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your pest photo

What is this pest?
 Submit photos of any pest you would like identified.  Hopefully one of our visitors will be able to identify them.  
 
How to send your photos.

The pictures below have been submitted by visitors.  If you can identify them you are invited to send us your answers. Your description  is also welcome.  
Please Include the picture number in your answers.  


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

Thank you for helping us reach this milestone:  2000 pest photo identifications.

  2000   This bug was found on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  It was August 2, 2008, on a backyard wooden deck that is about 1-2 ft off the ground.  Everyone that was around at the time could not figure out if the "stuff" on the top of it was actually part of the bug itself, or if it was something it was carrying...!  The "stuff" looks very similar to a tiny piece of "real live sponge".  My brother-in-law had it crawling on his hand, and it actually ended up "stinging or biting" him....the result of it looked very similar to a mosquito bite, but the swollen lump looked more enhanced than a mosquito bite.  He felt it when it happened and immediately put it on top of the table umbrella.  I looked through some of the postings and found a picture that looks similar (the main body) and the answer given said it was a "Lawn Shrimp".  At the time, we all thought it looked like a shrimp!  Is there a connection to the "Lawn Shrimp" and if not, does anyone know what in the world this is??  Sandy in Maryland
This is a larva of a green lacewing (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Some will attach bits of debris (including the remains of previous meals) to their body as a disguise; they then are referred to as ‘trash bugs’ - see http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos/0706_macros/trashbug-JB-070609-P+R2_8815a.jpg  for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1999  Can anyone identify this interesting large insect?  It was found by our house behind concrete blocks, in Kamloops, BC.  It measures about 2-3 inches.  When we went to move it, it flipped over and played dead.  One picture of the top and one of the bottom, when it flipped over.  Thanks!  Athena Watters
This bears some resemblance to a hump-winged cricket (Orthoptera: Prophalangopsidae) such as one known as the great grig (Cyphoderris monstrosa). This species flips over as a defensive move - see http://buzz.ifas.ufl.edu/339pm3.htm  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1998  I live in Australia and I found this guy in my sons room.  Centipede / millipede harmless? Thanks
This is a harmless millipede, possibly in the order Polydesmida - see http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/zoology/multipedes/tasmilli/milpod/milpdpar/milpdnot.html for an example. The vast majority of Australian species reportedly remain undescribed. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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This is a millipede which is harmless. You can tell it is a millipede by the fact that there are 2 pair of appendages per body segment. Not sure of the classification . Gordon Crockford, Saskatoon, SK
1997  These guys have really been enjoying my willow trees and I would like to know what they are before I kill them.  I haven’t seen them before and there not on this site.  I’ve looked all over the internet for these guys but have had no luck in identifying them.  I’ve only noticed them starting in July.  I live in southwestern Ontario Canada and they are two and a half to three inches in length right now. I hope I can get some info back on what these guys become as adults. Thank you very much for your help this site rocks!   Chad
This appears to be the caterpillar of a Mourning Cloak butterfly ( Family Nymphalide ) that are quite common. The caterpillar, called the Spiny Elm Caterpillar munches the leaves of poplars, willows, birches and city elm trees. Not considered harmful. Gordon Crockford , Saskatoon , SK
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a caterpillar of a mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa; Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) - see http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/lepidopt/nymph/mcloak for images of all life stages of this insect. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
I found a caterpillar that looked the same on this webpage which happens to feed on willow trees.  It's called a  mourning cloak butterfly larva. http://www.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/caterpillars.htm   Kristina
1996  The attached picture of a spider taken was on August 9, 2008. We expect this is poisonous but can't identify which species. The general feedback and research on the web would lead us to believe it is a member of the Black Widow family.  It was released unharmed, and if we see any more we're not likely to have it resting on bare skin! Any information that can be provided is appreciated. Thanks,  Dave Maloney
This is a widow spider (Latrodectus spp.), possibly a southern black widow, Latrodectus mactans - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/Arachnid/black_widow_McCormick.jpg for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I believe that this is Latodectrus hasselti or another member of the Theridiidae family of spiders which does include the black widow spider. They are called Redback spiders in Australia. They are poisonous and should be handled with care. Gordon Crockford , Saskatoon , SK
1995  Can you identify this bug? My daughter has found three of them around her bedroom window. She says they are slightly bigger than a thumbnail.
This is a stink bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Some species in this family will enter dwellings in search of shelter, particularly in the autumn; they will do no damage indoors. Because of the banded antennae, this one bears resemblance to an introduced species, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) - see http://www.insectidentification.org/imgs/insects/brown-marmorated-stink-bug.jpg. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1994   Spider - friend or foe?
This is a male orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae) - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/Arachnid/marbled_orbweaver_male_2.jpg   for an image of a male marbled orb weaver, Araneus marmoreus. Your specimen likely was wandering about in search of a female. Orb weavers comprise a very large family, all of which are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1993 Hello, This is a creature found on my driveway in Langley, B.C.  It is much larger than a caterpillar. Any ideas?  thanks, Cynthia
This is a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) caterpillar, but it does not appear to match any of the common species reported from British Columbia - see http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/BCsphlar.htm. It does have some superficial resemblance to the larva of the Tersa sphinx moth (Xylophanes tersa) - see http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/64920158_03ca395a87_o.jpg. This is a southern species that has been reported as an occasional stray in Canada. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1992 I believe this is a ground beetle, but the pinchers on the front make me concerned that it could be a pest.  I live in Flint Michigan, and I found this (and several others, dead and alive) in my basement.  They get pretty agitated when flipped up-side-down.  It does not have a visible cleft in it's back abdomen.  I just want to know for sure.  Rob.
This is indeed a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae), a beneficial predator. Many ground beetles have mandibles even larger in proportion to their body size than this specimen - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/Beetles/ground-beetle-scarites-1.jpg and http://www.biology.duke.edu/dnhs/pics/Pasipunct.jpg for examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1991  Is this bug related to the black and red bug from picture 1889 sent in earlier this summer?  What is this – another leaf eater I guess??  It was found on a willow in Barrie, ON. There is not much left of this poor tree. Thanks again Rosanne
This is not a leaf feeder, but is a nymph of a stink bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), possibly in the genus Podisus - see http://bugguide.net/node/view/161172/bgimage for an image. Most stink bugs are sap feeders, but some, including those in the genus Podisus, are predaceous on other small arthropods - see http://www.pbase.com/bowdood/image/86285339 for an adult in action. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1990  Caterpillar found in Alberta, Canada in September.  Joanna
This appears to be a caterpillar in the family Noctuidae (owlet moths); likely in the genus Cucullia - see http://bugguide.net/node/view/216955/bgimage for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1989  I found this insect in Paris, Texas, after it had bit me on the toe several times.  It looks like it belongs to the leaf footed family, but I could not find a picture on the web that had resembling features.  I was observing him after I caught him and noticed that he had what appeared to be a long 'stinger' tucked underneath his abdomen.  He started to rub his antennas with his front legs while his 'stinger' came untucked and hung down. I then noticed that the 'stinger' was secreting a clear fluid.  He then began to spread this clear fluid onto his antennas with his front legs, he eventually rubbed it on all of his legs.  I hope you or someone could share some insight on what type of insect this is, and if it is poisonous.  Angela.
This is a nymph of a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Coreidae). They are not poisonous; most species are plant feeders with a few being predaceous - a ‘bite’ from one of these could be quite painful because of the proteolytic enzymes in its saliva. The behavior you noted likely was a grooming procedure; the ‘stinger’ actually is its feeding apparatus (often called a beak or rostrum). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1988  I finally got a great photo of this elusive specimen.  I've seen these for years here in SW Louisiana, US, (not Canadian but Acadian) but haven't found a name for it.  They tend to like barn/ warehouse environment. I've been feeding this beauty for a few years and recently found another large one and lots of little ones cohabitating. They spin a cobweb and a tunnel web where they hide till a live fly or roach etc. shows up as lunch. This one is enjoying a large roach enough to venture out for a photo session. I do have larger, more detailed photos but this should have enough information.  Let me know how careful I should be with it. Gary.
  This looks like a southern house spider, Kukulcania hibernalis (family Filistatidae) - see http://www.samford.edu/schools/artsci/biology/zoology/invert-06f/pages/113.htm  for an image and http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/spiders/southern_house_spider.htm  for more information on this species. Females, at least, can be quite long-lived for spiders, and can deliver a painful bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV. 
1987 On August 18 a swarm of these were on my house near Sherwood Park Alberta.  Is it a wasp, bee or fly? Ron
This is a bee, perhaps a honey bee (Apis mellifera) - see http://www.insectsofalberta.com/honeybee.htm. This is the only species of bee in Alberta likely to occur as a swarm; the other species are solitary in nature. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1986   I found this spider in my dogs water pail outside my barn this morning... it was fully submerged and I don't know how long it could have been in there... but it was still (just barely) ALIVE!! What is it? It LOOKS like a friggen Tarantula!!!!! eeeek! I live in Metchosin BC on Vancouver island :)  thanks for any info!  Jessy
I cannot be certain, but this spider may be in the family Dipluridae (funnel-web spiders)- see http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3210/2619664420_9bf31f5913.jpg?v=0  for an example. Diplurids belong to the same suborder (Mygalomorphae) as tarantulas. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1985  Magnolia, NJ. These two spiders were working together to make this large web which covers my entire porch. The little one was doing the work, going back and forth, seemingly passing the latest string to the big one to attach to the web. Very amazing to watch as I've never seen two spiders working together like this. Is this common behavior?? From other pictures I'm guessing that they are orb spiders?? Thanks for any info. -Charles
This is another orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae) - see no. 1983. The smaller individual is a male; his behavior probably was designed to inform the female that he was a potential mate rather than a meal. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1984  Hi I found this insect in my pool in Southern Ontario (St. Catharines). Is this some kind of a cricket? It’s about 1 inch long and it flies.  Sincerely,  Rafal
This a rove beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) , they are general predators on other small arthropods. They have very powerful jaws for their size; a specimen as large as yours would be capable of a delivering a painful bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1983  I found the following spider on 9/8/08 in by backyard in Wheatfiled, New York. I believe it is an orb weaving spider but I am not sure. Can you confirm this? The white bulbous part of the body is Slightly smaller than a dime. Feel free to use it on your website. Thanks!  Joseph.
This is indeed an orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae); likely in the genus Araneus - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/34080637 for an example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1982  I live in northern California where I have a decent vegetable garden. This summer for the first time, I have seen MASSES of these larvae boil up to consume new material in the compost bin. Someone said they were a type of fly larvae. I am curious what type of fly ? If it is beneficial or a pest in a garden ? And if there is a risk of them going straight to the good stuff to eat instead of waiting for the compost. Thanks for your information. -mc-
These are larvae of soldier flies (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/soldier_flies for images of several species as larvae and adults. The larvae are scavengers on decomposing organic matter, and will not bother anything in your garden; the adults do not bite and are not pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1981  First of all I think your web-site is really cool. My sister found it, and I never thought I would have to use it. We live in Marshall, North Carolina. Just moved here about 2 years ago. We have what looks like a wasp on steroids. You see them during the day once in awhile but then they seem to come out more at night when you go out on the porch and turn on the lights. They go towards the light, and they sound even bigger when they hit the house. The ones I'm sending the picture of are about 1" (2 3/4 cm), there is three sections to them. They have 6 legs, 2 are short and they all look like they have small spikes on them. Their heads have yellow on them and it almost looks like they have pincher's for their nose. They are yellow and black, like a yellow jacket. They seem to be more nasty, and someone here told me I don't wanna get stung by one of them. If someone could identify them for me that would be great. thank you for your time. Lisa 
These could be European hornets (Vespa crabro; Hymenoptera: Vespidae), the only true hornet in North America - see http://entomology.uark.edu/museum/crabro.html. I have found these to be far less aggressive than yellowjackets or bald-faced ‘hornets’; nevertheless, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get stung by one! Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1980  We can not figure out what type of bee this is…the large one of course.  This picture is taken beside a quarter and a common wasp to show the size of this thing.  Located in Kittanning, Pennsylvania USA.  Any help is appreciated.  Thank You.  Jamee
The larger insect is a wasp called a cicada killer, Sphecius speciosus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) - see no. 1973 for another example. The smaller one could be a vespid wasp in the genus Polistes. They generally are not aggressive (unless you disturb their nest), and are general predators on many species of caterpillars.
1979  These I suspect are made by ants of some description. The “nest” is located in the basement cross beams of a half basement under an addition to the regular home. What do I need to do to get rid of it and keep it gone and whom do I contact to do that ? Home is in Head of St. Margaret’s Bay Nova Scotia. Thanks…Terry
Ants usually no not make nests like this indoors, and ants that are structural pests (carpenter ants) have their colonies entirely within the wood that they tunnel - the wood particles that they expel from their tunnels looks more like sawdust - see http://www.novaguard.com/carpenterants.html. You may wish to have a professional pest management company inspect your premises to see if you have anything of concern, see http://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/nova_scotia pest control.htm   for a starting point.
1978 Hi: I have found this insect? larvae? in two of our beds in Calgary, Alberta Canada. We have only found two. It is approximately 1/4 of an inch long, or approximately 6 mm. I would appreciate any information on this. Does anyone know what this is? Thanks!  Greg
This appears to be a larva of one of the hide/skin beetles (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Dermestes - see no. 1915 for another example. Larvae of this genus are distinguished by the pair of horn-like structures (urogomphi) at the end of their abdomen. They will feed on a wide variety of organic materials, mostly of animal origin, including hides, fur, feathers, leather, cured meats, dead insects, etc. Control may be complicated by the difficulty in determining exactly where they are feeding - see http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-Fact/2000/2104.html  for a fact sheet.
1977  Can you please tell me what this bug is?  Is was found on our bathroom counter.  We live in Southern California. Thank You, Cindi
This appears to be a larva of a carpet/furniture beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae), such as those in the genus Anthrenus - see http://somethingscrawlinginmyhair.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/dermestidlarvadorsal.jpg   for an image and http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html for control measures.
1976  We found this bug while on a camping trip in the Castle Special Management area, which is about 45min southwest of Pincher Creek, Alberta.  The date was August 30th, 2008, and the time of day was about 4pm. It was crawling around in a plastic bag we had filled with firewood.  It appeared to be some sort of very large grasshopper, but I've never seen a grasshopper come anywhere close to getting this big. It was probably close to 3 inches long and as big around as a man's thumb. Shortly after the pictures were taken the insect jumped (albeit not very high) from the log and burrowed deep in the grass, making it virtually impossible to see. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, - Julian.
This insect belongs to the orthopteran family Tettigoniidae, it may be a green phase Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex - see http://bugguide.net/node/view/219512/bgimage) or a close relative. See http://www.sidney.ars.usda.gov/grasshopper/extrnlpg/ghwywest/ansi.htm   for a fact sheet on Mormon crickets.
1975  We have been finding these sitting motionless on the floor and carpet at night. What are they? Ryan
This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae), possibly a masked hunter (Reduvius personatus) - see http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/maskedHunter.htm for a fact sheet that includes images. This species can deliver a very painful bite if mishandled.
1974  I found two of these bugs within a week in my house on the floor; doors have been open but screened. I live in a western NY rural area. The bug's body (not including antennae and legs) is about 7mm long. Any help is appreciated. Thank you. KJ.
 This is a short-snouted/broad nosed weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae - see no. 1942 and http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/61615597); adults are leaf feeders and their larvae are root feeders. Some species in this family will enter buildings in search of shelter, but seldom do any damage.
1973  I found this in a school in Dallas, GA.  It is not a Japanese Hornet but looks like one except for the back, it is black with yellow stripes.
This appears to be an eastern cicada killer wasp, Sphecius speciosus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada_killer_wasp. They often attract attention by their large size and burrowing activity in lawns and the like; fortunately, they are non-aggressive towards humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1972  Hi i was hoping you could help me. I found this spider on the foot board of my bed in Sherwood park, Alberta. It was Approximately 5mm in length. I took a photo of it before i let it outside and once i zoomed it looked quite scary. I was wondering what type of spider this was. Is it a baby of any other lager spider i'm yet to find? Any information would be greatly received. 
Thanks. Sarah
 This could be an immature long-legged sac spider (family Miturgidae - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/79023363) - these spiders frequently are found indoors - or possibly that of a ground spider (family Gnaphosidae - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/58819200). Some sac spiders can give a painful bite if mishandled/pressed against, and have been implicated in some cases of slow-healing lesions. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 
1971  Hello there! I've recently come across 2 interesting looking spiders... photo 1- is this a black widow? photo 2 - is this a flower spider?
I have to admit I killed the one I thought was a black widow and let the neon yellow one go.... hope that yellow one wasn't something dangerous too!
Thanks for your help,  Lori - Winfield, BC
The black spider likely is a western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) and the yellow spider is a crab spider (family Thomisidae), possibly the flower crab spider (Misumena vatia), which can change its colour to blend in with their background - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misumena_vatia. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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The bright yellow spider is a harmless male crab spider.  The female can be distinguished by crimson stripe on either side of the abdomen.  These spiders lie in wait on the coloured portion of a flower with their legs stretched out ready to grab an unsuspecting bug looking for nectar.  They adapt their colour to the flower they are sitting on usually white or yellow.  Claude
1970 Hello.  I live in a small town outside of Calgary Alberta Canada. We found a very large wasp that looks similar to a cicada killer but has a very large stinger and a false stinger below about 3/4 of an inch long. I am wondering what this is and how common it is for these parts, as I have never seen anything like this before. Scot.
 It is one of a group of wasp known as horntail wasps.  They infest dead or newly felled trees.  The longer of the "stingers" is her ovipositor, used to lay her eggs in the bark of trees.  See http://www.fs.fed.us/r1-r4/spf/fhp/field_guide/71wwsphtl.htm for more information. 
Mike Wasmund, Training Director,  Surety Pest Control.
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This is a wood wasp (aka horntail; Hymenoptera: Siricidae); likely the banded horntail (Urocerus gigas) - see no. 1948 for another example and
http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/natural/insects/bugsfaq/horntail.htm for more information.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1969  Could not locate info on this caterpillar for my classroom. It is a dark gray/green with a symmetrical red pattern on its back.  Large eyes with two dark knobs above.  Tail has what looks like two short spinnerets sticking out.  Found on our playground in Dover, NH, USA. 
This appears to be a caterpillar of the white-blotched heterocampa (Heterocampa umbrata; Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) – see http://www.giffbeaton.com/Caterpillars/White-blotched Heterocampa_2005-09-19-0009.jpg for an image. Some species in this genus can be serious forest defoliators, see http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/glfc-sugarbush/heterocampa-guttivatta.
1968  Great site, I found this huge insect on my patio, in a bucket filled with rain water. I believe it flies. I live in Dallas, TX. It measures at least 1 inch long and it's very thick, but I know it's not a cicada...thanks for your help!!  Oliver
This beetle is in the family Scarabaeidae, genus Cotinus, such as the western green June beetle, Cotinus mutabilus – see http://www.texasento.net/Cotinis.htm. Adults are fruit/foliage feeders, whereas their larvae are soil dwellers, feeding on humus, decaying plants, roots, and manure. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1967  Hi, My brother and his girlfriend found this interesting bug sitting in front of them on a bus in Saskatoon, SK. Anyone know what it is? Cam
 This is a mayfly (order Ephemeroptera), possibly in the family Ephemeridae – see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/101830504 for an image. The adults of these insects are very short-lived, often less than a couple of days. The larvae are aquatic. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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This is a may fly dun, the adult stage of a mayfly before its wings harden and clarify. Once that happens it is called a mayfly spinner.
  Claude
1966 We live in a log home in mid-western Ontario. Our home is 22 yrs old. We have found small insects, app. a quarter inch long in the past couple years that are making small holes in the logs. I have attached a few pictures, hopefully you can tell me what they are and how to rid them. Thanks ~ Norma
You don’t want to get rid of these, as they are not responsible for the holes in the wood.  They appear to be wasps parasitic on the wood-boring beetles that did do the damage. Ichneumonid wasps in the subfamily Cryptinae (see
 http://www.waspweb.org/Ichneumonoidea/Ichneumonidae/Cryptinae/Acrolyta/images/330_Acrolyta_crassicornis_72a.jpeg for an example) specialize in attacking these beetles. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1965  Hi,  My mother in law found this beetle in her jar of instant coffee purchased in the UK, Please can you identify it? thanks Lisa UK
The image will not enlarge so I cannot be certain, but this appears more like a desiccated nymph of a stink bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) or shield bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Scutelleridae) than a beetle.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1964 This wasp and several friends have been making holes near a rock wall in my Barrie, ON backyard.  They are shiny blue and quite large and very fast.  I have been trying to find out what they are and think they may be “blue mud dauber wasps”. The info on these wasps say they are parasitic to black widow spiders (I hope I won’t see any of those around my yard).  Do these wasps use other spiders for their young?  Should I be concerned for my children and pets with the large nest that they are making even though I read that they are usually not aggressive? Thank you for your time. Rosanne
Wasps in this family (Sphecidae) are as a rule not aggressive; you really have to try hard in order to be stung by one. This one appears to be the great black wasp, aka katydid hunter - Sphex pensylvanicus - see http://magickcanoe.com/insects/great-black-wasp-small.jpg   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1963 Hi.  Do you know what these are? They are all over my willow tree. I'd say they are about 1/16" to 1/8" in length. Weevil? Thanks. Gerry
These appear to be black willow aphids (Pterocomma smithiae). The following information is from the University of Minnesota Extension Service: "Despite their abundance, they do little if any lasting harm to established, vigorously growing trees. Their presence is just a nuisance. Tolerate these aphids as much as possible. If you wish to reduce their numbers, try washing them off as many branches as you can reach with a hard spray of water. A less toxic insecticide option would be treat them with insecticidal soap. If nothing is done, their numbers will diminish on their own by the end of the month."  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1962  Does anyone out there know what this is? I suspect excrement from Sphinx Moth Caterpillars as the only place I find them is under a Green Ash and I know the Caterpillars are up there, I see them coming down in the Fall. It would be nice to know for sure. Willy, Alberta, Canada.
These are indeed fecal pellets from a large caterpillar. Unfortunately, I do not know of any identification guide that could pinpoint which species dropped them.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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Last year I have raised a couple of Bombyx Mori (silkworm) caterpillars. I have noticed that the feces pellets in the picture have a spiky shape and size identical to the silkworm feces pellets.  Thanks, David Yu
1961  Found dockside at Go Home lake, Township of Georgian Bay, District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. It is covered in fluff and little bits of debris that seem to stuck on it intentionally. The bug itself is a pale, almost pink colour and fairly slow moving. After it crawled around on me for a while some sort of a little probiscous started to reach down and probe my hand so away it went.
We saw a couple of them once we started looking for them.
Does anybody know what they are?  Jack.
This appears to be a larva of a green lacewing (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Some of these will cover themselves with bits of debris (including the empty husks of their victims) , possibly in order to better sneak up on their prey (other small arthropods) and/or escape the eye of their own potential predators. When they do this, they often are referred to as "trash bugs" - see http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos/0706_macros/trashbug-JB-070609-P+R2_8815a.jpg.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1960 Hi:  my dad found this large worm stuck to the wall of a church in Brandon Manitoba on august 20th 2008.  We have no clue what it is and have never seen anything like it before around here. Could you please tell us what the heck it is!  p.s it has already started spinning a cocoon...Perry
This is a larva of a cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia: Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) getting ready to spin its cocoon and pupate. See http://www.geocities.com/rainforest/5479/  for details on its life cycle.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1959  Hi,  I found this insect on my bed in the evening when I turned on the lights. It is a 1/4 of an inch long and I am 99% sure it is a bedbug. Please could you confirm this?  Thanks,  Paul,  London, England
These are indeed bed bugs (Cimex spp.; Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Cimicidae), and the fact that you found a blood-engorged specimen in your bed points to it being a human bed bug (Cimex lectularius). However, there are closely related species that it can be confused with, and you need to know exactly which species you have in order to be sure the correct control measures are carried out. See http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/INSECT/05574.html for a pub that includes a key to identification, and http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp for one of the best all-around articles on bed bugs that I have found online. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1958  This is a bug we found while seeding the front lawn. There is a lot of them!! Anybody know what this is? We think it might be a ground hornet? Thanks, Matt and FionaOrono, ON
A lovely photo of a great golden digger wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus; Hymenoptera: Sphecidae)! They provision their burrow with large prey (such as katydids) upon which their developing larvae feed. See http://www.cirrusimage.com/hymenoptera_Great_Golden_Digger_Wasp.htm for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1957  Last night I saw this huge bug on the ceiling of my balcony in Toronto. It was about 2 inches long. Any idea what kind of bug it was? Thanks, Tony.
This one of the so-called ‘dog day cicadas’ (Hemiptera/Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae) that occur in Ontario - see http://www.uoguelph.ca/pdc/Factsheets/Insect/Cicadas.htm. Unlike their better known periodical cousins, they only spend a few years below ground feeding on tree roots before emerging to sing, mate, and reproduce. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1956  Hi,  I found this big spider in my kitty's litterbox, and wonder if he is harmful to me or kitty.  I live in a rural area of southern Illinois, and carried the box WAY into the backyard and let this guy (girl?) out, so he could live in the barn.  I looked all over your site and could not find similar - although some of the ones you ID'd as wolf spiders or fishing spiders may be close...  Thanks!  Cara
This is a wolf spider (family Lycosidae), likely a so-called ‘rabid wolf spider,’ see http://homepage.mac.com/eceisner/Spiders/rabidwolfm.jpg They are harmless to humans, but large specimens can give a painful nip if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1955  I found this insect in my basement today (mid August) near Chicago, IL. It looks similar to a ground beetle, but it doesn't have large mandibles. Is it some sort of wood borer? It looks similar to pest 1933, identified as a darkling beetle by Ed Saugstad but that picture is too blurry for me to tell! K.H.
This a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and not a wood-boring pest of any kind. Not all ground beetles have prominent mandibles - see http://fieldandswamp.com/images/mystery ground beetle durham 40908.JPG
 Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1954  Hi, I live in Southern Ontario, city called Guelph. We have a 100 year old brick house with a limestone basement. We stared noticing these tiny bizarre looking creatures lately in our tiled floored bathrooms. They are smaller than a match head and look very much like a bit of lint until they start crawling when prodded. They are mostly shades of grey, ranging from light grey to almost black, although we have seen the odd orange one. They creep along almost crab-like and are extremely soft to the touch, they literally disintegrate when smudged. We are not overrun by these guys but I can usually find one when I look hard enough. We would really like to know what they are. Thanks in advance. John
This appears to be a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae) called the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/8133060@N06/2684548057/). See http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/maskedHunter.htm for a fact sheet; these bugs can deliver a very painful bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Tortoise Beetle1953  My father caught this little guy at his home in Hemmingford, Quebec. I'm told that it flies as well.  Nick
This is a tortoise beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae); likely the clavate tortoise beetle, Deloyala clavata - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles_tortoise.htm They feed primarily on members of the morning glory family (such as sweet potato vines), but sometimes will feed on other plants as well. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1952  FOUND IN CENTRAL INDIANA AUGUST 13th, 2008 ON BACK PORCH UNDER CARRIAGE OF PATIO BY OUR BACK DOOR, SPINNING A WEB. It was a little bigger than a silver dollar.  Keri
This is an orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae); possibly in the genus Araneus - see http://entomology.unl.edu/ornamentals/beneficials/spiders/araneus1.jpg . This is a very large family, and all are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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This is an orb weaver. Claude H.
1951  I found this bug on a flowering dogwood blossom and have been unable to identify it. Can anyone help me?  Date Taken: 24/06/08. Location: Edwards Gardens, Toronto.  Len
This bug is in the family Miridae, bearing a strong resemblance to Prepops fraternus - see http://www.ipmimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5369450. It does appear to be considered a pest. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1950  Clusters of several dozen of these tiny bugs were found on a pruned cedar branch near Sauble Beach, Ontario. They seemed to prefer the shady side of the branch because when it was turned over, the clusters dispersed, gathered again on the underside out of the sunlight.  An ID and any info as to whether they are destructive would be appreciated.  Thank you. John
These insects are in the order Psocoptera, often called barklice or tree cattle. They are harmless to the trees, feeding primarily on molds and bits of debris caught in the cracks of tree bark. We often see clusters of them on the trees in our back yard. Yours appear to be nymphs; the adults of many species have wings folded roof-like over their back - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/32591243. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
horse fly1949  Found on my deck. I live in Westchester, N.Y. It's about 1/2 inch long.  Gabe.
This is a horse fly (Diptera: Tabanidae), appearing similar to some species in the genus Tabanus - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/57691749. They are voracious blood feeders, and many species will feed on humans, given the opportunity. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1948  This was found on my Barbecue cover on our deck It was there for 2 days during a huge rain fall...Is that a huge stinger on the back end? It looks to be some kind of wasp? We live in fort McMurray Alberta.  Kerri
This is a wood wasp (aka horntail; Hymenoptera: Siricidae); possibly the banded horntail (Urocerus gigas) - see http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/natural/insects/bugsfaq/horntail.htm . Their larvae bore in trees, and some species can be timber pests. The ‘stinger’ is its ovipositor that it uses to place its eggs in the woody tissue where the larvae will develop, it is harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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Hi there love the site, 1948 is a sawfly and 1949 is a deer fly. Claude H.
1947  Can anyone identify this spider? It was found in the eves of the house in Vermont. Snapped this photo, went inside for a brief moment and it was gone. I have never ran into such a spider before and it really concerns me that something that large (would cover your face) would live around here.  Bob
This appears to be a fishing/dock/nursery web spider (family Pisauridae), likely in the genus Dolomedes - see http://www.canadianarachnology.org/data/spiders/19664. They are close relatives to wolf spiders, from which they differ by having their eyes all pretty much the same size, whereas wolf spiders have enlarged anterior median eyes. Specimens as large as this can inflict a painful bite if mishandled; they otherwise are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.  
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This appears to be some type of fishing spider maybe a dock spider. Claude H.
1946  These kind of bugs attack our tomatoes and fruit tree. Please help us to identify them. Slava.
These likely are flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; subfamily Galerucinae). The ‘shothole’ damage is characteristic of adult beetle feeding - see http://www.entm.purdue.edu/entomology/vegisite/insect_ID_pics/CH5_Potatoes/flea_beet les.jpg  (their larvae are root feeders); they can do severe damage on many garden plants, especially those belonging to the tomato and mustard families. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.                   
1945  Good Day, My girlfriend found these guys on the ceiling of our kitchen, they seem to have appeared almost instantly, there was a tiny hole I seen near them once I got close. We have a popcorn ceiling so you can imagine how small these guys are. The hole was a few cm's away from them. We live in central New Brunswick.  Wil.
These look suspiciously like newly hatched larvae of a tussock moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) - see http://www.wallwork.me.uk/garden/vapourer_moth_hatchlings_large.jpg . A female moth may have entered the house and deposited an egg mass. The hole in the ceiling likely is coincidental. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1944   Hello,  This was taken in my backyard in Ottawa on Aug 5th, 2008. There are two of these bugs sitting within a foot of each other. They've been essentially stationary for three days. Maybe they're dead? Maybe they're waiting to strike?! This looks like something from the jungles of Brazil if not a horror movie. It's roughly an inch and a half in length. Any idea what this is? Thanks.  Larry
This is a shed ‘skin’ (exuvium) of a cicada nymph (Hemiptera/Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae). Depending on the particular species, these insects spend anywhere from 1 to 17 years underground feeding on tree roots before tunneling up to the surface to complete their metamorphosis to the adult stage. See http://emlado.com/cicada.htm  for a series of photographs on this process. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1943 Hi, I live in Grand Forks BC. We found this bug on our kitchen wall last evening. Can you identify it please. Thank you.  Bill
This is a long-horned grasshopper (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae); possibly one of the bush katydids in the genus Scudderia - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/orthoptera_katydid.htm  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1942  Hi,  We live in Grafton, Ontario and recently had these bugs show up in our basement. Any ideas?  Thanks,  Kim
These are short-snouted/broad nosed weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/61615597); adults are leaf feeders and their larvae are root feeders. Some species in this family will enter buildings in search of shelter, but seldom do any damage (except, perhaps, to some potted plants). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1941  My friend in Ct, USA is trying to identify this flying insect (we think it is a wasp).  It is a dead one, and he posed it on the cactus to get a clear shot of the entire subject. Do you know what kind of a wasp it is ? He found it on the ground of his property.  Thank you for your help. Tessa~
This appears to be a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata; Hymenoptera: Vespidae), an insect with a remarkably short fuse when their nest is disturbed. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald-faced_hornet for much more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1940 Hi. This is a brilliant and brilliantly useful site. Thank you very much for running it. I have found this bug on a willow tree in my garden, in Northwestern Portugal, when clearing out some excess branches.
I figure they are under 0.5mm and seem to sometimes just hang there from their sting (?) without even using their legs, sucking out the tree. Some branches which looked dry and almost dead seemed to be absolutely crawling with these bugs. I'm pretty sure they bit me too while I was working there. When they get squashed they leave a large blood-red stain that dries black. I also saw some on a neighbouring willow, and since I have just planted an assortment of very young fruit trees (apple, plum, quince, pear, fig, loquat, pine, peach, olive, cherry), I'm afraid they'll be able to make the jump and kill some of them. Any help would be very welcome.  (by the way, there are a few ants around them at times, and I think a couple ended up on the group shot)  Thanks, Serge,
These appear to be aphids (aka plant lice; Hemiptera/Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae). They all are sap feeders (they do not ‘bite’ humans), and some species are quite attractive to ants that feed on the excess fluid (honeydew) secreted by the aphids as they feed. Some species are very host plant specific whereas some others will feed on many different plants. They usually can be controlled simply by directing a strong stream of water on the infested plant(s), or by use of an insecticidal soap. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1939  I keep finding this type of bug in my kitchen droors. They get into my baby's rice cereal, in pancake mix. Are they termites? I thought termites liked wood. Please help me identify this bug someone please. Betsy
This beetle is one of the dry food pests in the genus Oryzaephilus (saw-toothed and merchant grain beetles). They and their larvae will feed on a wide variety of cereal-derived food products, including flour and mixes. Control measures include a thorough cleaning of all food storage areas (paying particular attention to cracks and crevices) and disposal of items found to be infested, followed by keeping all infestable food items in sealable plastic, glass, or metal containers or under refrigeration. (After an unfortunate pantry incident involving Indian meal moths, we have kept everything in Tupperware™, and have had no further problems.)  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1938  Hi,  I found your website very interesting but can't find the ants that have invaded my kitchen in Northern Vermont. Can you help? They are small and probably between 1-2mm in length. Thank you. Joyce
These may be Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) - see http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/ANTKEY/pharaoh.html - thief ants (Solenopsis molesta) are quite similar in appearance, but much smaller; less than 1mm long. Locating and sealing up entry ways and use of appropriate baits appears to be the best control strategy for Pharaoh ants. However, ant baits available to the general public reportedly may not be effective against Pharaoh ants, and you may have to use a professional pest management service. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1937  I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario and have recently found these bugs on the mattress in my bedroom.  Sometimes they are on a pillow or on top of the sheets but mostly they are on the corners of the mattress underneath the sheets.  When I first discovered them, I found four together about one to two inches from each other.  Now, I find one to three every two days.  They are small, approximately 3mm to 5mm in length and they also have a very hard shell.  I was worried they were bedbugs but since searching your site I have happily learned that they are not bedbugs!  I'm not sure where they are coming from or how to get rid of them...Thank You, Kristy.
   This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), appearing very much like those in the genus Sitophilus - see http://www.fsoe.se/bilder/sitophilus_granarius2.jpg for an example. These weevils can be pantry pests, feeding mainly on whole grains/seeds (including bird seed). You probably should check your food storage areas for signs of insect infestation. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1936   This flew into my kitchen after heavy rains in the evening in Barrie Ont. Body length is about 2" but head to the end of the tail(?) is about 5". The wings are about 1". What the heck is it? Gord
This is a parasitic wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, genus Megarhyssa; likely Megarhyssa macrurus - see http://www.cirrusimage.com/hymenoptera_ichneumon_megarhyssa.htm. They use their long ovipositor to bore through wood to reach the larvae of wood-boring wasps in the family Siricidae on which their own larvae feed. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1935  Hi, walking around my backyard and came across a spider that has thousands of babies at our dock on Gull River, Coboconk, Ontario.  I have never seen one here before and wondered if someone could help me out as to whether or not I should be concerned with children and pets.  Thanks
This appears to be a fishing/dock/nursery web spider (family Pisauridae) in the genus Dolomedes, such as Dolomedes tenebrosus - see http://www.canadianarachnology.org/data/spiders/19664#image. They are closely related to wolf spiders (family Lycosidae), but lack the greatly enlarged anterior median eyes - see http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3018/2605213467_3a96791d07.jpg?v=0  for a wolf spider face. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1934  Hello!  What's this chubby grub? We're in Southern York County, Pennsylvania (USA) in a valley near a creek & corn field. We've had this big green grub or caterpillar visiting for the past week or so, munching on the leaves of a "Virginia Creeper" vine growing up a tree stump by our front porch. It's about three inches long, fat from head to tail & smooth with no noticeable hairs, spines, or stripes, just a row of five eye or hole like markings plus two black dots in the same line down each side, random speckles in it's leafy green, & a ringed dot or barb on it's tail. (I couldn't quite see.) At first it ate the leaves then the leaf stems right down to vine & stopped & moved on but, later it was only interested in the leaves. It's a tough little guy maintaining a death grip on the vine & getting aggressive when disturbed, rearing, smacking, & spitting on intruding probes then returning to it's task of methodically shaving each leaf down to nothing. We're curious who/what it is & will be. Thanks for your time & sharing your knowledge. This is a great site.  Sincerely, ~ N. P. ~
This is a larva of a pandorus sphinx moth (Eumorpha pandorus; Lepidoptera Sphingidae), and Virginia creeper is one of its favorite food plants. See http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/epandoru.htm for more details, including images of the adult moth. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1933  Hi there, I found this beetle in my apartment suite, and have been finding increasing amounts of them lately.  I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and they are about the same length as the diameter of a penny.  I think it may be a wood-boring bettle but am not sure.  Please help me out! Thanks.  Grant
This is a darkling beetle (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in the genus Tenebrio, such the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor. Their larvae may infest cereal grain products, especially those that are damp or in poor condition and that are stored in undisturbed out-of-the-way places such as basements. Also, they often are raised en masse for the pet food trade. See http://insects.tamu.edu/images/insects/common/images/b-txt/bimg164.html  for an image of a larva, pupa, and adult beetle. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1932  Hi,  I have included two photos of a bug that has infested our cottage, 15 km north of Goderich ON. The cottage is in the woods surrounded by trees.  We have been killing 20-30 a day for the last 10 days. We mostly see them during the day, especially in the warmer afternoon hours where the sun is shining in. We have never had them before in the seven years we have owned the cottage. The cottage is not heated in the winter and only used from May to October.  The bug looks just like the carpenter ant photo on your website (included). We only see bugs with wings and there are all about 1 inch long. Your website states that the highest traffic of bugs should be at night, yet we rarely see one in the cottage at night. I checked the crawl space and there is no sign of them, but I checked during the day. Tonight I will attempt to find them in the crawl and outside the cottage. I am aware of the serious damage carpenter ants can do (if that's what they are) and I would appreciate your opinion on whether to call a pest control professional to investigate this problem. Thank you very much! John
This does look like a reproductive female carpenter ant but a side view of the thorax would be helpful. The size (1 inch) is a pretty good indication is is a carpenter ant. Reproductive females usually emerge from the nest in the early spring rather than at this time of year (late July). I suggest you put a few in a pill bottle ant have a local pest professional identify them.  As stated on our carpenter ants web page, finding all the satellite nests is difficult. Killing ants outside the nest will have little effect on the colony and will make more difficult to find the nests. You should ask a professional for an estimate. See the directory of pest professionals in Ontario.
1931  Hello, I found this huge caterpillar in my truck, under some cement blocks in Edmonton, AB. Canada (end of July). Notice the yellowish spike extending out from his backside (tail????) He didn't seem to really have eyes but his head was black and small. I couldn't kill him, so I let him loose in my backyard. Please tell me I haven't unleashed a monster! Meagan
This is a larva of a large sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). A few species, such as the tomato and tobacco hornworms, can be serious garden pests. See http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/SphAlbertalarvae.htm for images of species reported from Alberta. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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Pretty sure this is a sphinx moth larva, AKA tomato hornworm.  Not sure how it got into your truck, unless you were parked under tomato plants?!  I don’t think it will bother anything in your yard, unless you’re growing tomatoes.  http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/youth/bug/bug091.html   Pat in NJ
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I am reasonably certain that this is not a tomato hornworm (see http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/field/tomato_hornworm_larva.htm for an image. If it is a Manduca spp., it more likely would be a tobacco hornworm (see http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/field/hornworm_larva.htm for an image). However, there are several other species of sphingid larvae with a similar colour pattern, and it would take a clearer photo to be more sure of an identification. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1930  Hi.  This is a very interesting site, I am totally fascinated with insects.  Any way, this is my query.  For about 2 weeks now, I have been finding these little guys in my house, but mostly in my bathroom.  I am thinking they are seeking a water source.  At first I thought they were a kissing bug, which worried me (because of Chagras disease), but now I believe they are weevils.  I have come to this decision upon reading through your site for the last 4 hours+.  It's hard to tear myself away.  LOL.  Any how, they are tiny little black guys about 2.5 mm long.  I have no idea how they have managed to get inside, but I have instructed my children to either catch them live or tell me where they found one, so I can release them back outside.  I'm a sucker for living things.  I just would like to be sure that I am right about them being weevils.  BTW, I'm in Edmonton, Alberta.  Thank you in advance for your answers, Kathy S.
This is indeed a weevil, and because of its small size, it is possible that it is one of the species that can be pests of dry stored food products, especially whole grains. See http://entweb.clemson.edu/cuentres/cesheets/grain/ce94.jpg  for an image and http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IG120 for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1929  Hi. This insect landed in our tent whilst camping in Staffordshire, England. We wondered if the 'tail' was a sting and kept our distance, just in case. The area was quite open, but near a woodland, and not near water. Any ideas?  Linda
This is a parasitic wasp in the family Ichneumonidae; the ‘stinger’ is its ovipositor, used to place its egg on or near its intended victim. It is harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1928  This wasn't a pest, I'm just curious what this very unique moth is. It was found at Letchworth State Park in upstate New York (near Rochester.) Thanks. Paul
This moth is in the family Arctiidae (tiger moths), and appears to be the clymene moth (Haploa clymene) - see http://pick5.pick.uga.edu/mp/20q?search=Haploa+clymene for images and detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1927 I found this spider in my kitchen in Central Alberta.  It had 2 fang like things sticking out of the head but you cannot see them in the picture.  I have a 2 year old and am a little concerned about this rather fast moving creature.  Rochelle
This appears to be a crab spider (family Thomisidae), possibly in the genus Xysticus - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/30834955; they are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1926 Please help identify this bug! They've been making their way into our cob house (a mud-straw-clay home) during the night and early morning.. making a very loud flying noise from their wings.  We're on Salt Spring Island, BC which is a tropical forest - like zone if that helps.  They range in size from about an inch to two inches long.. some look a bit longer due to their stinger and an antennae like thing that goes out to make the stinger look longer.  The one in the picture was one that I didn't stomp on and it is one of the smaller specimens. Thanks so much for your help! -Sarah
This is a wood wasp (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). Their larvae bore in wood, primarily that of dead/dying conifers, and some species can be serious timber pests (see http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/ea/downloads/sirexnoctilio-0307.pdf ). The adults lack a stinger, and are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1925  Hi, I live in Echo OR.  Eastern Oregon.  I saw a beautiful kind of little butterfly and took a picture. Her wings were glowing in its fly. Does somebody knows her name? I really liked it. Thanks... Maria Brown
This is a Green Lacewing and they are harmless but their larva are predaceous and beneficial. Gordon Crockford, Saskatoon , SK
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This is not a butterfly, but a green lacewing (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Both adults and larvae are voracious predators on aphids and other small, soft-bodied insects. See http://www.cirrusimage.com/neuroptera_green_lacewing.htm  for images and more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1924  This guy makes a loud buzzing sound. I thought he might be some sort of horsefly, but he was pretty big, over an inch wide. I live in Indiana. What is he. Thanks.  Carol.
This is a bee fly (Diptera: Bombyliidae), looking very much like a tiger bee fly, Xenox tigrinus - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/33229682  for an image. Bee flies primarily are parasitic on solitary ground-nesting bees; this species has been associated with carpenter bees. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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A kind of Hover Fly and is harmless. Gordon Crockford, Saskatoon , SK
1923  I live in Florida and this was on our Papaya Tree the other night. I have lived here my whole life and I don't recognize it at all. Can you help us?  Thanks, Valerie
This appears to be a papaya fruit fly, Toxotrypana curvicauda (Diptera: Tephritidae) - see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN148 for detailed information on this fruit pest. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1922   Hi, I live in New York but your site looks like the best to answer the question. I found this guy boring holes in the dirt in my backyard. He is black and yellow and works all night to clear the holes I plug up. He is about an inch and a half to two inches long. I have never seen anything like this around here.  Thanks for your assistance. Kevin
This appears to be a sphecid wasp known as a cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus). In spite of their size and appearance, they are not aggressive, and you would really have to try hard to get stung by one. They are fascinating insects to watch, and you can find out much more about them at http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~hollidac/cicadakillerhome.html  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1921  I live in Brandon, Manitoba and found this insect on my back patio.  Is anyone able to identify it?  Thanks,  Jo Ann
This is a blister beetle (Coleoptera: Meloidae) in the genus Lytta; - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/63694817 for an example. I often collected these beetles on our farm in north central North Dakota. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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A Nuttalls Blister Beetle, they can be a pest of crops. Gordon Crockford, Saskatoon , SK
1920  I would like to know what spider this is and if it is dangerous. I have found several in different locations around my house- some in the basement, the dining room, the kitchen sink, and the front entrance way. Most are the size of a quarter but I have found one the size of a loonie. I have noticed white markings on the top of the back- end of the others but not on this one, otherwise it is the same. What is it????   Bridget
This specimen appears to be in some sort of liquid that obscures its markings. It is a male (note the enlarged pedipalps), and I suspect that it could be one of the funnel web spiders in the family Agelenidae. Some species in this family often come indoors and set up housekeeping. In spite of their name, they (especially males) often may be found wandering about far from any web. They may be told apart from wolf spiders (another common home invader) by their prominent spinnerets (seen in this image) and their eye pattern (cannot be seen). They basically are harmless to humans, but larger specimens are capable of inflicting a painful bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1919  Hi, we recently moved to a house in Calgary, AB and I have found several of these bugs in the basement crawling along the floorboards and walls.  Can you please tell me what it is and how I can get rid of it?  Thanks,  Leah
This is a broad-nosed/short-snouted weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae), such as the strawberry root weevil (Otiorhynchus ovatus) - see http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1021/754401183_874a00ab66.jpg?v=0   for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1918  I live in Las Vegas and found this bug in a cardboard box. It could have been there for awhile as I moved here a year ago from Los Angeles, CA and just finished unpacking the box. Can anyone help me identify it and let me know if it's harmful to myself or my Yorkie dog. Thank you!  Adrienne
This is a field cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae); likely in the genus Gryllus - see http://myweb.dal.ca/sadamo/IMG_0020.JPG for an example. They are herbivors/scavengers, and harmless to humans or dogs.Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1917  I live in The Pas, MB. I found this bug stuck to tape that I had placed around my bed. I was concerned that I may have been bit by bed bugs when I spent the night at someone else's home. Is this a bed bug, it doesn't really look like the pictures I have come across. This is the first bug that I have found on my bed. Thank you for your help. Nicholette
 This is not a bed bug (what it was doing there, I haven’t the foggiest), but a crustacean in the order Isopoda commonly known as a sowbug or wood louse. They are harmless scavengers, but may be considered nuisance pests when they occur indoors; they require abundant moisture to persist in an environment, as they breath through gills that must be kept moist. BTW, I have long wanted to visit The Pas; I remember my father telling me stories during the 1950s about the fantastic waterfowl populations there. Is that still true? Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1916  Hi..  I'm in Regina SK. I killed this orange and black thing on my wall a couple of years ago and nobody yet knows what it is.  It was huge.  The photo is of a paper towel so the bug is about an inch long I'm guessing.  I've never seen one before or since. Thanks.  Jack
This is a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Coreidae), such as the western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis), a forest pest that often comes indoors for shelter - see http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/438120539_60803f5922.jpg for an image.Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1915  Hi, I have noticed this bug in one of my rooms! Between the mattress and crawling along the wall.. Should I worry? Also noticed some old skin with black lines like a zebra color but not white but off white... Looks like something came out of it...  Thanks David
This appears to be a larva of one of the hide/skin beetles (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Dermestes. Larvae of this genus are distinguished by the pair of horn-like structures (urogomphi) at the end of their abdomen. These larvae will feed on a wide variety of organic materials, mostly of animal origin, including hides, fur, feathers, leather, cured meats, dead insects, etc. It thus may be difficult to determine exactly where they are feeding. The ‘skin’ you saw likely was a shed exoskeleton (exuvium) from one of these larvae molting - see http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/images/Dermestid/dermestidskins.jpg  for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1914 Can someone please tell me the relationship between ants and what I think are ladybug nymphs? The ants crawl up to the nymphs and seem to brush their rear ends with their antennae - is this  an okay relationship?  Thank you!  Grace
Unfortunately, the insects in this image are too fuzzy to see what they are, but it would be extremely doubtful that they would be ladybird beetle larvae (see http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/beneficial/lady_beetles15.htm for an image). Some species of ants do tend ‘herds’ of aphids, apparently attracted by the sweet liquid (honeydew) secreted by the aphids - see http://i.pbase.com/g6/82/721382/2/78451259.JJP3Icic.jpg for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1913  I found this in my basement in Southern Ontario. I went down to clean up a bit of water as it was raining pretty heavy outside and it was on the floor. Doesn't move too fast or try to fly. A lot bigger than a June bug, any idea what it is? A HUGE Oak tree came down across the street from me last week. Did these do the damage to that trunk?
 This a scarab beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the genus Osmoderma, possibly Osmoderma eremicola - see http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/insects/album/024030116ap.html. Their larvae inhabit the decaying wood of numerous species of hardwood trees, but do no damage to the trees themselves. I remember collecting specimens of Osmoderma from a hollow boxelder tree at our North Dakota farm some 50 years ago. Some members of this genus are reputed to smell like wet leather, thus earning the name ‘odor-of-leather beetles.’ Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1912  Dear Sir/Maam,  I'm trying to identify this pest in my tomato balcony garden.  I'm not sure if it is a beneficial or harmful insect for my garden.  Your help would be appreciated. Sumith
This appears to be a nymph of a tree cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae; subfamily Oecanthinae). As their name implies, they primarily feed on woody plants, and are not considered garden pests. The ‘song’ of at least one species, the snowy tree cricket, varies so regularly with temperature that it can be used as a thermometer! See http://buzz.ifas.ufl.edu/585a.htm for detailed information.
1911  We have plenty of these spiders (or looking like spiders) in our garage. Just moved in an old house. Never saw anything like this before. They like to stay on the wooden beams, but also crawl on the floor and jump very fast and quite high. We live in Weschester county in New York State. Any chance to know what creatures are these? Thanks. - PI
These are camel/cave crickets (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae - sometimes placed in the subfamily Rhaphidophorinae in Tettigoniidae). They tend to be found in damp, dark locations, where they shelter when not out foraging at night. They basically are scavengers that are considered nuisance pests when they occur indoors. In rare circumstances, they reportedly have damaged clothing held in basement/garage storage for extended periods of time. See http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/camelcrickets.htm for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1910   We live 25 minutes south of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  We found this insect on top of our bedspread, near where my husband unpacked his luggage.  We sometimes get ants in the house but flying ones, have never seen one.  What inspired me to send this picture is the fact that my husband just flew home from Dubai.  Any chance this insect hitched a ride???  The insect is not alive in the pictures therefore could not get a good shot of it standing.  It has, double wings on each side with a black strip on the out edge.  It also had two pinch claws, one of which broke off while I was trying to get it in a better position for the picture, it also has two prominent round eyes… or what appears to be eyes… I am trying to get the best photo to send you.  Signed “Just curious”  T
This is a mantidfly (Neuroptera: Mantispidae). Like the unrelated preying mantis, these insects are general predators on other small arthropods. Their larvae are parasitic on the egg sacs of ground-dwelling spiders. They are native to Canada; see http://www.bcarchives.bc.ca/Content_Files/Files/Collections and Research/Natural History/Entomology/MantispidaeCannings2006.pdf    Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1909  Hi I have found another strange beetle in my Barrie, ON garden.  They are very fast beetles that are bright green with five black stripes and a black head with green legs.  They have been found on lavender and chrysanthemum plants.  They are completely destroying these plants and must go!!! I would like to know their names to warn other gardeners in the garden.  Thx again Rosanne
This is a four-lined plant bug, Poecilocapsus lineatus (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Miridae) - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/30791762  for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1908  Hello, Found this little critter in my Lab (Electronics lab), I haven’t seen one before (have seen types similar to it) but not with the coloring this one has.  It is black with 3 copper colored stripes on its back side (which do not wrap under the abdomen).   We get shipments from around the world, so it’s not abnormal to see rare bugs here.  But, I like to know what they are, and what they do, so I can better understand how to treat/handle them.  Like the Orb spider, since learning about them, I love ‘em, great spider, like having them around my yard, and are a real party treat (especially when they’re BIG). Location = Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. .  James
This is a crane fly (Diptera: Tipulidae). The adults are harmless, but a few species have larvae (‘leatherjackets’) that may be turf pests. This is an veru=y large family with thousands of species; see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/craneflies_tipulidae  for some examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1907  Hello, My husband and I live in Ajax, Ontario, and have a young cherry tree and young plum tree.  Last summer, our cherry tree was attacked by swarms of black flying insects.  We have attached a picture to help with identification.  The insects layed eggs on the cherry tree, which hatched into black larva, and killed the leaves.  Thankfully the cherry tree survived, but this year, the same type of insects are back, and ignoring our cherry tree but attacking our plum tree. There are many more bugs than last year, and it is not unusual to see at least 30 swarming around the tree.  This year it is the plum leaves that are curling up and dying.  We don't know what kind of bug it is, but it seems to prefer fruit trees, as I also saw a swarm of them around an apple tree about 1 km from our house.  The trees do not have any flowers on them now, so that is not what is attracting the bugs.  The bugs are at least one inch in length, with thin bodies, long abdomens and thin transparent wings. We have tried spraying the tree with insecticidal soap that is rated as safe to the environment, but it was also completely safe for the insects, and did not deter them at all.  Could you please help us identify the insects, and also suggest how we can safely get rid of them.  Please hurry.  Our tree is dying.  Thank you.  Joan Munro
This insect is not responsible for the damage you note, as it is a predatory wasp in the family Sphecidae (see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/31318779  for an example). It is prowling the tree in search of prey that it will use to provision its nest. You need to examine your tree more closely to determine the true cause of its decline. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1906  I AM A PHOTO  HOBBYIST AND PHOTOGRAPHED THIS INSECT THIS WEEK IN THE EAST END OF ST. JOHN'S  NEWFOUNDLAND...ANY IDEA WHAT IT IS,, MAKES A FINE FOTO.... THANKS IN ADVANCE... SUMMER 2008,    IT WAS SUNNY  26 DEGREES  AND 67%  RH...THE INSECT MADE NO ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE.....  HOPE THIS HELPS.  Cyril.
This long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is an elderberry borer (Desmocerus palliatus) - see http://flickr.com/photos/dryoptera/2621185993/  for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1905 This little fellow showed up in southern Delaware. Never saw one before, and I find a picture in your listing which suggests this bug has connections in Caracas, Vs.. Please, help!  Richard
This is yet another long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae); specifically, it is Eburia quadrigeminata, known as the ivory-marked beetle (see http://www.pittpaths.com/st/0058.htm). Their larvae will bore into the heartwood of many deciduous trees, particularly ash and hickory. They are long-lived; adults may emerge from finished lumber years after milling. It is widely distributed in North America, and appears to have been introduced into some Caribbean and South American countries as well. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1904  Hello. I was given this fly specimen by a colleague here in Norman Wells, NWT this afternoon.   We would much appreciate an identification on it. The fly was by itself on the window of a residence in town - the surrounding habitat is mostly deciduous birch/poplar/willow.  We're located just above the 65th parallel on the banks of the Mackenzie River and the 'mega habitat' here in the Norman Wells is boreal forest.  The fly was in a patch of deciduous growth that's surrounded by residences which in turn are surrounded by mostly spruce trees. Many thanks! Alasdair Veitch , Supervisor, Wildlife Management - Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Northwest Territories
This is a bee fly (Diptera: Bombyliidae). They are nectar feeders, usually hovering at flowers while ‘drinking’ through their long proboscis. Their larvae are predaceous/parasitic on other arthropods, especially ground-nesting bees. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1903  This is a beetle found in Costa Rica in July, in the mountains near Guapiles. It is about 3 cm long, and as you can see, it has glow-in-the-dark eyes (eyespots?). It will ‘click’ when disturbed, springing into the air... a ‘click beetle’ of some kind? Certainly not a pest, but who is he?   Lauri  - Houston, TX
This click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) appears to be a species known as a ‘fire beetle’(Pyrophorus noctilucus) because of the bright luminescent spots on its pronotum. See http://fireflyforest.net/firefly/2006/06/06/fire-beetle/ for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1902  I live in Astoria, NY. I found this bug in my kitchen today (July 14, 2008)
In fact, I started to see this kind of a bug very frequently since April,2008.
Also, I guess I got bitten by them several times. However, I'm not sure what kind of a bug it is.
Please let me know. Thanks a lot.  Ray
This insect most likely would not be responsible for any bites, as it appears to be a bean weevil (aka seed weevil); Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae, subfamily Bruchinae. They are not true weevils, but are grouped under leaf beetles; they can become pantry/granary pests, feeding on a wide variety of whole grains and seeds. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2085.html for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1901  Hello,  My girlfriend spotted this delightful little guy wondering around our deck in mid June. We live in Airdrie Alberta about ten minutes north of Calgary.  We have only seen the one and would really appreciate some information as to what exactly it is.  Clay
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), possibly one of the so-called ‘sawyers’ in the genus Monochamus - see http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/environment/FPPP/Images/Monochamus_scutellatus2.jpg  for an example.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

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