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 #600   I found this spider lounging on one of my plants outside next to my porch.  It's coloring is quite similar to a bumble bee.  I live in Tonawanda.  It is approximately 3" long.  I am estimating because i am not getting close to it!  I am not very fond of spiders and this is the biggest one i have ever seen around here.  Any idea what kind of spider this is?  Thanks a lot!   Kim
I have found the answer to my question by way of someone else sending in another picture of the same spider! (#532) 

This is a garden Argiope (Argiope aurantia; Araneida: Araneidae), also known as the black and yellow argiope. They usually are noticed late in the summer as the females mature. The head-down posture in the center of the web is quite characteristic of these spiders. In spite of their large size, their fangs are relatively small, and they are harmless to humans. For more details on this spider, see Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#599  This seems to be the year of the spider for us. I live in Southeastern, Pennsylvania, USA and these spiders have been in this house since 2001. When we first moved into the house the spiders were literally the size of golf balls, Floor crawlers and extremely agressive - they would chase you at extremely fast speeds. We had one year reprieve and now they are back the are small at this point maybe the size of a dime or nickel. Does anyone know what type of spider this is? I haven't been able to locate anything close.  

    You appear to have noticed two entirely different spiders. From your description, I suspect that the larger ones noted earlier were wolf spiders (Lycosidae), that commonly are accidental invaders in homes. Larger specimens can deliver a painful bite if mishandled, but are not dangerous to humans. This specimen appears to belong to a different family, whose members, like wolf spiders, do not spin capture webs, but actively hunt down their prey.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #598  This Spider was found outside our house in Calgary, Alberta. We don't normally get spiders like this, and we are vary curious to find out what kind of spider it is. It was brown and had a black hour glass shape on its underside, which is like the reverse of a black widow spider.  Jen
This is another orb-weaving spider (Araneae); see #596. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #597  I live just outside Atlanta, Georgia. For the past few hot and humid summers I have had loads of these grubs or worms in my compost bin. So many in fact, that although I continue to add to the pile I don't use it in my garden because I can't identify what they are. They have no legs but do have tiny hair like protrusions on either their belly or back. They look the same either way. My compost looks like black mush except what they are feeding on at the time. They don't seem to evolve into any insect, but do disapear during the winter. Any ideas? Thanks!  Suzy
This is a maggot (larva) of a fly, possibly in the genus Fannia. These are scavengers, often found in decaying vegetable matter. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
    I agree with Ed Saugstad that this is a fly, but it looks more like a Soldierfly (Startiomyidae) of the genus Hermatia. Especially considering the size of the maggot compared with the banana. Hermetia illucens is common in Georgia and it is beneficial in helping out with the compost. Here is a picture of the larvae:
Martin Hauser.

  #596  I live in Toronto, the shot was taken August 21, 2005 in the early afternoon on my balcony divider. Would like to know what type of Spider and if dangerous. Thank you.  Regards,  Avi

This is an orb-weaving spider (Araneae), a very large assemblage of species. Although some can get quite large, none are known to be dangerous to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #595  Hi Entomologists,  We live in San Jose, California and we saw the most magnificent  2 inch creature flying around our back yard. When he landed on our wood terrace, I got the closest picture I could. He has a green and orange back with an iridescent green underside. His antennae almost look like they have eyeballs on them because they were moving around. Birds seemed to be avoiding it when he was flying around. What kind of insect is this?  Thanks,  Dave
This appears to be a green June beetle (Cotinus nitida; Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). See for a fact sheet. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #594  This bug first appeared outside, here in the Boundry area of BC 2 years, but very few and none appeared inside the house.  This year they are every where outside and attempting to come in and making a complete pest of themselves. Now I found one that was preparing to nest, I believe, after chewing insulation. This was inside the house.  Last night I found one on the bed - well that did it! I have to find out what they are and how to get rid of them!  They seem to have an extremely hard body as it takes a hammer to smack them dead! Fly swatter doesn't even fizz on them.  Would really appreciate if you can id this as  it is starting to drive me up a wall! no one around here seems to know what they are.  Thanks so much for your time,  Lynn
This is nymph of a cricket relative in the order Orthoptera. They are harmless to humans, but several species in this group will invade houses, where they are considered pests, although they seldom will do significant damage. They should be susceptible to most common pesticides registered for household use, or the occasional strays may be controlled simply by vacuuming them up. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #593  I have found several of these little beetles in my home over the past couple of weeks. We just had our hardwood floors repaired and refinished recently, so I was thinking the workers may have brought them in with their wood??? Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Sincerely,  Vincent Pearase, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada.
This is not a wood-boring insect nor a pantry pest, so you don’t have to worry about your house or contents. It is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) that bears close resemblance to the strawberry root weevil Otiorhynchus ovatus; Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #592  I am from Guelph (southern Ontario) and recently cut down a box-elder right by my house. Soon after these bugs started infesting the stump. They mainly drill their way in. Since my house is a wooden board and baton I am worried they might decide to move in.  The small guys are red/brown whereas the bigger ones are all brown. They antennae and legs are red.  Thank you,  Gregoy 

You don’t mention the size of this beetle, but if it is about 4-6mm long, I suspect that it is an anobiid (deathwatch/drug store beetles). If you find some specimens (males) with flabellate antennae (see, it might be Ptilinus ruficornis. This species reportedly infests hardwoods including beech, maple, oak, sycamore, mesquite, and may be an injurious pest of woodwork and stored wood products. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #591  I hope you can identify this bug--beetle??, I found it drowned in our small water feature in the back yard in Boise, Idaho.It had been in the water a while as it was kind of soft, I laid it on this rock and when I went out a bit later it was gone. I think the birds ate it.
  If this beetle is more than an inch long, I believe that it is a female prionid, a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).
  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #590  Mr. Larry,  This is some kind of spider we see a lot around here in north central Texas-Texoma area.
Is it a beneficial predator or a Pest?  Thanks,  Mrs. Shawn in Texas.
This appears to be a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). North American species generally are considered beneficial, as they are predators on other small arthropods. However, from Mexico on south, there are species that are blood feeders on humans and other mammals. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#589  Can you tell us what type of moth this is?  we found it in our upstairs loft.  also found larvae in our towels in the same area.  thanks!  Tracy and Adam

This moth looks more like a member of the family Pyralidae than a clothes moth (family Tineidae – see, and may be unrelated to the larvae seen in the towels. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #588  Good afternoon,  I found what looks like a bee/wasp in the Province of Quebec, near Hawkesbury (1 hours east of Ottawa) in August 2005. The insect is over an inch long and was found near a wooden area along the Ottawa River. Can you please help me identify it? Thank you.  Sophie
This as a horntail (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), such as the pigeon tremex (Tremex columba) – see They seldom are serious pests.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV             

 #587  This all white spider was found on our balcony sitting upright on a flower.  It believe it has been living around this plant for but I never gave it much notice until today as I noticed how very unusual it was.  We live in British Columbia in A suburb of Vancouver.  The patio is north west facing but receives a lot of sun during the day.  The spider seems to come out during the cooler times but can be seen sitting in direct sunlight.  I would appreciate some assistance in ID of this creature as I will have to do something soon as I have small children that I do not wish to expose to and venomous threat.  Thanks, Bill W.      

     This is a crab spider (family Thomisidae). They do not spin webs, but lay in wait (usually on/in flowers) for prey to come within grasping distance. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #586 This is the 11th or 12fth spider of this type that I have found in my room. I'm located in Burnaby, BC, a suburb of Vancouver. I've included pictures of it beside a DVD movie to show its relative size, sorry I wasn't able to find a ruler or anything, but you should be able to get a fair idea of its size. I'm sending a few picture, please post the one(s) you think has the best chance of getting it identified. Thank you so much for making this service available, I have been trying to identify this for days online and in real life with no success.  Thank you,  Kurdt
This male spider might be one of the larger species of funnel-web spiders (Agelenidae), such as in the genus Tegenaria. Check in and around corners of the house or wherever cracks are evident for the web typical of this group – see .  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #585  I work for the Oakville Beaver and Burlington Post newspaper. We are doing a story on Bronte Creek Provincial Park. I came across this spider that the park staff could not identify.  Attached is a photo of this spider.  Thanks,  Barrie Erskine,  Staff photographer,  Oakville Beaver/Burlington Post
This could be a Theridiid (comb-footed/cobweb) spider, but I have no idea as to which species.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #584  I live in Grande Prairie, AB. I found several of these caterpillars on my apple and ornamental plum trees when I returned from vacation. Can anyone tell me what they are, that they turn into and the best way to manage them?  Thanks, KMB
    This is the larva (caterpillar) of the Spotted Tussock moth (Lophocampa maculata) belonging to the Arctiidae family.  It appears to be in late instar form.  More info -
J.D. Roberts, entomologist


      Picture # 584 is the familiar yellow& black "woolly bear" caterpillar which feed on the willows, maples, birch and poplars. They turn into the spotted tussock moth which  has a nice pale yellowish-brown pattern with white splotches and is common at lights in the first part of summer. I live in central Alberta and they are common here.
This is a larva of the spotted tussock moth/Yellow-Spotted Tiger Moth (Lophocampa maculata; Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). They are not considered a pest, but their body hairs can cause irritation to sensitive skin. For detailed information on this species see .  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #583  I live in Central Alberta and I have found many, many of these bugs (some are orange some are mainly dark--same bug but different stage????) on my plants and vetetables.  Are they maple bug larva???  I want to know if they are harmful or not.  They do not seem to be eating, just loitering???? We have a lot lf Manitoba Maple and Caragana.  I have never had to spray, I do not like doing it, but have never seen so many of these on my plants!!!!! The dark ones are about 1 cm long and have some orange on their head and four orange dots on their back--in a square formation......  Anybody???? Julia
This is a type of Ladybird beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinelidae) - the one on the left a larva, and on the right a pupa.  I'm not certain of what species; possibly the Convergent Ladybird (Hippodamia convergens), as they tend to be the most common.  The larva in the picture is about to either molt or pupate.  These beetles are considered valuable because they feed on pests such as aphids and scale insects, so don't worry, having these guys around is good.  J.D. Roberts, entomologist
More info -

These are different stages of lady bug larva and pupa.  They are generally beneficial- if you have large numbers of them, it often means that you have a large number of aphids nearby (doing damage to your plants).  The lady bugs will devour the aphids if you allow them the opportunity! Jeff Levinn, backyard naturalist, Honeoye Falls, NY
This appears to be a resubmission of #515, a larva and pupa of a ladybird beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Most species are beneficial, feeding on aphids and other small, soft-bodied insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#582  I was wondering if someone could please tell me what this bug is. Some are smaller 1 1/2 inch and some are like 3 inches long. They remind me of a miniature lobster minus the color. I have seen them in black and brown.  I live in Shilo, Manitoba, Canada.  Thanks in Advance..
   This specimen appears to belong to the same family (Stenopelmatidae) as the Jerusalem cricket. Some authorities place these insects in the subfamily Stenopelmatinae in the family Gryllacrididae. See #507 for another example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV    
According to my bug book this is the field cricket. Males have 2 pointy things-the cerci- out the back of their abdomen, while females have 3, -two cerci and one egg laying ovipositor. They are found in the southern half of Alberta.  Nancy Meyer
Hi I was wondering if you guys could help me out...These big Wasps/Bees(?) are burrowing in my neighbors yard...some of these guys are probably close to 3 inches long!! No exaggeration!! I'm trying to ID them on the internet with no success...I live in New Jersey close to the Atlantic Coast in Monmouth County...any help would be appreciated...they seem to burrow where the sidewalk meets the lawn..I've enclosed pics of a smaller one I found dead and their burrows.....TY 

Looks to me like a Cicada Killer to me. Here’s a website I found on them with some good pictures.  

I could be wrong though. I’m just a hobby bug-lover.  
J  Crystal
This is a Cicada Killer (Sphecius speciosus).  It is a large solitary wasp (Hymenoptera).  As the name implies, these wasps primarily hunt Cicadas, which they paralize with their sting and then place in their burrows for their larva to feed on.  They are not very aggressive, although the female can sting if bothered.  More info -
J.D. Roberts, entomologist


This is a Cicada killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus; Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Despite their appearance, they are not aggressive and rarely sting - see #510 for another example. I have observed them going about their business in the presence of crowds of people without any incident whatsoever. See for a fact sheet on these fascinating insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Cicada killer wasp?  I live in NJ also and have been seeing them lately.
  #580  This is a picture of a larvae i have found today in the wood from a mature white pine I cut down last November. I notices the sawdust throughout the woodpile and a grinding noise coming from throughout the wood. The tree was healthy and alive when cut down---at least 30 year old white pine- I checked in a part of the tree I have not cut into log size yet that was some 200 feet away from the woodpile where i found these and they are resident in there also--so whatever they are they were present in the tree when cut down in November 2004.  I live in Holland landing Ontario Canada.  I am burning off the wood now to be safe because there are a lot of them and they bore their way in 4-6 inches--but I want to know what they are and any precautionary measures to take for trees that are still alive.  Please advise.  Thanks,  Karl   
       This is a larva of one of the pine sawyers (Monochamus spp.; Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). See number 576 for an adult specimen. These beetles do not attack vigorous, healthy trees, but go after those that already are unhealthy or dying. Unfortunately, the beetles can carry a nematode species (the pinewood nematode) that does attack healthy trees, causing them to go into decline and thus become attractive to attack from the beetles. About the best you can do is to cut down and burn infested trees before the beetle larvae can complete their development. See for more information.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #579 This little bug made it’s way into my house last night and sat under the light on the wall for me just to take a picture of it. I used to find these hanging off the ceilings of the porch outside of my old house in Cloverdale. There would be herds of them, 10-15 at a time spread out over a large deck roof, hanging upside down, and still until you touch them. Then they would just fall and fly off. I thought it was a katydid of some sort, but research on the net hasn’t found me a pic quite like this pretty thing. My roommate thought perhaps it was a grasshopper. It was about an inch long and moved quite quickly when I did touch it.  Crystal 
    This appears to be a type of meadow Katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Conocephalinae).  It bears a close resemblance to the Gladiator Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum gladiator -, and is probably a species of Orchelimum.  See more examples here -, &
J.D. Roberts, entomologist

       This is one of the long-horned grasshoppers in the family Tettigoniidae. This family includes the bush katydids, true katydids, meadow grasshoppers, cone-headed grasshoppers, and shield-backed grasshoppers.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
   #578   I am writing once again from Louisville, KY.  This morning, I noticed a red colored bee-like insect and I have never seen it before.  I sprayed it with bee killer (sorry) and took a few pics.  Can you let me know what in the world it is?  And are they harmful?  Thanks.  Margaret McClinch,  Louisville, KY
This is a called a velvet ant, but is actually a type of solitary wasp (Hymenoptera).  The females are wingless, thus giving them the ant-like appearance.  The one you have there is likely the commonly called "Cow Killer" (Dasymutilla occidentalis).  The wingless females can give a painful sting if handled.  Here is some more info -  J.D. Roberts, entomologist

This is a velvet ant (Mutillidae) with the scientific name Dasymutilla.
They are not real ants. Velvet ants are parasites of wasps and bees and the females are wingless while the males have wings. They can sting when touched (they are not very aggressive, I held many in my hands and was only stung once) and in some regions they are called "cow killer", which is a Texan exaggeration. The species in your picture is featured on an US stamp:
  Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois.    

This is a wingless wasp (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae), often called ‘velvet ants’ because of their ant-like appearance and dense covering of setae (‘hair’). Some  larger species are called ‘mule killers’ or ‘cow killers’ because of their very painful sting. However, none are particularly dangerous to humans, and they are not aggressive – just don’t pick them up! See for more information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
   #577  Can anyone tell me what this insect is.  I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It was found on the leaf of a maple tree.  Thanks. Jeff
  That little guy is called the Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea).  Leafhoppers are part of the group of true bugs (Homoptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadellidae).  They are considered pests because they pierce the plant to suck the sap causing the plant to be injured or wilt.  More info -  J.D. Roberts, entomologist

This is a leafhopper (Hemiptera [Homoptera]): Cicadellidae. Species such as this specimen often are called ‘sharpshooters.’ Some can be very serious pests, including spreading viral diseases of the plants that they feed upon. See   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
  #576  This beetle seems to have infested a large white pine. The pine is near dead and has quite a number of these on it. The photo actually shows two bugs one atop another. They are about 4cm or 1 1/2inch in length are a gray brown colour.  I am located in Muskoka, Ontario and am concerned that the nearby trees are at risk. Thanks for any assistance. B. Brock

This appears to be a species of longhorned beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), called the Pine Sawyer.  I'm not exactly sure of what species, but it seems to be one from the Monochamus genus.  These are considered very destructive pests of shade and forest trees. More info -  J.D. Roberts, entomologist.

This appears to be a mating pair of sawyer beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the genus Monochamus. They may be northeastern pine sawyers (Monochamus notatus). The term ‘sawyer’ comes from the sound made by their larvae feeding, which is easily heard within a few feet of infested logs. They breed in many species of dead and dying conifer trees, most commonly in white pine and balsam fir.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 #575  Hi there,  I recently found this large bug south of Hazenmore Saskatchewan.  It closely resembles a grasshopper except for a large abdomen and a long tail.  It has long antennae so I wondered if it was a long-antennae grasshopper but none of the images I can see have the same size abdomen which is very round and about 1 inch  long.  The tail is also about 3/4 to 1" inch long with a black tip.  There don't seem to be any wings which is part of the confusion since someone suggests it was a cicada.  It doesn't seem to look like any of the pictures of locusts that I could find. If you take a look and tell me what it is, I'd appreciate.  The landowner said they had all sorts of them in that area but he didn't know what it was either.  Cliff
    This appears to be a coulee cricket (Peranabrus scabricollis); a shield-backed grasshopper (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; subfamily Decticinae). See for an image. This species has been reported as a pest on grasslands in southern Canada. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 #574   We live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. My boy found this beetle in the bush and I have looked for hours and cannot find anything with the exact characteristics as this one. Any Idea what it is?
Thank you
     This is a longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae) of the subfamily Prioninae. Like all longhorn beetles their larvae live in wood.  Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois.
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the genus Prionus. The larvae of some species can be pests on roots of trees and shrubs. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 #573  This little guy flew into me at Ebey's Landing, Whidbey Island, WA .  Seemed friendly enough.  Any idea what it might be?   It's about 3cm long or so. Thanks! Great website!  --dae 

This is a ten-lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata; Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). See number 516 for another example.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

  #572 Hello. We are wondering what type of moth this is and what it eats.  It looks like an African moth, but my sister found it at our neighbours house. We live in the woods and it was found on their front porch.  On the outside pair of wings they look like a giraffe.  On the inside pair, they look like a leopard. 
This is a moth in the family Arctiidae (‘tiger moths’), that includes the well-known ‘wooly bear.’ Your specimen bears a close (though somewhat faded) resemblance to Arctia caja, the Garden Tiger Moth or Great Tiger Moth – see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
This is a tiger moth (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae).  It appears to be the "Great Tiger moth" also known as the "Garden Tiger moth" (Arctia caja).  J.D. Roberts, entomologist  

#571  HelloPlease see the attached.  This critter was found in my basement.  I found about 5-7 of them within the past few days.  I believe it may have come out of any area where the crack was not sealed appropriately.  I live in southern Maine. I don't think it's an ant but I can tell you it's black in color and it has wing(s).  You can tell they are not very big as I compared a nickel to it. Can you identify this pest?  Thanks,  Norman
These are small rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), they are general predators on other small arthropods.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #570  Hello! My husband and I found this on our screen door one night this summer. It was completely harmless. It flew around the kitchen a few times. It was about 5 centimetres long and fat. It looked like something out of A Bug's Life! We let it go and it flew away. I've never seen anything like it before OR since. We live in Verdun, Quebec. Can you satisfy our curiosity? 
    This appears to be a spotted pelidnota, sometimes called the grapevine beetle (Pelidnota punctata; Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The adults feed on grape foliage and fruits, but are not important pests in maintained vineyards. Their larvae (grubs) feed in decaying stumps and logs, so grapes attacked by the adults usually are near wooded areas. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#569  This ichneumon wasp was on Queen Anns Lace on July 24th 2005.  Any further info as to species would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. D.D.  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
#568   Hi folks.  Thanks in advance for any assistance. The attached mating pair was photographed on dogbane pods in Lively ON- close to Sudbury.  cheers, Don
These appear to be large milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus; Hemiptera [Heteroptera]: Lygaeidae). See for more information on these insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
These are called Large Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus).  They are true bugs (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) and are not considered to be pests in most areas.  Very nice photo.  More photos,, and
J.D. Roberts, entomologist
#566  Hello,  I was wondering if you could identify the following bug. I have found a few of these crawling very quickly across the kitchen counter and even one in the kitchen cupboard! Yikes! Tonya, Wareham, MA

It appears that you may have an infestation of German cockroaches, Blattella germanica. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #565  I found this bug in the backyard after a party with lots of sweets and cake.  Any idea what it is?
Thanks, Ken
This appears to be a tachinid fly (Diptera: Tachinidae). Most species are quite hairy/bristly in appearance. They are considered beneficial, as all known species are parasitic on other insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 

This looks like a Tachinid fly, member of Tachinidae. Not sure of the species however.

 #564  hi, i live in London Ontario. every few days this insect comes and visits me on my seventh floor apartment balcony. I am very afraid of wasps and this thing is twice the size. it has long legs, a small head, large body, what looks to be a stinger and detailed clear and black wings. at first i though it might be a cicada but at a close glance the head looks to small for it to be a cicada, maybe a hornet though. it took all my strength to get close enough to this thing to take a good picture so if anyone could help me find out what it is that would be greatly appreciated.  Cassandra
My best guess is that this could be a bee fly (Diptera: Bombyliidae), but a photo showing the wing venation would be more helpful. See for a representative image. Flies in this family usually are found on flowers, and their larvae (maggots) usually are parasitic on the immature stages of other insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #563  Hi, I live in North eastern Ontario Canada in a small Town called Timmins. I have found a rather large web in the back yard spun between and old kids swimming pool that's being stored vertical and the garage. The whole web is around 2 feet in size. I decided to take a stick and make the spider that spun the web think something was caught, I wanted to see what could make such a big web.  After hitting the web a few times the Spider came out and was the biggest spider I ever seen up here in the north. The spider is about 2" leg tip to leg tip.  I'm scared because there are kids that play in this yard and I don't know if this spider will hurt them. What I have done for now is not let the kids near the area where the spider is just incase. I don't believe in just killing it though because it deserves to live to. I hope you can tell me if this spider is a threat or not to us and if it is what I should do. I'm sorry for the blury images I attached to the email, I don't have a tripod and have unsteady hands.  Thanks for your help.  Brian
This is 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 or to be dangerous to humans, 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

#562  Hello ,  I  noticed Bees going in and out of my Lilac trees when I got closer I noticed a huge hive the size of a football. When I got a little closer to take a look at least what seamed like two of these insects came out. Can you tell me what kind of insects they are Thank You. Ray Barillaro,     Verdun, Quebec

This is not a bee, but appears to be a bald-faced hornet (
Dolichovespula maculata), an insect that from sad personal experience I can say has little or no sense of humor when disturbed. They are general predators on a wide variety of other insects, so if their nest is not in a place where it is easily disturbed, just leave them alone.
See for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
That is the hive of one of the more common paper wasps called the Bald-faced Hornet (Vespula maculata).  Although the common name implies that this is a hornet, it is actually not a true hornet, but is a wasp.  It is part of the same family (Hymenoptera) but is a member of a group of wasps known as paper wasps, because they build "paper" nests - of which the Bald-faced Hornet's is one of the largest.  These guys usually won't bother you when they are out foraging for food, but they will viciously attack to defend their nest, so be careful.  J.D. Roberts, entomologist

[a]#561 Hi,  Wondering if you can ID these? Located in Jerusalem, Israel.
How about this one? I was told since it is a brown scorpion it is not deadly. It's been preserved in alcohol for a year or so.    Thanks!  Regards,  Meir,  Jerusalem
Please note, I retain copyright to these pictures
(a) I cannot identify this scorpion from your photo, but as a general (not absolute!) rule, the more dangerous species in the Middle East, regardless of body color, have very slender pedipalps (pincers) and a thick tail. You might try to locate a copy of the book “Fauna Palestina. Arachnida I : Scorpiones” by G. Levy and P. Amitai (1980). Copies may be available from the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; see and go to the online catalog. It shows up there for N.I.S. 60.00. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

[b]   This is a so-called ‘hornworm,’ the larva (caterpillar) of a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). The adult moths also are known as hawk moths or hummingbird moths. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

[c] My best guess is that this is a gecko, such as Hemidactylus turcicus (see, one of the 12 species of gecko known to occur in Israel (see Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #560 These two pests were taken in Louisville, KY, USA.  The first one got into the house and I sprayed it with hair spray until it died (stiff).  The second one got caught in our fly tape in our garage last night and it got loose.  I then found it by our front doorstep this morning.  I moved it with a broom thinking it was dead, and it's wings started going.  But then it stopped and now it's just sitting there on our front doorstep.  Magg

The large greenish insect is a cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae). The so-called 17-year ‘locusts’ (periodical cicadas) belong to this family. They are harmless to humans, but the egg-laying of the females often kills terminal branches on trees. See for a fact sheet. The brownish insect is an assassin fly (Diptera: Asilidae). They are general predators on other insects, usually laying in wait on vegetation, fences, etc. for potential prey to come by. They then dart out, capture it in their spiny legs, and return to their perch for a leisurely meal. They are harmless to humans, but some of the larger species can give a painful bite if mishandled.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #559 Hi, I love your site and I hope that one of your readers can help me identify this critter that was in my backyard. It seems to have small, soft wings but did not fly. It is large- three to four inches long, and was moving very fast through the grass. It has a long spotted body, and really creeped me out in general. We took a pic of it in a plastic jug and then let it go. I hope the picture isn't too blurry. Thank you so much!!  Tina
This is a recently emerged sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in the genus Manduca that includes the tomato hornworm and the tobacco hornworm. Given a little more time, the wings would have expanded fully, and it could have flown away. See for a fact sheet. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Okay, the picture is quite blurry and a bit small, but I'll give it a go.  This looks to me like a Sphinx moth (Lepidoptera:Sphingidae) that emerged from its pupa with malformed wings.  Some time ago, I was studying and raising larva of the Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta), sometimes called the Tobacco Hornworm.  Once in a while, an adult would emerge from its pupa with malformed wings that would not expand and harden, but would stay crumpled and soft.  They looked just like your picture, with the long furry body and small crumpled wings.  It's possible that it is simply a newly emerged sphinx moth whose wings have yet to expand, but I have not commonly observed them traveling any significant distance before their wings have expanded and hardened.  Although I cannot be certain of the species, based on your picture, it appears to be newly emerged sphinx moth (very possibly from the Manduca genus) with malformed wings. 
J.D. Roberts, entomologist

 #558   I found this spider in my front yard while weeding.  I live in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux (suburb of Montreal) and am wondering if it is harmful.  I measures roughly 2 1/2 inches from fromt leg to back leg. Ken
This appears to be an immature female orb weaver in the genus Argiope. This genus includes several large species whose web features a thick zig-zag pattern in the middle, where the spider usually rests while awaiting visitors. They are harmless to humans. One of the commoner species in North America is Argiope aurantia, often called the garden spider or the black and yellow Argiope – see for a photo of a mature female. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#557  Hello. I live in Central Illinois where we are in the middle of a hot, dry summer. We have found a few dozen of these bugs in our finished basement over the past few weeks. They are only seen out at night, and I will see a few at a time scattered around the basement. They are about .25" long, slightly wider toward what I think is the front. The exoskeleton is brown with about 7-9 faint lines going across the back. Legs appear long for its body. We keep dry cat food stored in the basement but they are not more common near the food. Thanks for any help.  Jef.
The photo is a bit fuzzy, but this could be a nymph of one of the smaller cosmopolitan cockroach species, such as the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. See for a fact sheet.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
I got a better look at one of the insects, and it does appear to be a German Cockroach nymph. Thanks for pointing me in that direction, but I guess it's bad news for me and my house. :(  Jef
#556  Found this up at Mile 36 near Squamish, BC. beautiful sunny day, forest/riverside, in mid July. Someone told me it’s a June bug, but isn’t that sort of a catchall phrase for pretty shiny beetles?  Crystal
This is a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Most species are general plant feeders, with some species causing enough damage to be of economic importance. A few others, such as the spined soldier bug, are predaceous on other insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#555  I hope that someone can help to identify this little snake .It was found in my flower bed here in Southern Ontario. I was mowing the lawn and noticed it scramble into the flower bed to elude being mowed down. It was about 12". long, about 1/2" thick with a light satin charcoal color with an orange belly and orange ring around its neck. It only became aggressive once my son started handling it a lot and it actually bit him. It left a very tiny bite mark. You could only see a very tiny  spot of blood on his forearm. Thanks for any info. Frank.
This appears to be a northern ring-neck snake, Diadophis punctatus edwardsi. They feed on a wide variety of smaller creatures, including earthworms, slugs, small salamanders and lizards, and sometimes even smaller snakes. They are not aggressive, but may attempt to bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

This is a ringneck snake, Diadophis sp.  It's probably the Northern Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsii).  That one you found is pretty much full grown, as they only get between 10 - 15 inches with the average being about 12.  Their first defense when picked up is giving off a musk that smells pretty bad, and they usually don't resort to biting until they've been handled too roughly or too much.  This is a good snake to have in your garden, as they consume many small garden pests such as earthworms, slugs, snails, etc.  I hope the bite didn't turn your son off to snakes - they're fascinating creatures.
J.D. Roberts, Entomologist (and all-around naturalist!)
#554  Hi,  I live in Abbotsford, BC and have been living here for the past 5 years.
I've attached 3 photos of a moth - 2 years ago, I never saw this moth; last year I saw a few of these all summer, but this year I am being inundated by them! Is this a problem moth? Should I do something to control their population, and if so, what? I've used your site for other answers to my questions, but haven't seen a picture of a moth like this before.  Thanks!  Eric.
It's a little harder to tell from the picture, but this appears to be a moth of the family Noctuidae.  I wished that I could see the hindwings on this moth.  The hindwings look as if though they may be orange with a black band, which has me lean towards an underwing moth of the Catocala genus.  There are very many species in this genus, and they can be very difficult to tell apart.  But based on the size, forewing pattern, and possible hindwing color/pattern, I'd say you have a species of Underwing moth (Noctuidae:Catocalae).  J.D. Roberts, Entomologist
  #553  Hi, I found this incredible creature with 4 others eating from a wolfwillow 50 km south of Edmonton, AB. Could anybody tell me what it is? They are 2" long and half " round, as big as my little finger. They look rather exotic. Lili
This is the larva (caterpillar) of a Cecropia moth.  The Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is from the family Saturniidae.  The Cecropias are quite large and beatiful moths, as many of the Saturniids are.  You may spot some adults possibly fluttering around the porch light at night.  Their wingspan is anywhere from 4 - 6 inches and they have reddish brown wings with various markings, and a red body with white bands on the abdomen.  Nice photo.  J.D. Roberts, Entomologist
  #552  Hello, I am from Longueuil near Montréal, Québec. My dog has found this larvae in our garden.
It is about 6 to 8 cm. long and the diameter is that of my little finger. At first I tough it had a snakes head, but found that it was the wrong end, the «tail» is like a snake head, with wath looks like an eye on top. And when it is in danger, it flick from side to side rapidly always presenting its snake head «tail» towards the danger.  Thanks!  Sylvie
This is the larva (caterpillar) of a Sphinx moth (Lepidoptera:Sphingidae) called Abbott's Sphinx moth (Sphecodina abbottii).  This particular larva is in the "grey phase" and is sometimes called a "snake caterpillar" or "snakeworm."  There is also a green phase.  The adult moth is rather dark and drab with the exception of a yellow burst on it's underwings.  It has an average wingspan of about 2.5 inches, and very angular/scalloped forewings.
J.D. Roberts, Entomologist
  #551  While pulling weeds I came across 12-15 of these bugs in varying sizes. They seemed to come from the root area of the plants I pulled, but I have seen the larger ones on leaves of nearby plants since then. The area is shaded by an avocado tree, and the area underneath is filled with ferns. Can you tell me what they are and are they good or bad?
  #550  I found this beetle walking through my garage.  It's slow moving and played possum when touched a little.  I live in Madison, WI where we've had a drought most of the summer with a LOT of rain in the last week and a half.  Any ideas on what type it is?  I'm sure it's a common one, but the kid wants to know if we can feed it bugs and I'm not sure what kind!  Dan
This beetle resembles a scarab beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the genus Osmoderma. See for an image. The adults will feed on soft sugary items, such as banana slices. The larvae usually are found in very rotten punky wood. See for hints on rearing these beetles. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#549  We live in Southern Oregon, we noticed a few of these bugs on plants in mid-late spring, then in July they congergated on the back of the house in these patches. Most were 1/4 inch or smaller.  Most of them are black a few red.  They didn't seem to be harming the plants they were on, no sign of webs, eggs or any such thing.  A few days later they began scattering, but leaving the front part of their shell.  We aren't sure if they were getting larger or shape shifting. We've seen a couple larger black ones (1/4 -5/8 inch) that have a red spot on the back.  No one here has been able to identify them, or tell us if they are friend or foe.  Any help will be appreciated.  Wendy and Roger.
If no one viewing these photos can provide a definitive identification, I suggest that you submit specimens to the nearest county office of the Oregon State University Extension Service for assistance.
See for links to contact information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#548  Hi,  I hope you can help me. I have these beasts in my carpet and they seem to be spreading. What are they and how can I eliminate them? If you view them at full-screen size you should be able to see plenty of detail.  Bill,  Vestal, NY, 
        These are larder beetles (Dermestes lardarius; Coleoptera: Dermestidae). They are scavengers, feeding on a wide variety of proteinaceous materials, and often are pantry pests. See for a fact sheet that includes control measures.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #547a  Fabulous website! I have spent an hour of what should be work time looking at images and reading up on bugs and insects. Can you identify this large ant? There are lots of them around, we live in Rockwood Ontario. I assume they are beneficial as they are attacking larva feeding on garden plants. I'd also like to know what the caterpillar might be.
  Thanks for the compliment about the web site.  This is a carpenter ant. Not sure what species but it is similar to the Vicinus species we have on the west coast.  Perhaps one of our contributing entomologists can be more specific. Ants will often be seen where there are aphids.  The aphid excrement (called honeydew) is a favourite sweet food source.  Larry Cross,  Webmanager. 
The caterpillar appears to be in the family Lycaenidae (hairstreaks, coppers, and blues). The larvae of some species have a very complex relationship with ants; see In some cases, the larvae secrete a chemical that some ant species find attractive, so that the ants pick them up and transport the larvae to their nest, where the larvae then turn carnivorous, feeding on the ants’ young. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#547b I'd really like to know what this ant is. We have also since seen the same ants "farming" or "nursing" strange looking insects on the underside of sunflower leaves, below is a close-up of the insects in two stages of development, I have no idea what they may be, look prehistoric somehow, tall for their size slender  and odd shaped when mature.  With Thanks,  Maianna Fitzgerald 
I cannot identify the ant species, but the other insects appear to be adults and nymphs of a treehopper (Homoptera: Membracidae. The adults of many species resemble thorns, and some may sport very bizarre extensions of their pronotum. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
The ant is a member of the Camponotus sp. Please remember, not all Camponotus species nest in wood. This could be a species that is nesting in the soil and will do more good than harm. -AnT

Directory of Pest Management Professionals in Ontario

  #546  I live in Southeast Texas.  I found this bug in my garage on my washing machine. I put a bar of soap beside it to show it's size.  What is it?  Is it harmful to my wild geckos. Thank you,  Rose 

    This is a stick insect (Orthoptera: Phasmidae), sometimes called “walking sticks.” They are general feeders on leaves of deciduous trees, especially oaks. Usually of no economic importance, some species such as Diapheromera femorata occasionally occur in enormous numbers, such that the sound of their eggs dropping to the ground can resemble a light rain. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #545  I had this moth on my window. It looks like it could be a male gypsy moth, but I think the markings on the wings are wrong. Any ideas? We live on a heavily wooded lot and would be very concerned if it is indeed a gypsy moth. We are in Rockwood, Ontario. Great website!
Thanks, Maianna
Definitely not a gypsy moth; it more likely is the adult of a tent caterpillar, such as Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). See,_Tallahassee,_20010415.jpg for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Every 7 to 11 years, you can't miss this Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth. They live only long enough to lay shiny, dark bands of eggs around small branches. The eggs are covered with foam that changes from silver to brown. The larvae emerge the following spring. These caterpillars cluster together and can defoliate trees (aspen, elm, poplar, ash) in a very short time. Nancy Meyer (AB)
#544  The attached picture were taken 7/26/05 in Westchester County, New York (NYC Suburbs).  The evergreen trees on my parent's deck are infested with cocoons and the trees appear to have been ravaged.  There are literally scores on these on one tree which is about 8' high.  The cocoons appear to incorporate pieces of the leaves.  One photo contains a cocoon with a caterpillar sticking out and the other is a caterpillar I removed from one cocoon. Do you know what these are?  Should this infestation be reported?  What can be done to eradicate the pests? Thank you, Rachel         
        Maybe is a bagworm?  cheers, Grant
This is a bagworm (Lepidoptera: Psychidae), likely the evergreen bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. These can be very damaging pests on many species of evergreens, particularly arborvitae. The adult female remains larviform and only leaves the bag after laying her eggs within it. She then drops to the ground and dies. The males are winged and seek out the females. See for a fact sheet that includes control measures.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #543 Hi, I live in Newtown, PA. This insect, along with a bunch of its friends, was found all over my clothes when I woke up one morning, after sleeping in my basement on the floor. For a size comparison, the picture was taken of the insect on my knuckle. The insect was approx. 2mm in length. It did not attempt to fly away when I removed them from my clothing. Mark 
This is a lace bug (Hemiptera: Tingidae). They feed on sap, usually being found on the  underside of leaves. Unlike most insects, the females of some species exhibit maternal ‘guarding’ of their young. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#542 This bug was found outside. We live in Teeswater, Ontario, Canada. This
bug is about 2 1/2" long. It has two sets of wings. It has pinchers by
its mouth. It also has four black and white hair-like things nears it mouth that move. Can anyone identify it?
This is a male dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus; Neuroptera: Corydalidae). The ‘pinchers’ (mandibles) of the male are much longer than those of females, and are incapable of delivering anything other than a mild pinch. The female, on the other hand, can draw blood with theirs! The larvae (hellgrammites) are aquatic often are used for fish bait, and also can deliver a painful bite if handled carelessly. See #433 for another example.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #541  Hi,  I am in the Iowa portion of the Quad Cities.  I saw these indentations next to my house and some kind of a bug going mostly in circles throwing dirt from the middle.  I caught one and put it in this container next to a very large carpenter ant that I nabbed while getting this bug.  From looking at other pictures on the site I am guessing it might be ladybug larvae but look forward to what you deem it to be.  Thank you.  Karen
   This isn't really a pest. It's an ant lion. It lives at the bottom of the conical holes in your picture. The hole is very specifically designed to trap ants. They clear all pebbles large enough to give an ant something to hold on to, leaving nothing but fine, loose sand. If an ant wanders into the hole, they can only slide down the sides of the hole to the bottom, where they become a snack. This was one of my son's favorite bugs when he was young. -Robert, Dallas, TX.
      This is an ant lion larva (sometimes called ‘doodlebugs’); Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae. They construct pits in loose soil by moving backwards and using their heads to flip soil out of the pit. They then bury themselves in the bottom of the pit with just their mandibles exposed. When a small insect stumbles into the pit, the larva flips soil particles at the intended victim until it falls to the bottom of the pit where the ant lion can capture and kill it. The adults resemble feeble damselflies, and sometimes may be seen attracted to lights at night.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

to be an Antlion!!!  there’s a nice website about it.  
J Crystal
  #540  This beetle was outside on our sliding door one night recently.  It was  beautiful, shiny mahogany color.  This photo is as clear as we could get it through the glass. In the photo, it resembles a roach, but it is not a roach. Can you identify it?  This was not taken THROUGH the glass, but it was taken with the porch light on, and it was ON the glass.  I might add, it had wings, but never flew.  It was there for quite a while, even after we went to bed, but was gone in the morning.  By the way, his middle leg on the left was missing.  Clarence. 
       This is another long-horned wood boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), possibly in the subfamily Prioninae. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#539  Found this up at Mile 36 near Squamish, British Columbia,  beautiful sunny day, forest/riverside, in mid July. Thought it was a stinkbug of some sort, but can’t be sure.  Crystal
This is a long-horned wood boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Adult beetles of some species often are found on flowers.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
This appears to be Lepturobosca chrysocoma or a close relative. For examples see:  Jim McClarin

Directory of Pest Management Professionals: British Columbia

#538  This spider was found on my friends porch in Chesapeake, Virginia.  It was about the size of a quarter. We were wondering if it was poisonous, because we don't want it living there if it is.
Thanks for all the help, this is a really cool site. Julie
   This is an orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae). They are harmless to humans.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #537  Hello, I'm in Fort Erie, Ontario where spiders seems to rule, they're everywhere!! I found this little guy in my shop and would like to more about it.  It's body is approx 1.5cm in length and the leg span is approx 3cm. I put it in a container along with a horse about aggressive!! The fly didn't last 30 seconds once placed in the container, Any help is appreciated.  Doug
     This appears to be a ground spider in the family Gnaphosidae. You can be sure if the spinnerets (where the silk comes out at the back of the abdomen) look like cylinders, rather than cones. They are not dangerous to humans. ~Nicole VanderSal, arachnology graduate student, UC Berkeley
  #536  Please help! We found these bugs (well, they found us) for the first time this year. We live in Philadelphia, PA. They only seem to appear in the evening on our front porch - they seem attracted to the light from inside the house (they will line up on the windowsill or fly into the citronella candles). They fly, they do not seem to bite, they are just extremely annoying (they do not seem to be afraid of us...). They are ~ 1/4 - 1/2 of an inch long, rather slow moving, and they do not seem to make any appreciable noise. They are not around in the mornings or afternoon, just in the evening, we have not seen any in the house. please help!!  Merilee
   This is a scarab beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Larger species related to your specimen often are called “May beetles” or “June bugs.” The adults feed primarily on the leaves of trees and shrubs, and some, such as the Japanese beetle and northern masked chafer, can do considerable damage. However, it is the larvae, collectively known as “white grubs,” that usually are the most serious pests, feeding on the roots of grasses and other plants.
See for a Pennsylvania State U. fact sheet on white grubs. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #535  We have a lot of these insects in our yard in Columbus, GA.  They start out about the size of a cricket, but get to be HUGE!  They are so big they can hardly jump!  What in the world are these things, I've tried to look them up, but can't find them.  Are they locusts or  grasshoppers, what is their name and why do we only see them in the summer and how big do they get?  I have seen some as long as 6 inches. Thank you!  Laurie
   Nice photo! This is a nymph of the eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea guttata; Orthoptera: Acrididae). It is the largest species of grasshopper in the southeastern United States (and possibly the entire country – a similar species occurs in the west), but seldom does enough damage to be of economic importance. Because of their large size (up to 2.5”), they often are used in biology classes for studying arthropod anatomy.
See for more detailed information. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Just wanted to say "Keep up the good work".  This is an excellent site for looking up bugs/insects.  I like the way that you are able to go through the picture identification section.  I was looking for some info on a "crab-like" insect that we have noticed in our home on and off through the years and were unable to identify until now.  Thank you for a great site which I will recommend to others.  Sue W.
    Comments like this certainly give us the inspiration to carry on.  Thanks.  webmanager, Larry Cross.
  #534  Hello, I live in Baltimore, MD, and have an infestation of these little bugs in my kitchen. I initially thought they might be some variety of cockroach, but they are very small (1/16th-1/8 inch) are distinctly teardrop-shaped and have a rounded hump, instead of the usual long, flat almond shape of roaches. They have a brownish design on their shells, and tiny transparent wings that they can use for short distances, but most of the time they use their legs. They are quite a nuisance, and have gotten into some cereal boxes, and I find them dead on the kitchen counter every morning. What are they, and how do I go about getting rid of them? Thanks for your help, Elaine.
This is very likely a Seed Beetle (Bruchidae). They live in seeds (beans, nuts etc) and it could be that they are coming OUT of your cereal box into your kitchen. Check all the stored legumes (peas and beans are their favorites) look for little round holes in the beans, that is where they emerge.
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois  
     This might be a bean/pea weevil (Coleoptera: Mylabridae). Some species in this family can be pantry pests, infesting dried beans, peas, etc. If you have such items in your pantry, examine them for any sign of insect infestation (especially the presence of holes in the seeds). To prevent problems of this nature, you can either store such items in sealable plastic/glass containers, or keep them in the refrigerator. See for an image of a bean weevil, and for a fact sheet on seed weevils in general. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #533  I live just outside of Chicago, Illinois and have been finding this pest in my house for 2 days. It appears to fly or moves very quickly, is isolated in one area of my house (along an outside wall and on a table with a lamp), and I see much larger quantities of them at night. It's a very small (around 1/8" or less) soft bug that is unrecognizable when crushed, so I used tape to adhere the lower half of the bug to paper so he remained intact. I have never seen this insect before now, and I cannot tell whether it bites. I have a baby crawling around in the same room, so I'm alarmed by the sudden appearance of this bug and the quantity that I'm finding at night (around 100 or so on a lamp and table, some crawl up and along the wall too). Can you help? Thanks! Jane in Darien, IL
    This appears to be a springtail (order Collembola). They are completely harmless, but can be considered nuisances when they occur in large numbers. They require moisture for survival, so you might look for any sources of dampness in the areas where you are finding them. See numbers 454 and 520 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#532    Here's a beauty! whatever it is?  Lisa
   This is a garden Argiope (Argiope aurantia; Araneida: Araneidae), also known as the black and yellow argiope. They usually are noticed late in the summer as the females mature. The head-down posture in the center of the web is quite characteristic of these spiders. In spite of their large size, their fangs are relatively small, and they are harmless to humans. For more details on this spider, see
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

   #531  I found this little bugger outside our house - Northern NJ ... It looked like a grasshopper but then when I looked closer it has a fish-like body with scales. I think it might be from the Orthoptera order but I don't really see anything that looks quite like it. Any ideas?  Deborah
This is a nymph of a katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). For an image of an adult, see Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
   #530  Hi there, we live in Ridgeway, Ontario.  This bug has been in my garden since late spring and is about a centimeter long it is on my blackeyed susan's, Shasta Daisey's and pepper plants, it make brown spots on the leaves.  Who is it?  Merle
   This one could use a clearer photograph. Although the insects shown appear beetle-like, the feeding damage is more typical of a sap-feeder, such as true bugs in the order Hemiptera.
  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
     This is surely a beetle of the family Chrysomelidae and it looks like a member of the genus Diabrotica. Several species of this genus are agricultural pests like the "corn root worm" and the "cucumber beetle".
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
#528  It was found in Queretaro Mexico.  Regards,  Eduardo Olea Contreras,  Florida, México,

   This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Perhaps someone familiar with the fauna of your area can provide a specific identification.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
This is the Horsebean Longhorn - Trachyderes mandibularis. For another example see:   Jim McClarin
#527  Hi, I live in Louisville, KY and found this ??? slowly crawling on the kitchen floor. I have never seen anything like it and was hoping someone can help identify it for me! Thanks! Nicole.
   This appears to be a so-called ‘camel cricket’ or ‘cave cricket’ (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae; subfamily Rhaphidophorinae). See number 487 for another example.
  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #526  I live in western Maryland, and in the past week or so, I have suddenly started seeing these in my house.  They are about 3/4" long. Not a very fast mover. I first thought it was a roach.  Can you tell me what it is?  Chris. 
    This may be a darkling beetle (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). These include the mealworms (Tenebrio spp.) that sometimes infest dry food products. For more detailed information, see Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 
  #524  In the past week, these mysterious "dots" have been appearing around my home--on the top of a sealed dog food container, on the top of an outdoor Rubbermaid bin in which I store patio furniture cushions, and these ones on the vertical surface of my computer monitor.   They are very dark brown to black in color and about the size of a poppy seed.  They are flat, not mounded, and are very difficult to rub off.  I am assuming that they are some sort of insect fecal matter, and thought someone on this site could help identify them.  We live Palmdale, California. . .the western edge of the Mojave Desert.  It's been very hot this week (105-110 degrees) and we've had a bit of a housefly infestation this week.  We also found one dead cockroach on the dining room carpet this morning (the first we've ever seen in any home we've ever lived in).  I saw a photo of cockroach fecal matter on the web, but it looked more like small mouse feces (not consistent with this).  Any ideas?  Deb.
   Although these most likely are ‘fly specks’ left by muscoid flies (such as the house fly; see, see if you can detect any spider webs in the vicinity of any of those spots. They also resemble some of the fecal spots left by spiders on the outside walls of our home (however, these usually have a more smeary appearance).
  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
I just wanted to drop a note and tell you that this is the coolest site!! I found a digger wasp in my yard and it freaked me out totally. I couldn't find a picture of it anywhere. I found your site and was going to sent my pic in but wanted to look and see what others had posted and I found it. it was very easy and informative.
Thank you,  Tracy Johnson.  Dennis, MA
    Thank you Tracy for your kind remarks.  Larry Cross, Webmanager
  #522  Hello, In New Jersey, USA and took a picture of this wasp trying out my new digital camera macro setting. Can you tell me is this a type of paper wasp, yellow jacket or something else? Thanks.
  This bears a strong resemblance to the European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominulus – see  and ), an introduced species that has spread rapidly in the United States, but I would really like confirmation by another party on this one. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
   This is an invasive species of paper wasps with the scientific name Polistes dominulus. They are not very aggressive and normally do not sting humans (but they can!).
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #521  These bugs were found in a 10 year old log home near Georgetown Ontario. The home is occupied year round and the owner is concerned about the logs.  They are being found in the same general location on the ceramic floor.(approx. 20 so far ) The top left one is alive and the three others appear dead. (maybe carpet beetle?) I hope the photo is clear enough. Thanks .  Frank
  A larger and clearer photo would help here. I do not believe that they are carpet beetles (carpet beetles usually have a much rounder appearance), but they could be in the same family (Dermestidae). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#520  Hey all, Hope I can get some help with this pest in my house. I live in Virginia Beach, VA. I have been getting these little bugs for about a month now. they are brown and very small, they jump like a tick and is coming through my back door. I have sprayed insect and bug killer and even Dursban. Please tell me what this bug is and how do I get rid of them. the pic is the best I can do for now, hope it helps. 
   This appears to be a springtail, a primitive insect (and some even argue that they are not true insects) in the order Collembola. They require a very moist environment for survival. For the most part, they are harmless detritus feeders, and are only considered a nuisance by their presence. The best control is to make the local environment as dry as possible, as they are very susceptible to dessication. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
These little critters are springtails (Collembola) and they are normally harmless. They live in rotten plant material, like leaf litter and they need high humidity. So if you get the leaves cleaned up behind your backdoor they will go away. You can vacuum them in the house, so you do not need to spray pesticides.  Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois.

    Webmanager's note: Please be cautious using pesticides.  Dursban has been taken off the market because of harmful health effects when not applied according to the label instructions.
  #519  I live in Tucson, Az...and I cannot find an ID on this cockroach. Could you still help me?  I think it's common, and I suspect lives outside normally.  I thought it was an Asian cockroach.  BUT...I cant find an exact photo match.  We live in the mtn/canyons of the Sonoran desert.  I have seen it fly down our chimney, in a closet of shoes....Thank you for any help!  Susan

Now that I see my own photo, I guess this roach is an American cockroach.  Yuck.  Thanks!  Susan

  #518  I am living in Rochester, NY and am looking for help in identifying these insects.  I have found these in masses on the bark of oak trees and Norway maple trees.  They seem to get wings as they get larger.  They are never alone on the tree but in clusters numbering in the hundreds.  You touch one in the cluster and they scatter only to regroup after a few moments.  Are they harmful to the tree? 
   These are psocids (order Psocoptera), sometimes called ‘bark lice.’ They feed on fungi, lichens and other debris found on the bark of trees, but do no harm to the trees. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
   #517  Hi there, I happened to find this insect outside my side kitchen door, on my deck.  It was pretty fast and appeared to be very strong. I enclosed it in a ziplock bag, and then we (hubby) later put it outside...far away.   I thought "roach!" when I first inspected this big bug, but my husband insisted it is a beetle. The strange thing about this is something appeared to keep protruding from it's bottom, perhaps its insides...also has pinchers, as you may see from my blurry photo (best I could get). Thanks alot,   Carrie in North Eastern, Ma
    This one also requires a clearer photo before hazarding a guess (by me, anyway).
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Taking pictures through plastic bags distorts and blurs the image. Webmanager.
  #516   I'm living in southern California, and I found this bug crawling inside my building, it makes a fairly loud noise when touched, has has a furry underside and greenish brown stripes.  I thought it was kinda cool and I'm trying to find out what it is.  Justin
   This appears to be the ten-lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata; Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). See
for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #515   I live in Central Alberta and I have found many, many of these bugs (some are orange some are mainly dark--same bug but different stage????) on my plants and vetetables.  Are they maple bug larva???  I want to know if they are harmful or not.  They do not seem to be eating, just loitering???? We have a lot lf Manitoba Maple and Caragana.   I have never had to spray, I do not like doing it, but have never seen so many of these on my plants!    The dark ones are about 1 cm long and have some orange on their head and four orange dots on their back--in a square formation......   Anybody????????    Julia
 This is a larvae and a pupae of a Ladybug (Coccinellidae). The larvae are eating aphids and are beneficial for your garden...  Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #514  I have come across quite a few of these spiders in and around my house in Greenville, SC. Can you identify what type it is? Is it harmful? I appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks. Rachel
   This appears to be a wolf spider (Aranae: Lycosidae). They are active hunters, with relatively good eyesight for a spider.  Although some of the larger species are capable of giving a painful bite, they are not aggressive, and generally are considered beneficial as they prey upon a wide variety of insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#513  Hey guys, Love your site, my wife found this guy in our finished basement on the carpet by the base board. He seems to be camouflaged with dust, is about 10mm in total length not including antennae and was in no rush to try and hide. 
 His movements were fast and jerky like a jumping spider, and he did not bite me when i picked him up. I am usually not to bad with bugs but this guy has me stumped. We live in Carleton place, Ontario. The pic was taken after we let him go outside, in case he is a good guy! If he is on our side, let us know so that maybe we can scoop him up and put him back to work!  Thanks, Mike
  This appears to be a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) called the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus). The nymphs cover themselves with dust and small particles of debris that disguises their body outline. They are predaceous on other small arthropods, and although essentially harmless to humans, can give a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. See for more information.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#512  This bug appears to be harmless. It was found in Prospect , Ontario. It just flew in while we were eating on the back deck. Any information on this would be appreciated.( Its nicknamed Kyles Bugs for now as my son was so interested when it was first spotted. ) Thanks...   Mike
    This is a very nice picture of a bee fly. These harmless flies are parasites of other insects like bees and crickets. This species is called Lepidophora lutea - (the identification was done by Neal Evenhuis). 
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
 #511  I live in SW Wisconsin,  along the Wisconsin River. This bug is eating not only the Elm tree leaves, but the flowering bushes and the Crab apple tree leaves. Thanks for ANY help.  Joyce Esser
  This one requires a clearer photograph for identification. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #510   Hi,  I live in Pennsylvania (USA), just north of the city of Philadelphia.  This wasp (?) seems to be at least 2 inches long and is very aggressive.  Anything that comes near him, butterflies, us, he chases away.  He seems to be a solitary creature for we have seen no others.  He hangs out in our garden on the low lying plants.  Any help would be great.  Thanks!  Jamie
This is a harmless male of the Cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus). Only the females have a stinger, but do not use it against humans. The male is patrolling his territory in your garden to find a female. So he is checking out everything which is flying, could be anoother male he has to fight or a female he has to chase...
Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
  #509  I was out trying to get photographs of Damsel Fly's when I saw this pretty wasp.  I can't seem to   find another like it online so I thought I'd ask what it is.  I live in Suffolk County on Long Island in New York.  Thanks! Best regards,  Melanie J. Schwartz
  This is a very nice picture of a digger wasps (Sphecidae) of the genus Ammophila. They hunt caterpillars with which they feed their larvae.
Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
#508  I live in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, and the other day we had come across this spider on our flower. As you can see, it is quiet big it killed the bee with in seconds. I am just wondering what kind it is and if i should be worried about them. As they get older, they seem to get stripes on their legs and horn ,like things on theirs backs as well. My sister as well has come across many of these spiders in her yard and doorways too.  Jen.
This is a crab spider (Thomisidae: Aranae). They are ambush hunters, laying in wait on flowers or other situations attractive to insects. Some species, such as the goldenrod spider, are capable of slowly changing their color to blend in with their surroundings. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #507  I have been trying for days to identify this critter. My boyfriend found him at work one day, he works in the forest of the B.C. Rockies, in Tete Jaune Cache, near the Alberta border.  It was found under a large rock on a south facing slope at about 1300 m.  The only thing I could find that looks even close to the same is a Jerusalem cricket.  The colors aren't right though and this one has those two protrusions on it's rear segment. This picture is a little dark, the coloring is a lighter grey.  Any help in identifying this would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you -Sherri,  McBride B.C.  Canada 
   This insect appears to belong to the same family (Stenopelmatidae) as the Jerusalem cricket. Some authorities place these insects in the subfamily Stenopelmatinae, family Gryllacrididae).
The two protrusions at its rear are sense organs called cerci. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #506 Hello Pest Identifiers   - you have a fascinating web site! 'Course I hope you can help us!  We live in a 1970's home in Victoria. B.C. We had quite a few of these flying creatures coming into our house in early June.  As they seem that they are a flying ant we are hoping that aren't carpenter ants. They are about 2cm long . Although this guy is dead and a bit drab in color now, the live ones have bright red legs and iridescent blue/black bodies. Thanks for your help, Ann-Marie
  The long antennae and ovipositor lead me to think that this may be an ichneumon wasp. The family Ichneumonidae is among the largest (species-wise) among the Insecta, varying tremendously in size and gross appearance. All are parasites/hyperparasites on other arthropods and harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #505  Hi I live in Phoenix, Arizona and we found a colony of these small millipedes  in our garden in the middle of summer, and now I'm trying to grow and have them as pets. I was wondering what they eat, what their favorite temperature is, and their favorite terrain is. Any additional info would be great.  thanks for your time,   Kieren Williams
These appear to be Polydesmid millipedes, possibly the garden millipede (Oxidus gracilus, see
for an image). Although collectively called “flat-backed,” some of these, such as in the genus Oxidus, are not completely flat in cross-section. They primarily are detrivores, feeding on decaying vegetable matter, but occasionally may damage very tender young plants.  For more detailed information, see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #504 You have a great site and I thought I could find help here.  The attached bugs were found investing red-dyed cedar mulch in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.  The area also had a significant number of Box Elder Bugs (about twice the size of the pictured variety) and smaller bugs (not pictured) which did not have the black wings and were primarily bright red.  Any ideas?  Thank you,  Carl Hansen
  This a nymph of a boxelder bug (Boisea trivittatus; Hemiptera: Rhopalidae). The black areas are the developing wing pads.  Very young nymphs lack these and may appear nearly entirely red. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #503  I live in Chicago. Hundreds of these have appeared on the outside of my window the last few days. They only are on the windows of a room where the lights were on, so they seem to be attracted to light. They are a little less than an inch long. I've also found some smaller versions on my ceiling near the light fixture. The smaller ones don't seem to have wings and have black bodies.  Anthony.   

   These appear to be non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Although closely related to mosquitoes, they are completely harmless. However, they can occur in such large numbers as to create an extreme nuisance. See for a comparison of midges and mosquitoes.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#502.  I found this moth type thing in the shower at work after the window was left open overnight and have never seen anything like it.  It's about 3 inches long and pretty scary looking if you ask me. I work in County Kildare in Ireland but figured you might have something similar over in Canada that'll help me identify it.  Thanks, Colm

This is a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). These moths also are called hummingbird moths or hawk moths. They are absolutely harmless to humans, but a few species, such as the tomato hornworm or the tobacco hornworm can be agricultural pests.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #501  This guy flew into my house (just outside of Vancouver, BC) one afternoon and stuck around just long enough for me to get a picture. I thought it might be some kind of wasp, but it didn't seem to match any of the wasp photos I found online. It was about an inch and a half long.

   I cannot be certain because of the angle from which the insect was photographed, but this might be a brachypterous (short-winged) long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Some of these beetles are very good wasp mimics. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
This looks like a type of longhorned beetle in the tribe Rhinotragini (Odontocera spp.) (but I can't be 100% certain).  You are exactly right when you say that it looks like a wasp...these guys are amazing wasp/bee mimics.  Not only do they look like wasps, they act like wasps too.  Longhorned beetles are wood borers as larvae and can kill trees under some circumstances. Annie Ray, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois. (

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