories/1999/jun99/cicada.htm ,
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a Cicada. See information in #12 about this one. Jas
  #170  Hi: This beautiful beetle was flying around the garden lamp at 10:00 PM. In the air it seemed to be bigger, but landed, it was ~1 inch long. When it flied, it has created noise, which you would not much expect from small bug. So, my dog noticed it first. The beetle landed on the ivy, where it was photographed. I was just curious, what is this bug, and whether it’s harmless to humans/animals. Thank you,
Will,  Acton, Ontario
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This is the harmless Grapevine Beetle (Pelidnota punctata).
http://www.beetle-experience.com/care-punl.htm    http://www.bugguide.net/node/view/4430 
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #169  Found in Whitby On.  Huge spider very beautiful. Have never seen another like it.  Jay
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Another orb-weaving spider; see No. 175.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
#168  we found this spider in our basement.  it was of significant size and we started searching to see what it was.  the only spider we can find that resembles it is a brown recluse but it was much bigger than the average size reputed for the brown recluse.  If it is a brown recluse, what is our next step.  we killed it but do we need to have a pest control place come in and spray??  thanks for your help.   Ange,  Kingston, Ontario
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Difficult to tell from the photo, but definitely a male (enlarged palps) spider. If it was quite large, it most likely was a wolf spider – these often wander into buildings in rural/suburban areas. In any case, it is not anything to be concerned about from a human health standpoint. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
  #167  First, you have a great site. I'm in SW Ohio, and these guys seem to like giant marigolds. Been here over 30 years, never seen them before. About 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Fly like a firefly, but doesn't look like fireflies I have caught. Thank you for any info...JIM
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 It looks like a Soldier beetle or Cantharid. They love sitting in flowers Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #166  Hi, we live in Vancouver, Wa. (AD not BC) and we found this little creature wondering up our driveway. It has a nice large pinchers on the front and it appears to want to sting from the rear when it is trapped. My neighbor was pinched through his shirt on the tedious struggle to capture this 1 inch nightmare. Can you help us I.D. this guy so we can know if my neighbor has long to live or not? We know that the bug bites, but can it sting? Bob
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This is a Rove beetle (Family Staphylinidae). So your neighbor will live because they can not sting. They just try to pretend that they are dangerous (and it worked). They can fly (they fold their wings with the help of their abdomen) and they are often predators of smaller insects. Often they come to road kill or dung and feed on fly maggots. The family is very diverse with thousands of species in North America.   http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Staphylinidae&contgroup=Staphylinoidea
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/beetles/rove_beetles.htm  ,        Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
    #165  Hello, I live in central Wisconsin. I saw a dead bird outside my patio door. But then it started to move. It freaked me out for a bit until I saw about 3 or 4 of these bugs come out from under it. It's black with orange strips down it;s back as you can see.  Kevin.
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This is a carrion beetle (family Silphidae) of the genus Necrophorus (also spelled Nicrophorus). These beetles are very useful because they get rid of dead animals, which they bury in the ground. They are "good parents" because they feed and guard their offspring. Some of these beetles are even endangered.  http://www.unk.edu/acad/biology/hoback/carrion_beetles/Nicrophorus1.htm
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/invertebrates/beetles/amerburying.htm ,
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #164  Hi my name is Nick and I live in Thunder Bay Ontario and found this guy hanging off an old clothesline door on the side of my house and I am dying to know what kind he is and any cool facts about it. With the legs spread out I would say it was at least the size of a twoonie($2 coin), any help would be great. It has a weird white cross on its back and color are reds blacks white orange yellow.
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Another orb-weaving spider; see No. 175.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
 
# 163.  I just noticed a  strange  fly on the  hood of my car while parked in the driveway, it was all black about th size of a small dragonfly but with only one set of wings it looked a lot like a large mosquito but all black it had a long black tail that was thin and round in about 4 sections and when i approached it it seemed to go on the defensive and put its tail in the air like a scorpion would do to sting, there didn't seem to be a stinger on the tail but i didn't want to get to close to it to find out i did get some digital pictures of it, i guess i am wondering if this insect is dangerous to my kids i guess, and what type it is.  This is not a bug i have ever seen before specially in Nova Scotia.  Thanks. Dale.   Shearwater, Nova Scotia
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This is a parasitic wasps and it is completely harmless for you and your kids! This species is called Pelecinus and there is a wonderful webpage about these graceful wasps: http://iris.biosci.ohio-state.edu/projects/tpp/ 
 Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  # 162   Found this in our garden. Is it friend or foe? Either way, it's beautiful.
Sophie,  Chilliwack, BC
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A stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Most of these are plant feeders, and a few species can be pests on garden plants. One exception is the spined soldier bug, which is a predator on many other insects.
  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV

 

Click on the photos  to enlarge

  #161   This was wandering in our kitchen sink. It's under 2 cm long.
Sophie,  Chilliwack, BC
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A nymph of  a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), See No. 162. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologistSinks Grove, WV
 

#160  I found these all on the ground and on a dead limb underneath a golden rain tree in my front yard in  Alabama.  Please tell me what they are and how to get rid of them with nontoxic substances.  Thanks.
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I call them love bugs because they are always mating.  I too have thousands of them eating the pods of the golden rain tree.  I think they are some kind of box elder beetle.  Good luck trying to get rid of them.  Clean up the pods, get rid of the golden rain trees, if you let two live, you'll have 2000.  I live in Oklahoma and have been trying for several years.

#159   Found in our lilac bush SW Calgary Alberta. Abdomen and thorax about size of a quarter. Poisonous?   Chris
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Another orb-weaving spider; see No. 175. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
# 158  Hello,  First, thank you for such a wonderful web site. I found the various pictures to be fascinating. I stumbled onto your site while trying to figure out the identity of some little insects that have seemingly appeared over the past few weeks and are now starting to get out of control. I have seen a few hundred throughout my house in about 3 weeks.  I live on Long Island, NY State (just east of Manhattan)  about 1-2 miles from the ocean.
It seems like there are 2 different types but I think the smaller ones are just younger versions. They fly although they do seem to prefer crawling. The smaller ones are more brownish (almost rust colored) than the larger ones which are black. The smaller ones look like they have 2 sections to them, a body and a head. But, if you move the paper or bag they are on, the "head" part either rolls under the body or it somehow retracts into the body.When the "head" part disappears, the remaining "body" part just looks like a little brown oval nub. The black ones also have 2 sections but don't seem to 'retract' their heads.
The smaller brownish ones are about an eighth inch long lengthwise. The black ones are maybe a quarter inch. We have a 10 month old in the house and although I am sure they are not dangerous or poisonous, I still don't want them on her or in her food. What do they eat so perhaps I can put out bait to draw them in to one central place?  How can I get rid of them? Will a regular "room-fogger" be enough to take care of them?  Thanks,  Mike           
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Although I am not sure of the name of this bug, I had the exact same problem in my house. These insects tend to congregate and build “nests” in old grain-based environments, for example: an open cream-of-wheat box, a box of cereal that has fallen behind the refrigerator (as was my case), open containers of flour, etc.  I suggest cleaning out EVERY cabinet and looking into every box of grain, cereal, etc. that you have in the house. As well as pulling out your oven, fridge, and other appliances or furniture that may be hiding old grain or grain-based food items.  In my case, I found a half-empty bag of cereal that had fallen behind the fridge, as well as an open box of wheat cereal in a cupboard – both items contained HUNDREDS of these little brown and black bugs, along with their eggs and extended families!  After throwing away the offending food sanctuaries, the problem went away!  Cheers,  Mark
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Photo a little blurry, but could be a black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor; Coleoptera: Dermestidae
– see
http://www.usda.gov/gipsa/tech-servsup/images/insects/IN19.jpg   for an image). If they are carpet beetles, you may require more than a ‘bug bomb’ for control – see http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2103.html for specific recommendations. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist,  Sinks Grove, WV
 
#157  Hi there,   We found this critter on the sidewalk in Edmonton, Alberta. It's about 2.5" from tip to tail. 
Thanks,  jw
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This is a Giant Water Bug, an aquatic member of the true bugs. They can fly and they can bite you, but they are not aggressive. They only bite (painful!) out of self defense when you handle them carelessly.
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/bugs/giant_water_bugs.htm
http://www.zoo.org/educate/fact_sheets/waterbug/waterbug.htm
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/bug_biographies/bio_waterbug.html ,
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology,
University of Illinois
  #156  Hi.  I am from the Siksika Nation located 100km’s east of Calgary Alberta, and I was picking some sage last night and came across this weird looking spider, can you please help me identify what kind of spider it is and let me know if it is potentially poisonous or not thanks.   Lars Garett Duck Chief.  Siksika, Ab       www.siksikaenvironmental.com
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This spider is similar to # 41, 48, 49, 50 on the next page
I appears to be one of these: black-and-yellow argiope, golden orb weaver, writing spider, and yellow argiope.   This web site has a good description of this species: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Argiope_aurantia.html
  #155  Hi,  I'm from Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada. I found this huge spider in my backyard. I never seen a spider like this and this big in this area. Any idea what type it is and if it is dangerous. To size it, the spacing between the planks on the picture is 1 1/2 inches.   Thanks  Yvon Hache
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Argiope aurantia (Araneae: Araneidae). This beautiful spider goes by many common names, including black-and-yellow argiope, golden orb weaver, writing spider, and yellow argiope. They usually are not noticed until late in the summer when they are nearing the end of their growth. They pose no threat to humans, and are among the few creatures that I have witnessed eating Japanese beetles. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist Sinks Grove, WV
  #154   Found in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, creeping on the front lawn. A moth or butterfly larvae species? Name?   LA
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Larva of a large sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Adults sometimes called hummingbird moths or hawk moths.    Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
 

 #153 This bug is all over a tree in my yard in Arkansas.  Virgil

When I first saw this photo I thought it was a possible Coreidae species nymph.  It isn't, however, it is a true bug (Heteroptera) in the family Rhopalidae.  These are nymphs of one the scentless plant bugs, specifically Niesthrea louisianica.  These are not serious economic pests but can be a pest to ornamentals such as hibiscus.  They have actually been studied and used to help control the weed, velvetleaf.  This is a very interesting submission.  Great photo.  More photos here - http://ipm.ncsu.edu/current_ipm/98PestNews/98News19/niesthre.jpg  & http://bugguide.net/node/view/34545/bgpage    J.D. Roberts, entomologist
#152  I live in New York City and have seen these little flying bugs (.5 cm) all over my apartment in great abundance. Light doesn't seem to bother them, so I usually see them during the day. They generally stay clear of me and are usually found on the walls. If you know what this insect is and how to get rid of these critters it will be much appreciated. - Thanks, ZC 
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 A moth fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) Sometimes known as drain flies, these weakly-flying insects often are pests in homes where the larvae can thrive in decomposing organic matter such as in poorly cleaned floor drains. See http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/mothfli.html  for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#151  Found a small cluster of these critters on the inside of a sunny window (in Orchard Park, NY). They looked like they were trying to get outdoors.  Thanks, for your help.
Jim
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The critters in question are male ants. As you can see they cannot bite because of poor jaws or sting. They were simply trying to get out to a mating flight where they mate with winged queens. They should be no threat at all. :)   Bob

Click on the photos  to enlarge

#150  I live in the state of Delaware located on the east coast in U.S.A.  I was out side my house washing my truck when my wife noticed this strange looking bug/insect on our driveway. After she pointed in out to me, I immediately grabbed my camera and took several pictures of it.  I have never seen a bug like this in my life. It was approximately two inches long and close to 3/8th of an inch wide.  I then went back into the house to get a jar to try and catch it, but when I came back; my wife said that it had flown away. Any idea what it may have been?  Edward.
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 An eyed elater (Alaus oculatus) the largest species of click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) found in North America.
Interesting and completely harmless. See http://entweb.clemson.edu/museum/beetles/local/btle51.htm
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Thank you very much. I was the one that sent in the picture #150. I never thought that there would be an answer or let alone a name.  Now I have that urge to actually go out and look for more unusual insect or bugs.
Once again, thank you.  Sincerely, Ed Stubbs
#149   Hi -  Something very similar to #113.  Found in a head of lettuce in Duncan on Vancouver Island, this guy measures about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" long, makes a small squeaky/hiss sound, and his legs can really grab hold with tiny hooks.  I think he just let out a smell too. I haven't been able to identify him as any kind of Stick beetle so far, or cleoptera, but I think he is from this genus. Hope we can identify this guy.   Maureen and Rob
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You are correct about this insect being very similar to #113, the ten-lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata; Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). If it is not the same species, it is an extremely close relative.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV 
#148  I just found this creature down the road from my house (Richmond BC). Is it a type of earwig? 
Shula.  Richmond, BC.
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  Definitely NOT an earwig, but photo not clear enough for a definitive identification if the lateral projections are legs, it would be a small centipede, but if they are spines/setae, it most likely is the larva of a beetle. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV 
 
 #147  Hi,  As I was walking from my car to my house, I noticed this, for lack of a better term, "thing" on the ground. It appeared to be dying, possibly from getting run over. I tried researching the "thing" and in about an hour, got nowhere. I was extremely surprised to see that this "thing" was measured at just over 2" long and just about 1" wide. I live in southwestern Ohio, near Cincinnati. I am fascinated by this "thing" and would like to know exactly what it is. I know I'm not in Canada, but would greatly appreciate a response anyway.  Thanks,  Paul
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  This is a larva of a moth in the family Citheroniidae (Royal or Regal moths- see http://www.stetson.edu/~pmay/bugs/saturniid%201.jpg ). From the photo, it is difficult to tell whether it died from being squished, or to have died during the process of molting the last larval skin to become a pupa. Although fearsome in appearance, they are completely harmless. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a Hickory Horned Devil, which will turn into the Royal Walnut Moth. This is a very impressive caterpillar!
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/bfly/regal_moth_photo2.htm
http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/wildthing/hickoryhorneddevil.htm
http://www.geocities.com/mothman15/Royal.htm  , Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
 
#146   We've seen quite a few of these moths in our Victoria, B.C. apartment over the past few days of August.  They're photophilic, I think, as they often flutter around lamps.  They're distinctly two-toned: half of the wing (the end closest to the head) is light beige, while the other end of the wing is a darker brown.   This moth was photographed resting on our kitchen ceiling.  It's probably a commonplace critter, but I would appreciate identification, as we're wondering if it's the kind of moth whose larva eats fabric or food!   Thank you, Julia 
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- Indian meal moth maybe.  I had some in my kitchen once that apparently came from some food source in a bag - My dog's food?  Flour?  I can't remember what the source was if I knew.  Cary
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This is Julia replying to Cary's identification. You're right, it was indeed an Indian meal moth - thank you!  And we located the source of the infestation:  a bag of peanuts that had been left open in a cupboard.  Needless to say, those peanuts are history.  We've done some additional cleaning up; so now, aside from the occasional straggler, looks like the moths are gone.  We'll be more careful of our stored dried goods in future.  Thanks again for your assistance.
#146.  Hello!  This is not a pest as far as I know. We live in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. One day this little guy flew in the door and at first appearance looked like a bee. Wrong! Upon closer inspection we noticed a very "pug" looking face, no stinger and two distinct tiny wings sticking up out of it's back other than it's primary wings. I wanted to take a macro of it while still alive, but before I knew it, it started laying tiny orange rice shaped eggs. I didn't want to disturb it but then it died by the next day after laying a huge pile of eggs. This is why I have it mounted on a pin. We've never seen anything like this before. Hope you can tell us what it is!  Thanks,  Carole
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This appears to be robust bot fly (Diptera: Cuterebridae). Most of these are parasitic on rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels, but occasionally can be found attacking other mammals. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a Bot fly or Oestridae. They are parasites in mammals, but none of the US species uses humans as host. This one looks also not like one which is a pest in cattle (Cattle Grub). Despite their nasty life cycle, they look very impressive.
http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/insects/g409.htm#cglh
http://entomology.unl.edu/images/botflies/botflies.htm   , Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
#145.  Found this dragon/damsel fly in my backyard (Toronto/Ontario) and it made a nice photo but would like to know What kind it is . It was simply resting for the longest time on a piece of metal rebar I hat stuck in the ground. Mervyn.
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Appears to be a twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella; Odonata: Libellulidae), a common dragonfly in much of North America, including southern Canada. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
 #144  Just wondering what kind this was.  Thank you.  D.G.
 
#143  We live in Medicine Hat Alberta. My wife found this interesting looking creature right beside our front door. He is approximately 4cm in diameter.  
#142.  Found this very photogenic butterfly sitting on a lawn chair (Toronto Ontario)  sunning itself. It was a very cooperative subject who let me get quite close to it while I snapped a few pictures.  Mervyn.
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  This is butterfly known as an anglewing (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). It is the genus Polygonia. The larvae feed primarily on nettles and their relatives. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
 
#141.  Hi,  What kind of spider might this fellow be? They can be quite big, over 2 inch legs included. We have seen them mainly in the basement and garage but lately also in the 1st floor floors and walls.  Mike.  Vancouver, BC
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Appears to be a male Lycosid (wolf spider). Note the club-like pedipalps used in mating. These spiders actively hunt down their prey, and often enter buildings.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV


Click on the photos  to enlarge

#140  Not a pest - but what IS it? Sips nectar through long tube. Flies and hovers like a humming bird; never observed landing. Wings which are constantly in motion and move too fast for shape to be discernable to the naked eye seem to be similar in shape and design to butterfly wings (only seen in photos with 1/1000+ sec. shutter speeds) with large transparent areas. Body is hairy and individuals vary in length from aprox. 1" to 1.75". Arrangement and position of legs similar to butterfly. Seems to be attracted only to Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), not observed on other types of blossoms. Location: SE Massachusetts (Cape Cod). For the moment we're calling it a Humming Bug. Don
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  A clear-winged sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) , most likely in the genus Hemaris. These swift-flying insects often are called humminbird moths or hawk moths. Larger species can be mistaken for hummingbirds at first glance. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#139  This guy is coloured something like a wasp but is probably a kind of fly. He hovered a couple of feet off the ground for over a minute while I took this photo. I found him in the woods on the north side of the Ottawa River, near Luskville,  Qc. He is not more than a couple of centimeters long.  Steven.
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 Steven, you practically identified this little guy in your question. I'm
pretty sure it is commonly called a "Hover Fly" ! ;o)
Sandra C. Grapevine, Tx
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Sorry, this is clearly not a Hover fly, but it hovers and looks very similar to a Hover fly. I'm sure it is a Horse fly or Tabanidae, especially the males are hovering in one spot. The good news is that only the females bite and suck blood, while the males only visit flowers!
http://res2.agr.gc.ca/ecorc/diptera/bf13-dp13_e.htm  , Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
 
#138  I have been noticing a large number of very small bugs on certain areas of the outside of my house such as bulkhead and some parts of my vinyl siding. I often will see a few in my window sills as well. I can sometimes see about 30 to 50 of these at a time. They are most prevalent evening and night and least in the sun. Colored dark grey. To the naked eye they are hard to identify.  The only characteristic I can easily make out is what I think are their antennae. The other interesting thing is while all very small there seem to be some as small as tiny specs while the largest are maybe 1/4 of an inch. I have included a picture from my 5 mega-pixel camera to help identify them. It is a magnified cropping from a full-size picture. A ruler was included to help identify the size. You can also see a much smaller example of the pest in question in the top of the picture.  Thank you!  -Michael
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  Hard to tell from the photo, but possibly a collembolan. These are very primitive insects sometimes called springtails from their characteristic hopping mode of locomotion. They are quite susceptible to desiccation, and therefore usually restricted to damp environments. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV 

#137  I live in Mississauga, Ontario and have noticed a pile of sawdust on my front walkway.  Finally saw some of these things digging in the wood.  The creatures also fly. Anyone have any suggestions??  Michelle.
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  Definitely a wasp, possibly a Crabronine wasp some of these will bore into wood to make their nests, which they stock with their insect prey as food for their developing larvae. Unlike hornets, these wasps usually are not aggressive where humans are concerned.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV

#136  We have hundreds of these bugs on our patio. They seem to be shed skins.  They look like very large fleas. Some are about 1cm long. We are in southern California.
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These are not insects, these are crustaceans, related to the shrimps and lobsters! They are called "Beach flea" but they are harmless for humans. I guess you are living close to the beach, cause Gammaridae (that is their scientific family name) are living in the water and only a few species are coming temporarily outside the water (mainly at night) to feed (mainly rotting plant material) on the shore. This could be Orchestia gammarellus, a widespread Beach flea.  http://www.mov.vic.gov.au/crust/amphbiol.html   , Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
 
#135  Found resting on our kitchen window in Westford, Massachusetts. Thanks, Martin
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This is an Ichnuemon Wasp. 
Unknown species - there are several.
Parasitic ichneumon wasps often have long sword-like ovipositors and very thin "waists". They lay their eggs in caterpillars and beetle larvae which will be the food for the developing wasp.
Ichneumon wasps are commonly used as biocontrol agents. Not a pest. Spak, Vancouver, BC.
  #134  Hi. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and have never seen anything like this before. This creepy bug was found lying in the short grass on my front lawn by my dog. It is quite sluggish and only moves when prodded. I tried to get a good look at its underside but when it is flipped over it rights itself right away. There is a tree just above where it was found it looked like it had fell out of the tree. I am not sure of what kind of tree it is but I do know that it is not doing too well this year. The leaves all seem to be dying and there are several bare branches. Any suggestions as to what this is would be helpful… The tree was healthy last year.  …..Rose.   Winnipeg
             
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This is a caterpillar of a hawk moth or Sphingidae. They are often very specialized on certain plants. It could be that the caterpillar was just looking for a place to pupate.  http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/usatable.htm  
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
#133  I live in Silver Spring. MD, just outside Washington, D.C. I found this insect, a Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle I think, in early August on a young Japanese maple I planted a few weeks earlier. (Growing nearby was a small patch of broccoli plants, but the insect had been on the tree for a few days, so I assume it is the tree it likes.) In the bright sun it looks close to yellow and black. In the shade, it takes on a ladybug/ladybeetle orange/black hue. I've looked at pictures of hundreds of beetles, and dozens of lady beetles, and found none with this marking. It reminds me of a crusader's shield. If it's a lady beetle, it's not a garden pest but rather a predator for aphids, I think. Can you confirm the identification?  Thanks.  Harvey
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  A Harlequin bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). These are pests primarily on members of the mustard family (including cabbages, broccoli, and the like). See http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/veg/leaf/harlequin_bug.htm  for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#132   I, I live in Erin which is about 60km nw of Toronto. I'm hoping somebody will be able to identify this fly.  I found it in my backyard, it's not very aggressive,  but it looks like it could sting. 
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This is a female robber fly, very likely the genus Efferia (like #104). They use the long tail to place their eggs deep in the sand. They can not sting you with it.
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
 
#131  I live in northeast Tennessee, USA. I saw the first ever of one of these yesterday on a wooden fence. I had nothing to catch it with and thought I might never see another but today at the corner of my garage my puppy spotted this one and while she kept it busy I was able to get something to trap it with.  It has the parts of an ant. head, thorax, gaster and six legs, it is hairy rather than smooth.  Size wise it is approximately 2.5 cm long and 5mm at it's widest part.  The photos don't do it justice .  Help, what is this pest?  Don 
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Don,  You are correct that it is in the bee, ant and wasp order Hymenoptera.  This insect belongs to the family Mutilidae, of which there are many species.  Some common names for this wingless wasp are "Velvet Ant" and "Cow Killer".  The last name gives you some idea of what its sting feels like, although they are not at all aggressive.  Their larvae parasitize many species of ground dwelling bees such as bumble bees.  They are considered to be a beneficial insect. Ken Steigman.                                        
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My husband says this one he has always heard called a "cow killer".  He was raised in the sticks of western NC,  USA.  I was actually looking for a picture of thIs critter to show to him because I saw it myself 2 days ago it the edge of a planter in the yard where the garbage can sits.  It really spooked me.  I've never seen a BIG RED FUZZY ant with a BLACK BELT before!   Camille
Texas A & M University has a good web page on this insect. 
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Wow!  I have captured an insect that looks almost (if not exactly) like the one shown in photo 131.  (My digital camera is at another location, but as soon as I'm able, I will try to send a picture of the one I have.)  I saw it in my front yard in Southeast Tennessee (near Chattanooga).  It was moving along at a pretty swift pace.  Does this sound familiar... its speed, I mean?   Also, you mentioned it stings but is not aggressive.  What provokes it to sting, then... being stepped on, held, or what?  (I have a 4-1/2 year old and a 2 year old, so I want to know how aggressively I need to steer them clear of these insects.) 
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Here are a few photos of the "Velvet Ant" that I mentioned in a previous message in response to picture #131.  It was found in mid-afternoon in the grass in our front yard in SE Tennessee on Aug. 18, 2004.   Anita M.
  #130  Hi there,  I just saw this insect hanging out above my front door. It is almost an inch long, I think, but I don't want to get any closer (I have nasty allergies to things that bite and sting!). Interesting-looking creature, though. What is it? And by the way, your site is fabulous! I know some grade 7 students who will LOVE it.   Shula,  Vancouver, British Columbia,  Canada
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This is a Bald Faced Hornet.  Named so because of the white markings on it's head. Because they usually build nests in trees well above ground level and do not scavenge for food as much as yellow jackets, they often go unnoticed.  They can however become quite aggressive if their nest is threatened.  More about hornets.
   #129  I've seen several of these scary looking spiders in my basement apartment in the Toronto area.  The bulbous body is about 1/4 of an inch, with a leg-spread of about 1/2 an inch.  It has a shiny body with an unusual double diamond/zigzag pattern on its back, with the diamonds being dark brown/mahogany and the body a light brown/beige colour.  The legs are striped light brown/dark brown.  They like to make webs in my shoes and in corners, so I'd like to know what kind of spider it is and if they are dangerous.  Thanks!
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Appears to be a Theriid spider, possibly Steatoda triangulosa. Theriid spiders build rather messy, tangly webs rather than the neat, geometric structures typical of orb weavers. Although this particular species is harmless to humans, some other species in the genus Steatoda can give a nasty bite, and the infamous black widow spider also is a Theriid.  
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#128  Hi.  I found this strange looking bug on my BBQ after trimming my Willow tree in Notre-Dame-de-l’île Perrot, QC. At first, I thought it was a branch but upon closer inspection, I saw that it was definitely not!  It looks almost alien-like. Any idea what it might be? Thanks! Kathryn
              
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A moth larva, possibly a prominent (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae). The caterpillars of many moths most commonly in the family Geometridae) often are very good twig mimics and therefore overlooked by most casual observers. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#127  I saw this insect on the foundation of our front porch in Midlothian, Virginia (near the capitol of Richmond, VA).  The day before I had some oaks trees that were sickly and dangerously close to our house removed since we have had so many rain and wind damaging storms.  Perhaps this insect was residing in the tree beforehand or maybe it is a coincidence in its appearance.  I at first from a distance thought is was a piece of bark that stuck to the brick.  It's feet or legs look almost feathered.  It looks like the eyes are apart from the jaw/pinchers?  I have never seen the likes of this insect before.  Do you know what it is?  Catherine 
This appears to be a larva (caterpillar) of one of the Lappet moths (family Lasiocampidae).  It is most likely Tolype velleda or Tolype laricis.  It doesn't have 'pinchers,' it just appears to because of the setae near the head.  More info and pics - http://booksandnature.homestead.com/moth50.html & http://www.forestpests.org/caterpillars/larchtolype.cfm.
J.D. Roberts, entomologist
#126   These two photos were taken in Timmins, Ont. on a residential hedge.  The hedge seemed to be infested with these at various stages of maturity. They seem to feed on the leaves using a feeding tube. They also feed on each other.
At first I thought they might be Box Elders but because the species of hedge is unknown to me I cannot be sure. Can anyone help?  Thanks.  D. Morin
This is one of the true bugs belonging to a group known as plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae).  This is a Lopidea sp. in the subfamily Orthotylinae, possibly the commonly named Scarlet Plant Bug, but I am not absolutely certain of the exact species.  They are considered pests because they pierce the plant to suck its sap, as you observed.  Here are some more photos and info - http://cedarcreek.umn.edu/insects/album/020023110ap.html    J.D. Roberts, entomologist

 # 125  This fast moving little guy is about three quarters of an inch long and covered ground all over my front yard.  Jacki.  Western Colorado.
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This is a Velvet ant of Mutillidae wasps like #131
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
 #124    This beetle was found in a tree here in a suburb of Chicago.
It looks similar to a Asian Longhorn Beetle  except it is not Black.  It is light brown with 4 white spots and 2 black dots resembling a second pair of eyes.
      
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You are right it looks a bit like the Asian Longhorn, but it is not.
This is a native Longhorn beetle with the scientific name Eburia quadrigeminata the "Ivory-marked Beetle". These guys sometimes emerge out of furniture 10 or more years after the furniture was made.
http://insectanswers.tamu.edu/identification/woodboringbeetles/couplet7.html
http://www.daviessaudubon.org/ivory-marked_beetle.htm
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
#123  I live in Wausau, Wi. and I found this bug on a brick wall about 10 feet up in the air. Please help Identify. Thanks
~~~~~~~~
 This is a male fishfly and they are often found near lights.  Amanda

 

#122  Hello. This spider has taken up residence near our apartment outdoor lighting in Central California. I know that this is not Canadian, but we are very curious about our little friend. He seems to be about 1.5" long (body length), has a very fat tummy with beautiful markings, and stripy, spikey legs. Any clue? Emily Jacobs,  UC Davis, CA    
This is an orb weaver spider (family Araneidae).  It looks like a species of the Neoscona genus.  Very similar to (and possibly is) a Neoscona oaxacensis.  More info - http://kaweahoaks.com/html/neoscona_oaxacensis.html
J.D. Roberts, entomologist
#121  We saw this spider in our vegetable garden in Barrie Ontario in late July; the spider was on a pumpkin plant eating a fly.  We were alarmed by it's bright colours; which was unusual.  The spider was not very big, appox. 5-10mm from front to back.  Dustin & Peggy
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 This is a crab spider.   Amanda
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Aka a Flower spider, or yellow crab spider (Misumenoides formosipe) http://kaweahoaks.com/html/spi_misumenoides_formosipes.html

Craig Baker

Click on the photos  to enlarge

 #120  Hi There:  We live in Port Moody BC. My Cats brought this humungous critter into our kitchen. Any idea what it is?  Thanks,  John.
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Hi,  It looks as though # 111 and #120 are dragonflies.
Check out
http://stephenville.tamu.edu/~fmitchel/dragonfly/
 
I live in northern MN and enjoy seeing them, some get rather large. They are good bug eaters.  Also see http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/information/Anisoptera.html  Great site,  Scott
#119  One more.  This is on my Butterfly Weed. Good or Bad?  Steven in Texas   
   This is a Large Milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) of the family Lygaeidae.  More info - http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/youth/bug/bug027.html
J.D. Roberts, entomologist
  #118  This is a "wasp-like" creature I was curious about.  Good or Bad?  I am in South Central Texas.   Steven
       
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 This is a robber fly (Asilidae)
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
#117  In July 2004, while rock climbing on a very hot day we came upon this impressive spider. We were at Calchek, about 15 kms South of Whistler British Columbia. The body of this spider was about 3 centimeters (size of the end of my thumb) not including the legs.  Can someone identify this spider? Is it poisonous? rare?  Thanks for your help.  Anne-Marie 
This appears to be a mature female Jewel spider, also called the Cat-faced spider (Araneus gemmoides).  Full grown females get quite large and develope the "spiked" appearance.  More info - http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/natural/insects/bugsfaq/jewelspd.htm  & http://bugguide.net/node/view/34702/bgimage
J.D. Roberts, entomologist
#116  Hi! Please help me identify this very large spider I found while cleaning up my garage.  I picked up a bottle of bug spray (oh, the irony!) and this scary creature was hiding behind it.  Its leg span is about 4 inches or so.  That colorful umbrella behind it is an oversized golf umbrella, if that helps to put its size into perspective.  I live in Long Island, New York and didn't know such large spiders existed here!  Any idea on what this might be?  Poisonous?  Does it (gulp!) travel in packs or is it a solitary creature?  Thanks very much for your help!  Lauren  
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Either a wolf spider (Lycosidae), or a close relative, a fishing spider (Pisauridae); likely a wandering male (cannot tell for sure, as cannot see the pedipalps). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
#115  This spider was found in Niles, Michigan on July 27, 2004 around 10:00 AM. The only thing I know of spiders is that I am deathly afraid of them. It's wing span seems to be around 3-5 inches, and looks to be dark brown in color with light brown stripes. Please someone help me identify it, let me know if it's a threat, and how I get rid of it, and it's nest. Thank you. Sincerely, S. Place
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  This is a wolf spider.  Amanda

#114.  We live in Edmonton Alberta and we came across this spider on out back deck it is fairly big about the size of a loonie and looks like it has horns on its but very weird please help me identify this spider.    James.
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 An orb-weaving spider, possibly the garden orb weaver. These spiders are common around (and sometimes in) buildings, and are harmless to humans.  
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
 

#113  Found in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. A rather large beetle that hisses often, probably has wings although hasn't used them yet. Also appears very sluggish. Don't know if it is a pest but would like to I.D. Thanks.
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Hi. I am not any kind of professional or anything, but I believe that bug #113 is commonly referred to around here as a stink bug. They seem to release some kind of putrid odor when you bother them, hence the name stink bug.  Tristan
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Hi.  My daughter and I also found one of these striped beetles on the sidewalk in Vancouver, BC.  It was already dead and desiccated, so we collected it as a sample.  We too would like an identification of the beetle--and sadly, "stink bug" really doesn't help us, because "stink bug" seems to be one of those catch-all phrases that covers several species, including blister beetles which bear no resemblance to this fellow at all.  So far our tentative hypothesis is that it is a local variety of the Click Beetle, due to its elongated and rounded shape.  Any entomologists who could help us please?  --Arinn.  Vancouver
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 It is the Ten-lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata)
http://www.parfaitimage.com/Insecta/polyphylla_decemlineata.html
http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/fetch21/FRST308/lab3/polyphylla_spp/june.html
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
#112  This thing walked into our garage tonight. It looks pretty scary, but didn't seem aggressive in any way-- it was almost timid. When we scooped it into a cup, it just sat there without trying to get away or anything. After awhile it started crawling in circles around the bottom of the cup, but that was it. It was 1.5 to 2 inches long, with a shiny, hard-looking shell. We live in a suburban area in St. Charles, MO (just west of St. Louis). I've never seen anything like this before, and I'm quite curious, so any info would be great. Thanks!     -Natalie
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 In regards to picture #112, I believe that is a Stag Beetle. I live in Eastern PA. and just found one the other day crawling across my patio.  They are 22-44mm long and look fierce but are not, according to a site I found, can be handled. They mostly inhabit woodlands around dead and decaying wood and are supposedly very reclusive.You can try this site:  http://maria.fremlin.de/stagbeetles/usa.html
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In answer to posting #112, it is a Pinching Bug.  It is so strange, as I found one last weekend and another today, it is the first two I have ever seen.  In trying to figure out what it was I found your sight and the person that posted #112 is in St. Charles, MO as am I!!...Strange.   I finally found the answer and a link is posted below.  I'm glad they are not harmful, though it will pinch a bit, and their feet are very sticky. Yuk!  Thanks for the help. 
#111 About 3" long in Dallas Texas
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Hi,  It looks as though # 111 and #120 are dragonflies.
Check out
http://stephenville.tamu.edu/~fmitchel/dragonfly/
 
I live in northern MN and enjoy seeing them, some get rather large. They are good bug eaters.
Also see
http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/information/Anisoptera.html         Great site,  Scott
#110  Columbia South Carolina found 6-9-04  I found this creature in our machine room at work. VERY aggressive when I move to it it turns and opens the pinchers as to attack. It is 6 inches long from the tip of the pinchers to the end of its wings.   Garry
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Dobson Fly
  #109  Hi. I found this insect in central Massachusetts in a fairly wooded area. It is missing one antenna. Can anyone help in identifying it?  Bill
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Dobson Fly
#108 hi, I found this dead on in my basement. I've seen them scurrying around my garbage bags outside. They are about an inch long. cockroach? beetle?  Please help me identify.- Shirley
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  This is a cockroach.  Amanda
#107  These things are so scary looking and now they Are in my house!!!!  Please help me!  I took entomology 15 years ago, but this thing looks like an insect and spider rolled into one.
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#107 appears to be an assassin bug. Paul


 

#106  Hello,  I live in Oakland, CA and last night I found this insect in our downstairs laundry room. It was right near a hole in the wall. The hole looked like a drill went through it, but no one had drilled the hole.  The insect is an inch and a half from antennae to the end of its body.  The top of the insect is powdery white (possibly from the dry wall) and the body is black and slightly metallic green. The wings are scaly, veined, and clear. This is a complete mystery to us. Please help.  Nathan
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 It could be a Buprestid beetle.  They are 3/8 to 1 1/4 inches in length, elongate-oval shaped and often metallic colored. The larvae are wood borers.  They are whitish with the head greatly expanded and flattened.
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Definitely not a buprestid or even a beetle. Could be a wood-boring hymenopteran in the family Siricidae.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist. Sinks Grove, WV
#105.  Hi? I live in Ohio, but close enough to Canada.  Do you know what this bug is?  I found it in my garage.  It makes a very loud buzzing noise when it flies.  It is about 3-4 inches long.  Thanks so much.  Tom.
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This is a staghorn beetle.  Amanda
 
# 104 Found in Bowmanville (Mosport) Ontario, July 18, 2004. It flew into my car and stuck around for while.
At the top of the photo you can see a wiper blade hinge, for an idea of the size.  Thanks,  Ben.   Montreal
Appreciate the site..

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This is a male robber fly of the genus Efferia.
http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/flies/robber/robber.htm
http://www.geller-grimm.de/asilidae.htm
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  This is a false bee killer - they kill wild bees, unlike the south/western US version that kills honey bees.  Amanda
 

#103  HELP!!!!  These pictures were taken with a very high powered microscope where my friend works.  It’s one of those million-dollar scopes that not many places have.  With the human eye, these pests are about the size of a speck of pepper and seem to attack at night.  He has had his place fumigated and sprayed by professionals twice and nobody can seem to give him an answer as to what they are. He collected these samples by applying tape to his arm where he felt them biting him.  He lives in a basement apartment.  There is a drain outside that has water standing in it sometimes.  He has taken his dog to the vet and they can’t find anything. He has also used every cream and spray known to man.  This has been going on for about a month.  It seems that when he sprays or fogs, he gets one or two days where things aren’t that bad, but no lasting relief.    I have done so much research online and the only bug I can find that resembles this ugly thing is a Midge.  The weird thing is we are in the US, and midges are normally in Scotland around bodies of water.  They have wings and the females bite. We have contacted a bug scientist but his Microscope is not powerful enough to see the bug on the samples he gave him.  The scientist is hinting at the fact that my friend is crazy.  This is very frustrating.  If anyone could help I would appreciate it.  Thank you.  Bobbi
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I and many others in Ontario, Canada call them No-See-Ems. They can get through screen doors, tent windows and other small holes(very small holes). Don't take your bug to a "bug scientist".....lol. Take your friend to a head scientist. I think he is crazy.
Willy
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Re #103, I remember reading years ago a story about a woman with a similar problem - they thought she was nuts because she had a weird rash. Eventually it turned out she had been sleeping under an air conditioner which had an old bird's nest in it. The bird had some kind of extremely tiny parasites and they were getting blown into the room. Nobody could see the parasites. The itching was driving her crazy.   R.F.
#102  My Son found this large guy on the grass in our North Eastern Ohio yard.
Never saw anything like this before and could not find anything like it in any books we have. Very useful site you have here. Thank you for any help you can give.

~~~~~~~~
 I may be wrong but it looks like it may be what is called a spider wasp. Spider Wasp, common name for any of a family of wasps that hunt spiders to feed their young. They can be up to 2 inches long.  Chris.   http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/insects/wasps/spider_wasp/
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 No this is not a wasp, it is a harmless fly pretending to be a wasp.
The family is called Mydidae.   http://www.mydidae.tdvia.de/
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois  
 
#101  Hello!   I found your website to be very helpful and interesting.  What a great idea!!!!  I have been looking on the internet and in books but cannot identify this bug.  What is it called?  Why is it hanging around my house?  Should I be concerned that there are quite a few in our yard?   Charlene. Victoria, BC
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# 101 It is a ladybug larvae. Mauro.     
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This looks like a nasty little beast. It's really the larva of a ladybug. They are voracious predators of aphids and other small soft bodied insects, I've never been bitten while handling them and have never found them to harm anything but bugs. They will eventually form almost round/teardrop orangish pupae, which are still not charming looking, but darling little ladybugs will emerge. I am not alarmed but grateful when I see them.

 

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