Due to extreme advertising spam, I have had to remove the "Forum" page. I am sorry, there is no other alternative at this point. You may contact me through the following avenues:
Follow me on:
Facebook where I post notifications of new blog posts, plus links and news items related to insects and arachnids. You may also pose questions to me by leaving a message.
I also have a group page on Facebook called "Arthropods Colorado" where I post recent images of insects and spiders I find close to home; and where others can post their images as well. Please ask to join and I will add you within a day or so.
I am @bugEric on Twitter.
My LinkedIn profile is where I update my work experiences and projects apart from blogging. Connect with me there if you like.
You can see my best images of insects, birds, and other wildlife on my Flickr photostream.
Feel free to follow me on iNaturalist and Project Noah, too, where I post "spottings" from all across the U.S.
Thank you for your interest in my activities. I look forward to supporting your own endeavors in natural history.
Eric, I recently observed a Four-toothed Mason Wasp on a neighbor's flower for several minutes. I did not get a photograph, but what I found especially interesting is that it had a smaller version of itself on its back. Was this mating behavior? I live in Western Massachusetts.ReplyDelete
This is not the appropriate place for this query. That is why I opened a "forum" page (see tabs at the top of this page). BUT, yes, sounds like a male on top of a female, or perhaps a parasitic thick-headed fly, which can resemble a wasp itself.Delete
I love your blog and was wondering if you accept donations. My fraternity is big on philanthropic events and would like to host one for you and your causes.ReplyDelete
Paul, I'm flattered, but I don't know that I warrant a philanthropic effort. I do have a donation button, though (see sidebar to the right), and I am grateful for those individual expressions of gratitude. Thank you.Delete
hi. I was wondering, how do you tell apart a male small milkweed bug from a female small milkweed bug? me and my best friend love holding the lil gies. I hope that you can tell us.Delete
P.S: ive ben researching this FOREVER!
Generally, in true bugs, the male has a blunt, capsule-like tip on the abdomen, whereas the female has a gently tapered abdomen.Delete
Thanks for your army cutworm identification. I think that you saved our school garden. Now to create aluminum barrier collars to prevent them from eating our harvest!ReplyDelete
You're most welcome. Good luck with the garden!Delete
Dear Bug Eric,Delete
Hello! I am a Pre-K Teacher. The 4 and 5 year olds in my class collected Cicada shells off a tree on our playground. They are fascinated! Is there a way to preserve the shells? The children want to investigate them, but they are so fragile. One of my friends began to cry when his Cicada shell fell into pieces. Any ideas would be helpful! Thanks!
No shed exoskeleton from *any* insect is going to hold up under constant handling. I'd simply put them in transparent containers. I have also heard of folks "embedding" specimens in hand sanitizer in a transparent container.Delete
Hi Eric, I have a question for you pertaining to allowing a certain species of spider to live in your house....ReplyDelete
Would either a Micrathena Gracilis or a Gasteracantha Cancriformis be good to allow to live in a basement with a severe small to medium sized beetle and small roach "problem"? I suppose it's not a full blown infestation of the beetle and "waterbugs", from what I gather... I know of a couple of spots where either one species or the other thrive.
Since both of the orbweavers you mention are decidedly *outdoor* spiders, I would say no, they would not fare well in a basement. Plus, they overwinter as spiderlings in the egg sac, not as adults. Maybe I am misunderstanding your question, not sure.Delete
I thought you might be interested in this new research on paper wasp castes for the 'wasp' category on your blog. There is some nice footage of queen behaviour.
I'm in South Africa.
Can you please tell me if Bee Flies are regarded as Bee Mimics?
Yes, most bee flies (family Bombyliidae), would be considered bee mimics. A few are wasp mimics.Delete
Hi Eric, I'm an artist and have a keen interest in spiders (mostly the genus Latrodectus). I used the Latrodectus mactans photograph as reference for my painting. I'm hoping when finished i'd like to advertise the painting as a seller. I just wanted to ask would that be okay? Regards. Carl. Watercolourist on arachnology.ReplyDelete
In the future, I ask that you request permission *before* you commence work on a piece that uses someone else's image as reference (mine or anyone else's work). Thank you. I can't very well deny you control over your *own* work, after the fact, nor would I, but please get the steps in proper order next time.Delete
I am a naturalist in a county park in Ohio and was wondering if I could use any of your pictures for a spider bulletin board I am putting together for our nature center? There is no admission fee to enter the nature center, and no money will be made. I am currently looking at your awesome pic of the micrathena sagittata, but would like to use a couple more if permission is given. Thank you very much.
Nora, please e-mail me so I can learn more about your nature center, and furnish the image files if I agree to. Thank you. BugEric247ATgmailDOTcom.Delete
Hi Eric, I just happened to come across this blog as I was looking for info on how long these spiders live. We have a lovely one that lives on our little home library. She's been there since the summer and has a pretty big web by the window attached to some shelves. You'll laugh, but I want to paint this room and I don't want to hurt her. I can't paint the room without moving the things her web is attached to. Do you know how long they naturally live? I could wait to paint! In the alternative, should I move her outside in early spring? Or in the other alternative, if I ruin her web but put her in a container till I'm done painting, will she rebuild the web? Thank for any help!ReplyDelete
Since this comment is not on a blog post about *any* spider, I am not sure which kind of spider you are referencing. I assume an orb weaver (round web like a wheel). Also don't know where you are located, how the spider survived at *all* if she was indoors all this time....If she is healthy enough, she'd rebuild her web. However, she needs water (spritzing her web alone would work), and the occasional insect prey.Delete
Hi flying around near the ground are wasp like insects that just appeared for the first time ever middle to later August in S.W> Penna. They have blue irridescent wings their longish bodies are black with a yellow waist line and a red butt. Very strange looking I went thru so many bug pics that I feel bug-eyed. Do u know what it could be?ReplyDelete
Yes, those are Blue-winged Wasps, Scolia dubia. You are seeing males. They are solitary and will not sting unless you physically grab one. I did write a blog post about this species.Delete
I hope this is the appropriate place to reach out to you. I recently started a Kickstarter campaign for a set of enamel pins all themed around moths! It has done very well in the first few days, but I am now searching for ways to reach new audiences who are fans of bugs and insects. I am wondering if this would be something you would be interested in featuring?
I am a huge insect and butterfly fan myself, which led me to this particular design endeavor, and thought your audience might be interested as well. If this campaign is successful, I would love to do a future one highlighting other unique and lesser known insects.
The link is below.
Thank you for your time,
Hi I wan to start up my own farm of common Assassin bugs here in Ontario. I know they eat bed bugs. They have never bitten me.. I think I had bed bugs,, but no more. Where can I mail away to get a colony going.? What do I feed them? Thanks..ReplyDelete
Thanks for informative posting on Stictia "horse guards." I'm surprised that there is no commercial source for Stictia larvae. Considering the grief that horse flies cause animals and humans, I would have thought someone would try to supply horse guard wasps. A season's contract, with regular resupply, a dozen a week?, would probably reduce horse fly nuisance considerably. Most horse owners would happily pay $100-200 for a season's protection.ReplyDelete
Hello Eric, do you have an idea how can I clean off my home from beetles?ReplyDelete
I do not give pest control advice here. I even wrote a post about why I don't.Delete
I live in MA and believe I have mason wasps nesting in the fascia boards around my house. They make small holes that do not seems to be a problem structurally but can you verify that? I have a picture of the wasp but do not see a method of attaching it.
No wasps that I am aware of can do structural damage.Delete
Hi, Eric. I saw your post on the paper wasp in the desert. They come to my yard to fetch water from the pond. Today I saw some smaller wasps for the first time that are the same pale yellow with no stripes also getting water from the pond. Are they the same species? Do workers in a colony vary in size?ReplyDelete
Without seeing the wasps I cannot conclude anything. Many mason wasps also visit ponds for water, and most are smaller than paper wasps. Both kinds of wasps are in the family Vespidae.Delete
Do you assist in identifying possible choices of indoor pests?
If so how should I contact you?
Apologies for the delay in replying....I no longer do this kind of thing, but I recommend posting images of the insect in question to one of the insect identification groups on Facebook, or on iNaturalistDOTorg, or taking a specimen to a nearby natural history museum, state or provincial agriculture department, or university entomology department.Delete
Eric, My Girlfriend recently found a Woodlouse Spider in her room and brought up a good question. Do spiders such as this bite Birds and are they deadly to them?ReplyDelete
The bird is more likely to eat the spider.Delete
I live in Miami florida and just happen to look out my window when I encounter this beautiful month.ReplyDelete
After searching the internet it as identified as a hummingbird moth what beautiful site. It has made my day
Do you have some place that I can send a picture of the spider that I do not know what it is I think it's an orb weaver but I'm not sureReplyDelete