Mysterious Deadly Arthropods

More identification woes

Sometimes making the correct id is important. I wonder about the name of this spider. Brown widow? False widow? I can tell you one thing: I am not going to risk turning it upside down to look for the hourglass. This spider lives in a messy web next to a window box of flowers. I now approach the area with caution. It was a hot day so I wonder if the drops are liquid spider silk.

brown widow
Latrodectus?

Here is another deadly visitor … let’s call him The Terminator …

This insect was about the size of a dragonfly. To give you an indication of his size I actually heard/felt a thud as it landed on the edge of the veggie box. That noise is what drew my attention. But folded wings? I don’t think any dragonfly can do that. And look at that proboscis, the hairy legs and those eyes: it had to be some kind of fly (diptera). My best guess is some kind of robber fly aka assassin fly. This was the first time I had ever seen one. Sorry for the fuzzy image.

mystery arthropod
Asilidae something or other

Asilidae are killing machines. Click here to read the a terrifying story of a robber fly trying to murder a hummingbird! The bird was whimpering as the fly pinned it down and tried to trepanate it. Shudder. You will have to read the link to see if the bystander saved the day. This guy’s presence might partly explain the mysterious complete disappearance of my mud dauber wasp friends and the serious decline in honey bees I have noticed this year.

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15 thoughts on “Mysterious Deadly Arthropods

    1. When I think about how much money I have spent on bird seed over the years you would think ONE of those birds would step up to do the job. hahaha

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        1. I do have a resident toad but I am afraid he might be eaten by the fly. While I wouldn’t expect any of the doves to go postal I wonder where are the grackles and blue jays when you need them? =) I hope to see your frog poem!

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  1. I’m going to pass on the robber fly link because….yeeikes. Whimpering hummingbirds? No thank you! That spider in the first shot certainly looks black widowy – I feel you are wise not to take unnecessary risks with that one. Maybe a mirror could come into play? Glad it is outside your house at least.

    I find I take a different approach to potentially hazardous crawlies depending on whether we are inside or outside house walls. And if something shows up in my bedroom or bathroom, well, I tend to take those threats quite personally. First line is always to attempt a relocation but occasionally….there may or may not be whimpering…

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    1. Yeah as far as outside bugs go I have a live and let live policy. Anything that crosses the threshold not so much … heh
      (spoiler) the hummingbird is SAVED. Hurrah!

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  2. I’ve had the same experience, hearing the thud of one of those flies land near me. I’m normally not squeamish around insects and such. But if it’s large enough to thud, that’s a different matter. Ick.

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