The Official Bug Identification Thread Starring Arch, Bugboy, and Fiendishrabbit

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited September 16
    In the Midwest US.

    Spider incoming.
    bmpz0b5vyl7j.jpg
    bpq7kcrk4zp1.jpg

    Roughly measured out to be about 35mm, leg to leg. Got some nasty looking fangs. Thinking wolf, but not big enough, right?

    MichaelLC on
    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    I honestly can't tell, but it could be a wolf spider.
    They can be big, they can be pretty small.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    edited September 16
    Looks like some species of grass spider. Wolf spiders don't have the long prong-like spinnerets sticking out of their butts. You should be able to confirm by matching up their eye pattern, if you've still got it in the jar.

    Also, fun fact, those aren't fangs. They're pedipalps, which in this kind of fast-moving ambush spider are important sensory organs, kind of like a cat's whiskers. They're also used to transfer sperm packets during mating and serve as a secondary male sexual characteristic, which is why your dude there has such pronounced and visible ones. They're the same structures that evolved into pincers on scorpions!

    They're harmless to humans and spend most of their time hanging out in funnel-shaped webs in your yard. They do tend to invite themselves inside quite a bit, especially during dry periods or when the weather starts to cool down.

    Jedoc on
    GDdCWMm.jpg
    FryceresRingoDisruptedCapitalist38thDoeMichaelLCElvenshaeJaysonFourH3Knuckles
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Hm, so less scary but more gross, got it. :)

    Thanks, that seems to be it.

    We've had quite the parade of critters coming through here lately, probably due to the dry spell and now the cold.

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited September 21
    Here's another one who already is ahead because they're outside, but I think is very far from home:
    gdgsx51hr3k8.jpg

    MichaelLC on
    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
    RingoArbitraryDescriptorElvenshae
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    That look like either the pigeon tremex (Tremex columba), or something very closely related.

    Also known as "horntails" or "wood wasps", these guys lay their eggs inside, you guessed it, wood! (and other things, stems of many different trees, other plant stems that aren't necessarily wood depending on species)

    Here's a short guide (that's for Missouri, but could be helpful) to get some more information. Despite looking scary, they can't sting, and are basically harmless. Well, harmless to you. Some of them are pretty serious agricultural pests.

    JedocFiendishrabbitMichaelLCRingoH3KnucklesArbitraryDescriptorceresXaquin
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    The pidgeon horntail and it's predator (the giant ichneumon wasp) are both very scary looking and perfectly harmless (to you).

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    MichaelLCRingoH3KnucklesArbitraryDescriptorArchElvenshae
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Man, it looks like it's carrying a short sword on it's ass

    ArbitraryDescriptorceresFryBouwsTH3Knuckles
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Saw one of these ladies running around yesterday. She was moving very fast, couldn't get a great picture, but here's what I got:

    JUVmu45.jpg

    Lens identified this as Dasymutilla occidentalis, the "red velvet ant", "eastern velvet ant", "cow ant", or "cow killer." Per wikipedia, it is a parasitoid wasp native to eastern US, often mistaken for a true ant.

    Any bug experts that can explain how scientists decide whether something is a wasp rather than an ant?

  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    I can't answer that, but I can advise you to stay the hell away from them. They've got one of the most painful stings of any North American insect. I encountered one on the bottom of a stair railing once and my first thought was that there must be a jagged piece of metal sticking out that I'd just ripped my hand wide open on.

    Very pretty, though!

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    FryXaquinRingoceresElvenshaeH3Knuckles
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    Saw one of these ladies running around yesterday. She was moving very fast, couldn't get a great picture, but here's what I got:

    JUVmu45.jpg

    Lens identified this as Dasymutilla occidentalis, the "red velvet ant", "eastern velvet ant", "cow ant", or "cow killer." Per wikipedia, it is a parasitoid wasp native to eastern US, often mistaken for a true ant.

    Any bug experts that can explain how scientists decide whether something is a wasp rather than an ant?

    Ants belong to the same family as wasps and bees (hymenoptera) and split off somewhere in the early Mesozoic era some 140 million years ago (so not quite as old as the first mammals or birds).

    It is however fairly easy to tell if something is an ant or a wingless wasp.

    a. Ants have elbowed antennae. Wingless wasps don't (some wasps, and almost all bees, do have elbowed antennae. But they have wings).
    b. All ants have one or two petioles, small nodes between their thorax and abdomen, while wasps are...wasp-waisted. On some rarer groups of ants the petioles can be hard to see, but they're there.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    FryRingoArchH3KnucklesXaquin
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    Ants and Wasps are weird because it's one of those "all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares" things.

    Ants and Wasps are in the Order Hymenoptera, as Fiendish said. In this Order are two "suborders", the Symphyta and the Apocrita. Symphyta are organisms that look like wasps, but don't have a tiny waist- a GREAT example is on this page! The Siricidae, represented by the Pigeon horntail! Look at the place at the base of the wings on that image- in Symphyta the abdomen and the thorax are roughly the same shape. In the Apocrita, however, there is a narrowing between the thorax and the abdomen- you can see that in the picture of the Velvet ant.

    Generally, most organisms you think of as "Wasps" are in the Apocrita. The Apocrita also includes things like bees and ants. Furthermore, the Apocrita can be further broken down into "Wasps with stingers" (the Aculeates) and "Parasitic wasps" (Parasitica).*

    So ants, which have a stinger, are in both Apocrita AND Aculeata...but so are things like Paper Wasps, Velvet "ants", Honeybees, and lots and lots of other Hymenopterans.

    More importantly, though, is that the family that includes ants (Formicidae) is nestled in essentially the "middle" of Aculeata- that means they weren't the first Aculeates to evolve, nor were they the newest Aculeates (the newest ones are bees!). What this means in terms of classification is that what we consider "Ants" are basically "Special, weird wasps", since it's basically impossible to form what we consider a "monophyletic" group of wasps that doesn't include Ants.

    What "monophyletic" means is that you include the organism you're interested in (ants) as well as their most recent common ancestor. You can do that with ants really easily, and it's fine. But once you try and make a monophyletic group of all the things we call "Wasps", then suddenly you can't make the grouping correctly unless you also include ants (it's paraphyletic otherwise- it includes almost all of the organisms with a common ancestor, but leaves some out for no reason).

    So what this all means is that all ants are wasps, but not all wasps are ants, since ants are derived from wasps, and moreover, they share a common ancestor with a large group of wasps that gave rise to things like Digger wasps and Sphecid wasps.

    In terms of identification of "wasps" vs "ants", like Fiendish said, I go with "Does it have wings? Are the antennae elbowed? Are there petioles?" if all three are "Yes", then it's probably an Ant-wasp, and not a different kind of wasp.

    Hope that helps! It's massively confusing!

    *sidenote- "Parasitica" isn't really used anymore because we moved a bunch of things that used to be in this group into other groups inside hymenoptera, but it sticks around because it's easy shorthand and biologists love a dichotomy.

    JedocFiendishrabbitFryRingoceresMoridin889BahamutZEROElvenshae38thDoeH3KnucklesMichaelLCXaquinAegisIruka
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Arch wrote: »
    Ants and Wasps are weird because it's one of those "all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares" things.

    Ants and Wasps are in the Order Hymenoptera, as Fiendish said. In this Order are two "suborders", the Symphyta and the Apocrita. Symphyta are organisms that look like wasps, but don't have a tiny waist- a GREAT example is on this page! The Siricidae, represented by the Pigeon horntail! Look at the place at the base of the wings on that image- in Symphyta the abdomen and the thorax are roughly the same shape. In the Apocrita, however, there is a narrowing between the thorax and the abdomen- you can see that in the picture of the Velvet ant.

    Generally, most organisms you think of as "Wasps" are in the Apocrita. The Apocrita also includes things like bees and ants. Furthermore, the Apocrita can be further broken down into "Wasps with stingers" (the Aculeates) and "Parasitic wasps" (Parasitica).*

    So ants, which have a stinger, are in both Apocrita AND Aculeata...but so are things like Paper Wasps, Velvet "ants", Honeybees, and lots and lots of other Hymenopterans.

    More importantly, though, is that the family that includes ants (Formicidae) is nestled in essentially the "middle" of Aculeata- that means they weren't the first Aculeates to evolve, nor were they the newest Aculeates (the newest ones are bees!). What this means in terms of classification is that what we consider "Ants" are basically "Special, weird wasps", since it's basically impossible to form what we consider a "monophyletic" group of wasps that doesn't include Ants.

    What "monophyletic" means is that you include the organism you're interested in (ants) as well as their most recent common ancestor. You can do that with ants really easily, and it's fine. But once you try and make a monophyletic group of all the things we call "Wasps", then suddenly you can't make the grouping correctly unless you also include ants (it's paraphyletic otherwise- it includes almost all of the organisms with a common ancestor, but leaves some out for no reason).

    So what this all means is that all ants are wasps, but not all wasps are ants, since ants are derived from wasps, and moreover, they share a common ancestor with a large group of wasps that gave rise to things like Digger wasps and Sphecid wasps.

    In terms of identification of "wasps" vs "ants", like Fiendish said, I go with "Does it have wings? Are the antennae elbowed? Are there petioles?" if all three are "Yes", then it's probably an Ant-wasp, and not a different kind of wasp.

    Hope that helps! It's massively confusing!

    *sidenote- "Parasitica" isn't really used anymore because we moved a bunch of things that used to be in this group into other groups inside hymenoptera, but it sticks around because it's easy shorthand and biologists love a dichotomy.

    None of the above information is correct. I have it on good authority that wasps belong to the family Assholia, genus Burntheminfire.

    ArchRingoElvenshaeHappylilElfAegis
  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    Listen, if there's one thing Jurassic Park taught us, it's that we mess with nature at our own peril. Every niche exists for a reason, even if we don't entirely understand why. So unless you're going to be the one to slowly torture a bunch of bugs to death in a nightmarish array of Hellraiser body horror scenarios, leave the wasps to their grim work.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    FryMoridin889ElvenshaeH3Knuckles
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    OrcaElvenshaeJaysonFour
  • RingoRingo HE KEEPS REPEATING THE LINE I'M GONNA CRY BLEASE LET HIM LIVE YOU MADE ME WATCH SO MUCH KISSING IN THIS FILM LET INIGO LIVERegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    Clearly they are a test of faith

    Your willingness to believe in a loving and just universe vs the existence of yellow jackets

    It is the spiritual dilemma of our time

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
    FryFiendishrabbitElvenshaeOrcaJaysonFourH3KnucklesBouwsTMoridin889Jedocceres
  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    They are trying to stop you from getting a sunburn.

    H3KnucklesFryElvenshaeceres
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    38thDoe wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    They are trying to stop you from getting a sunburn.

    Also keep my weight down by flying into/near my Coke can.

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
    FryRingoH3Knucklesceres
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    Clearly they are a test of faith

    Your willingness to believe in a loving and just universe vs the existence of yellow jackets

    It is the spiritual dilemma of our time

    what if u like wasps and consider them proof that the universe loves you, specifically?

    IrukaRingo
  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    Arch wrote: »
    Ringo wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    Clearly they are a test of faith

    Your willingness to believe in a loving and just universe vs the existence of yellow jackets

    It is the spiritual dilemma of our time

    what if u like wasps and consider them proof that the universe loves you, specifically?

    That means that a highly specialized parasitoid wasp has laid eggs in the pleasure center of your brain while you were sleeping. Very common condition.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    OrcaFryH3KnucklesElvenshaeJaysonFourMoridin889ceres38thDoe
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Arch wrote: »
    Ringo wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    Clearly they are a test of faith

    Your willingness to believe in a loving and just universe vs the existence of yellow jackets

    It is the spiritual dilemma of our time

    what if u like wasps and consider them proof that the universe loves you, specifically?

    Have you considered you might be infected by Ophiocordyceps unilateralis?

    H3KnucklesElvenshaeRingoJaysonFourceres
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Ringo wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry but no one has yet given me a single Godly purpose a yellow jacket can possibly serve. Fire is the only way.

    Clearly they are a test of faith

    Your willingness to believe in a loving and just universe vs the existence of yellow jackets

    It is the spiritual dilemma of our time

    It is a daily struggle, and horseflies certainly offer no help toward the former.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    H3KnucklesJaysonFourRingo
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