Bugs, Insects & Creepy Crawlies

Prof_Pretorius

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Interesting question !!! Wikipedia says there are over 2000 species of "Firefly", perhaps some of these are 'stop' colored bugs, rather than 'go'.
 

fnordish

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thanks, at least now i know im not seeing things.
 

glamour_dust

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Ok I tried to read through all the posts in this thread but got too shivery and had to stop. This happened to me yesterday. I was sitting in the staff room trying to enjoy my cinnamon yoghurt lunch(don't ask). Two of my male form students came to the staff room door wanting to speak to me. As I approached them, they said they had something to show me. When I was close enough one of them whipped out a humoungous black insect from behind his back and said "surprise!" I kid you not I screamed and ran back to my desk with record speed. The pranksters ran off quickly - laughing. The impression I got of the insect was a huge black, hard-bodied segmented thing, almost the size of a small kitten I swear. It had really long crawly legs, long waving antennae and a large ant-like head with eyes that turned to look at me as it was thrust towards my face. Ugliest thing I have ever seen, and I have no idea how my students could bear to hold it. I think one of the boys released it in the bushes behind the school's field, which is far enough away for my comfort. Eww. :eek!!!!:
 

Anome

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citizencane said:
Maybe I was wrongto do so,but I killed it as I don't fancy having giant spiders leaping onto me and I was afraid for my 2 small dogs.
Your dogs were probably OK, as funnelweb venom is only lethal to primates. (Although the mouse spider information I have doesn't specify that, it is related and the same anti-venene is used.) I can't find any references to them hunting mammals, in fact it seems they seldom leave their burrows.

Still, I'd want to get rid of one if it was in my backyard.
 

GNC

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glamour_dust said:
Ok I tried to read through all the posts in this thread but got too shivery and had to stop. This happened to me yesterday. I was sitting in the staff room trying to enjoy my cinnamon yoghurt lunch(don't ask). Two of my male form students came to the staff room door wanting to speak to me. As I approached them, they said they had something to show me. When I was close enough one of them whipped out a humoungous black insect from behind his back and said "surprise!" I kid you not I screamed and ran back to my desk with record speed. The pranksters ran off quickly - laughing. The impression I got of the insect was a huge black, hard-bodied segmented thing, almost the size of a small kitten I swear. It had really long crawly legs, long waving antennae and a large ant-like head with eyes that turned to look at me as it was thrust towards my face. Ugliest thing I have ever seen, and I have no idea how my students could bear to hold it. I think one of the boys released it in the bushes behind the school's field, which is far enough away for my comfort. Eww. :eek!!!!:
Are you sure it wasn't a lobster?
 

glamour_dust

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Are you sure it wasn't a lobster?
Nope gncxx, it wasn't. It's head resembled an ant's only much bigger. It's body seemed to have the head, thorax, abdomen structure. Maybe I'll ask my students where they got it and if they know what it was next week.
 

OldTimeRadio

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Weird Insect

I spotted an insect on my Cincinnati, Ohio, bathroom floor one night around 15 years ago and have never seen its type before or since.

It was very flat and triangular-shaped, about 2 1/2 inches wide and long. The color was greenish-grey. It had far too many legs than were good for it, and they moved it swiftly across the floor - too quickly, in fact, for me to pursue as it disappeared out of the room....and my life. (The legs seemed to hold this curious little beastie almost a quarter-inch off the floor.)

It had the perfect shape and appearance of a folded leaf.

What was it?
 

OldTimeRadio

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nissemus said:
"There are red as well as green ones."

I encountered both colors regularly during my Northern Kentucky childhood.
 

citizencane

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Oh, and ants, I have seen many velvet ants around here.
They are the size of large bumble bees and are "furry" thus their name.
They have a slit in their body that runs horizontal and make a horrible sqealing sound from it if irritated.
They also have a potent sting and are called "cow killers" by farmers
since they will swarm and kill cows and other slowmoving animals who happen to walk onto their underground nests and cave them in or just piss them off in general.
I have seen them in all red, all black and more rarely, red and black combined.
It is the only insect I have encountered that screamed at me. :shock:
That slit and the screaming sound reminded me of that awful movie with Peter Weller, ahh, Naked Lunch I believe.
 

OldTimeRadio

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Back in 1957, when I was much stupider than I am today (yeah, I know that's difficult to believe but bear with me anyway) I decided to exterminate a hive of ground-dwelling wasps or hornets which had taken up residence against the side of a tree in the front yard of my parents' Northern Kentucky summer home.

I poured powdered sulphur down the hole and followed this with a squirt of lighter fluid. A toss of a match and - voila! - no more wasps!

But being a bright son of Kentucky I'd done this on an early July afternoon, in the heat of the day, when all the "worker" wasps were out of the hive.

So within a minute or two, at most, as I stood admiring my handiwork, I found myself engulfed in myriads of buzzing wasps - five or six hundred, at the very least.

Fortunately for me, their only interest was in the destruction of the hive and they ignored me completely.

I retreated indoors anyway. When I ventured outside again an hour or so later all the waps had flown off somewhere to die and I never saw any further trace of them.
 

OldTimeRadio

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By the way, exactly how DID those distant worker wasps learn of the destruction of their hive?

"Fear pheromes" seems to be the accepted answer.

But wouldn't burning sulphur and lighter fluid have rather effectively MASKED pheromes? Or are pheromes fire-proof?
 

AnthonyClifton

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nohopesnodreams said:
This one could give you nightmares, Stupidly Huge Centipede and its eating a mouse so be warned.
Why did I have to look? Now I am very, very unhappy.

Makes me wonder, though, if the fact that so many people find things like giant bugs and snakes and so on scary is the result of some kind of genetic memory from when our prehistoric small, furry and cute ancestors were stalked by these quite literal (to them at least) monsters. :shock:
 

OldTimeRadio

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AnthonyClifton said:
Makes me wonder, though, if the fact that so many people find things like giant bugs and snakes and so on scary is the result of some kind of genetic memory from when our prehistoric small, furry and cute ancestors were stalked by these quite literal (to them at least) monsters. :shock:
Possibly. But remember also that our fuzzy little mammalian ancestors had the advantage not only of mammalian brains but also of those vastly superior brains able to function in TEAMS.

For decades I conceptualized the mammals of the late Jurassic as living at the "mercy" of the great saurians. But the current concept is that it was our cute-little-rabbity-mousey ancestors who made the DINOSAURS' life hell!
 

AnthonyClifton

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OldTimeRadio said:
Possibly. But remember also that our fuzzy little mammalian ancestors had the advantage not only of mammalian brains but also of those vastly superior brains able to function in TEAMS.

For decades I conceptualized the mammals of the late Jurassic as living at the "mercy" of the great saurians. But the current concept is that it was our cute-little-rabbity-mousey ancestors who made the DINOSAURS' life hell!
Yes, but what about the even larger centipedes that must have been lurking about then? :shock:

In what way would they have made the dino's lives hell? The only thing that comes to mind is stealing dino eggs or caches of food. (Did dinos cache food like lions etc do?)
 

OldTimeRadio

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AnthonyClifton said:
In what way would they have made the dino's lives hell? The only thing that comes to mind is stealing dino eggs or caches of food.
My understanding is that even the larger dinos were no match for 50 or 75 "little fuzzies" with mammalian brains plus razor sharp teeth and talons, working as a TEAM. They killed the dino and ATE it.

Most probably they also ate the eggs.
 

AnthonyClifton

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OldTimeRadio said:
My understanding is that even the larger dinos were no match for 50 or 75 "little fuzzies" with mammalian brains plus razor sharp teeth and talons, working as a TEAM. They killed the dino and ATE it.

Most probably they also ate the eggs.
Suddenly, I'm reminded of the critters in Spielberg's Gremlins films.

:shock:
 

OldTimeRadio

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Gremlins

Just don't let 'em near water.
 

McAvennie

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Dingo667 said:
citizencane said:
I was agast to see a humongous spider on the side of my house the other day,with a body easily the size of that hornet from hell, the asian one.
And very long , strong legs as I approached it , it saw me coming and leaped at me after raising it's fangs in a threatening manner.
I looked it up in a regional database and found that it was a funnelweb variety called a mouse spider, as it hunts mice and other small mammals,including birds and snakes. It is indigenous to this area.
When it hit the gound(after narrowly missing me!) it ran to a large hole that was surrounded by a webbing that coverd the surrounding soil for about a foot in diameter. It was the largest spider I have ever seen,and even bigger than a tarantula my neighbor once kept as a pet.
The page I found it on said they were extremely dangourous and had a combination of neuro and necrotoxins, and if bitten one should immediately call an ambulance.
Maybe I was wrongto do so,but I killed it as I don't fancy having giant spiders leaping onto me and I was afraid for my 2 small dogs.
It put up quite a fight even against spider spray, and attempted to jump on me as I sprayed into its lair , running at me and jumping at the can and my hand.
I was totally creeped out by it.

That is fascinating and very very sad as I absolutely adore spiders and that one seemed to have been a feisty one. Maybe its in spider heaven now, where there is the biggest net you can imagine with the biggest flies getting caught every second of the day... ahhhh
:shock: Are you insane!?!

The pictures I saw on here a few years back of the Huntsman spider on the wall that is about the size of a good-sized wallclock has pretty much put me off ever visiting Australia!

I always have to check on the net what kind of freakish beasts are lurking where Im going on holiday. I was terrified that I'd get stranded in the desert and eaten by a camel spider when I was in Egypt last year! :oops:
 

OldTimeRadio

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A friend who spent his college and university years working for a large American experminating firm tells me this:

"I've always liked spiders, and I never cared to kill them. But one thing all exterminators learn is that once you kill the spiders in a house, you're going to receive a SECOND call a few weeks later from that same house. The building is now being overrun with whatever insects those spiders were keeping under control. Usually cockroaches."
 

kirmildew

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fnordish said:
thanks, at least now i know im not seeing things.
Perhaps during your childhood your home was under covert surveillance, and what you were seeing was not lightning bugs but the glowing tips of secret agents' cigarettes as they secretly followed your every move...

That giant centipede vid was rank, I only saw the opening frame and realised someone had gone and bought a tame white mouse to feed to this thing. No, I didn't watch the rest in an orgy of righteous indignation- I turned it off! I'm sure it is big and ugly enough to catch its own mice, should it want to.
 

WhistlingJack

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Life-threatening wasp stings boom

Lovers of the outdoors have been warned of a sharp rise in hospitalisations and deaths from wasp, bee and hornet stings.


Latest official figures show 843 people were admitted for medical care for stings in 2004/5 compared to 369 in the previous year.

Experts say the sudden increase could be due to a new invasive species of aggressive wasp from the Continent.

Advice is to take extra care to avoid stings, especially if you are allergic.

Professor Lars Chittka, an expert in behavioural ecology at Queen Mary College, University of London, said Britain had seen a rise in an invasive, aggressive species of wasp, called Dolichovespula media, in recent years.

"Likewise hornets are spreading quite a bit. To what extent these two species are responsible for the hospitalisations I do not know. But certainly if there are more of these stinging insects then there is more chance that they will contribute to it."

He thought it was unlikely that hornets would be the main culprit.

"Hornets look very threatening, they are very big and noisy but unless they are disturbed near the nest they are actually quite docile. They don't usually attack.

"The Dolichovespula is a slightly different story because they are reasonably aggressive and they build relatively small nests in trees and bushes at eye height."

He said this meant that gardeners could easily stumble across the nests and be attacked.

"That happens quite commonly because the wasps patrol on the surface of the nest and then fly in the face of people who come too near."

He said last year's death and hospital admission figures for stings, gathered by the Information Centre for health and social care and the Office for National Statistics, were outstandingly high.

Eight people died from insect stings in 2004 compared to an average of two for the previous four years.

Professor Chittka said: "Whether that trend continues this year is hard to say. By my own feeling I have seen fewer wasps this year than many others so I think it is unlikely.

"But usually most events happen at the end of summer when people are out and about and the wasp colonies are at their peak size and the wasps can't find as many natural food sources and turn to our ice-creams. That's when people have unpleasant encounters with them."

Although most stings were relatively harmless, some can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

Bites in the throat and mouth can swell and compromise breathing. Some people are highly allergic to stings and can go into shock and die without treatment.

Experts advise that people do their best to avoid stings. Those who know they are allergic to stings should carry their medication with them. Anyone who is stung and develops a bad reaction should seek immediate medical attention.

Professor Chittka said: "The symptoms are pretty clear. People will feel dizzy, they might get hives all over their body outside the site where they were stung and they might have breathing difficulties. The important thing then is to get medical attention immediately and not to delay. If you wait too long you might die."

He also gave some practical advice on how to avoid stings.

"All stinging insects are most aggressive near their nests. If you find a nest, get someone professional in to exterminate it rather than trying it yourself.

"If there are wasps in the area and you are eating, look at what you are about to take a bite of.

"Also, don't flail your arms at the wasp. Instead make slow and calm movements."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/14 16:27:29 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

TheQuixote

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Last year was a bad summer for wasps and bees but I read that report the other day with interest. I have never, ever seen hornets near where I live until the other week. The only time I'd ever encountered a hornet was in a farmer's field, back of beyond, Staffordshire.

I was sitting on my mother's patio when I noticed a hornet had landed on a windmill that I'd stuck in her border for the various grandkids to ooh-ahh at.

I shouted to my mam to 'come have a look at this' and I told her what it was. She's in her 70s and she couldn't even remember ever seeing a hornet.

I did a really stupid thing though. I stood up to go and take a closer look at it while I was wearing an ankle-length tiered skirt. The hornet flew off and skimmed the ground, disappearing under my hem. Cue me, dancing around having grabbed my skirt and looking like I was doing the Can-Can. I didn't get stung thankfully but I just ended up looking like a loon.
 

ramonmercado

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Japanese finds scorpion in jeans

The scorpion's sting is painful but not life-threatening
A Japanese woman trying on jeans in a shop got a shock when she was stung by a scorpion hidden inside a pair.
The woman, on the southern island of Okinawa, ended up in hospital for five days as a result of the sting, which was not life-threatening.

Local health officials captured the 5cm (2 inch) scorpion, which was believed to be a Chinese bark scorpion.

It is thought to have travelled inside the jeans from China, where they were made.

Officials told the Mainichi Daily News that the woman, who was not named, felt a sudden pain in her right knee as she tried the trousers on.

When she rubbed the area with her hand, the scorpion then stung her right index finger.





http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6192373.stm
 

rynner2

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Talking of Scorpions, there was a bit on TV the other day about UK scorpion colonies... and I found this:

Scorpion found walking in kitchen

A woman found a small scorpion that has a sting like a bee wandering around her Wiltshire kitchen.
Helen McNair alerted wildlife experts after finding the European yellow-tailed scorpion, which is usually found in the south of France.

Hannah Price from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust identified the creature at the house.

Although not native to the UK, the yellow-tail has set up colonies in dock areas in south England.

"I don't think she'd quite seen anything like it in her kitchen before," said Ms Price.

"But her kids are quite the amateur entomologists so they knew Cynthia wasn't anything native and they picked her up and put her in a pot and gave us a call."

Despite being just two centimetres long, the creatures can still cause a bite akin to a bee sting.

The scorpion has new been moved to the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Office

"We're going to keep her here," said a spokesman.

"We've brought some live crickets for her and we've been recommended to give her meal worms as well. So we're going to keep her here in the biological records centre."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wilt ... 318322.stm


But be thankful these monsters are no longer around:

Man-sized sea scorpion claw found

The immense fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long (8ft) sea scorpion has been described by European researchers.
The 390-million-year-old specimen was found in a Germany quarry, the journal Biology Letters reports.

The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp.

The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were much larger in the past than previously thought, the team says.

The claw itself measures 46cm - indicating its owner would have been longer even than the average-sized human.

Overall, it exceeds the record for any other sea scorpion (eurypterid) find by nearly 50cm.

The eurypterids are believed to be the extinct aquatic ancestors of modern land scorpions and possibly all arachnids (the class of animals that also includes spiders).

"The biggest scorpion today is nearly 30cm so that shows you how big this creature was," said Dr Simon Braddy from the University of Bristol, UK.

It was one of Dr Braddy's co-authors, Markus Poschmann, who made the discovery in the quarry near Prum in south-west Germany.

"I was loosening pieces of rock with a hammer and chisel when I suddenly realised there was a dark patch of organic matter on a freshly removed slab," he recalled.

"After some cleaning I could identify this as a small part of a large claw. Although I did not know if it was more complete or not, I decided to try and get it out.

"The pieces had to be cleaned separately, dried, and then glued back together. It was then put into a white plaster jacket to stabilise it."

Super-sized meals

The species existed during a period in Earth history when oxygen levels in the atmosphere were much higher than today.

And it was those elevated levels, some palaeo-scientists believe, that may have helped drive the super-sized bodies of many of the invertebrates that existed at that time - monster millipedes, huge cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies.

But Dr Braddy thinks the large scales may have had a lot to do with the absence early on of vertebrate predators. As they came on the scene, these animals would have eaten all the biggest prey specimens.

"The fact that you are big means you are more likely to be seen and to be taken for a tastier morsel," he told BBC News. "Evolution will not select for large size; you want to be small so you can hide away."

The scorpions are thought to have made their first scuttles on to land about 450 million years ago.

While some would have taken up a fully terrestrial existence, others like Jaekelopterus rhenaniae would have maintained an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7104421.stm
 

ramonmercado

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A man-sized creepy crawly? I think that info should be suppressed! It could be enough to cause a heart attack to anyone with a creepy crawly phobia.
 

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A plague of stink bugs causes problems for the car industry.

Thousands of jobs are at risk in New Zealand's car sales industry because of a particularly problematic insect, it's reported.

According to Radio New Zealand, the discovery of hundreds of brown marmorated stink bugs aboard cargo ships bringing some 12,000 cars from Japan to New Zealand mean that the car carriers are being turned away to be fumigated.

According to the NZ Herald there's no facility in New Zealand which can deal with the pest, so at least three of the ships are "floating aimlessly in the Pacific".

The stink bug, which is native to areas of East Asia but can also be found in Europe and the Americas, is a problem for fruit farmers around the world. The beetle voraciously sucks the liquid out of fruits and its toxins cause the plants to die. They have the potential to cause major damage to New Zealand's entire fruit and vegetable industry, Stuff.co.nz says.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-43112370
 
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