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Old 04-13-2012, 11:04 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Horrifying Bugs Invading Earth

Allegedly they've been around for awhile but I don't believe it. Just the other day I saw one of these absolutely terrifying monsters:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jciv/2612528515/

I swear the animal was three inches long. At least. It was so big at first I thought it was a plastic toy, because I assumed Canada could not have insects this large. But real it was.

And then tonight a friend found one IN HER HOME.

I am moving to Antarctica.
  #2  
Old 04-13-2012, 11:13 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is online now
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I have never seen or heard of these before. Must be a west coast rainforest kind of bug. I hope.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:40 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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I have never seen or heard of these before. Must be a west coast rainforest kind of bug. I hope.
Southern Ontario, sorry to tell you.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:43 PM
Sudden Kestrel Sudden Kestrel is offline
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Hey, cool! I say we welcome them and take them to our leaders.

Seriously, where on Earth did they come from?
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:47 PM
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Southern Ontario, sorry to tell you.
Aaaaahhhh!!!!

Er, I mean, how interesting!
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:52 PM
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Some type of water bug. Very cool, but keep your fingers away from it!
  #7  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:48 AM
beowulff beowulff is online now
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
Some type of water bug. Very cool, but keep your fingers away from it!
No kidding!
Quote:
Their bite is considered one of the most painful that can be inflicted by any insect (the Schmidt Sting Pain Index excludes insects other than Hymenoptera), however, though excruciatingly painful, it is of no medical significance.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:03 AM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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I found one of these in the yard once (on Vancouver Island). First thought was "what in the hell is that thing?!?!" I thought it must have fallen off a plane or something, there was no way that could live around me. After a little research I found that they do, indeed, live around me!

I lived in Ontario for a while years ago and one time I was driving down the road and out the corner of my eye I see that I've driven past some odd, green bug sitting on the side of the road.

"Waaaait a minute..." I say and pull over, get out and walk back to see the bug. It was a Praying Mantis! I had NO IDEA we had those in Canada. I bent over really close to see him and he turned his head and looked up at me. Creeped me right out. So then I was worried about him being so close to the road and put my hand near him to shoo him off the road and the bugger jumped at me. I pretty much screamed my head off and ran away back to the car.
  #9  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:26 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Ah, the Toe-Biter. A personal favorite. A very non-sexist critter, as with the noble sea-horse the males cart around the young'uns.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 04-14-2012 at 01:27 AM.
  #10  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:36 AM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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Originally Posted by Sudden Kestrel View Post
Hey, cool! I say we welcome them and take them to our leaders.

Seriously, where on Earth did they come from?
I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Somebody had to say it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:37 AM
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Just wait until tarantula hawks cross the border. You will not only learn about pain, these critters were probably the inspiration for the Alien movies.

I got stung by one of them and it hurt so bad that I couldn't cuss. Killer bees have nothing on them.

Last edited by flatlined; 04-14-2012 at 03:38 AM. Reason: edited to mention that Praying Mantis's are the most friendly bugs I've ever handled.
  #12  
Old 04-14-2012, 03:48 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
I bent over really close to see him and he turned his head and looked up at me. Creeped me right out.
First time I saw that happen, it then started to bob from side to side, which looked kind of aggressive, but actually it turns out it just aids their depth perception.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:33 AM
shantih shantih is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Allegedly they've been around for awhile but I don't believe it. Just the other day I saw one of these absolutely terrifying monsters:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jciv/2612528515/

I swear the animal was three inches long. At least. It was so big at first I thought it was a plastic toy, because I assumed Canada could not have insects this large. But real it was.

And then tonight a friend found one IN HER HOME.

I am moving to Antarctica.
Holy crap, why does the huge bug have biceps?

*whimper*
  #14  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:00 AM
Crab Rangoon Crab Rangoon is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Allegedly they've been around for awhile but I don't believe it. Just the other day I saw one of these absolutely terrifying monsters:
That's just a Giant Water Bug. They disperse this time of year and are looking for a new home to get down in. They get confused easily, however, and often end up in parking lots - thinking they are ponds.

I found one when I was out walking the other day and brought it home to release in our back pond area.

Come on, they're kinda cute! Indigenous to at least northern areas of North America - I've found them in Maine - Michigan. Don't let them near your pet tadpoles, however.

Last edited by Crab Rangoon; 04-14-2012 at 08:01 AM.
  #15  
Old 04-14-2012, 10:14 AM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Some type of water bug. Very cool, but keep your fingers away from it!
Word.

I caught one (briefly) in northern Minnesota when I was, oh, 8 years old or so.

I don't think it managed a full chomp, but I very promptly released it back into the lake.

BTW, I see these things all the time in the lakes and ponds. Very common.
  #16  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:38 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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I am moving to Antarctica.
Are you volunteering to be Orca-chow?
  #17  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:47 AM
Small Hen Small Hen is offline
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
Ah, the Toe-Biter. A personal favorite. A very non-sexist critter, as with the noble sea-horse the males cart around the young'uns.
WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW!?


Both of those pictures actually made me feel physically woozy.
  #18  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:19 PM
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Kill it with fire!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:32 PM
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Be happy you don't have any "cicada killer" wasps where you are. Those things are huge and buzz loud enough to make you think a WWI biplane is zooming around your head.

I am not linking to a picture, because that means I would need to first find a picture, and I do not search for bug pictures, because then I would see bug pictures. You see how this would be a problem.
  #20  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:44 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
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Quote:
the Schmidt Sting Pain Index excludes insects other than Hymenoptera
Who the hell came up with this Sting Pain Index? (I know, Schmidt). And who volunteered for the research?

I'm betting it was similar quality science as that which lead to the Scoville Hot Pepper Heat Scale (designed by Wilbur Scoville and a panel of tasters).

Anyway, the water bug doesn't bother me much. The insect I see fairly frequently around here that creeps me out the most is the praying mantis. When I get up close to or pick up one, they always turn their heads and eye me cooly ("Will I be able to make a meal out of this one? Darn, it looks too big.")
  #21  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:03 PM
booklover booklover is offline
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Originally Posted by Antigen View Post
Be happy you don't have any "cicada killer" wasps where you are. Those things are huge and buzz loud enough to make you think a WWI biplane is zooming around your head.

I am not linking to a picture, because that means I would need to first find a picture, and I do not search for bug pictures, because then I would see bug pictures. You see how this would be a problem.
Since you won't link, I will. Unlike the insect in the OP, these guys don't hurt humans (well, unless you're aggressively pestering them).
  #22  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:17 PM
Terraplane Terraplane is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Who the hell came up with this Sting Pain Index? (I know, Schmidt). And who volunteered for the research?

I'm betting it was similar quality science as that which lead to the Scoville Hot Pepper Heat Scale (designed by Wilbur Scoville and a panel of tasters).

Anyway, the water bug doesn't bother me much. The insect I see fairly frequently around here that creeps me out the most is the praying mantis. When I get up close to or pick up one, they always turn their heads and eye me cooly ("Will I be able to make a meal out of this one? Darn, it looks too big.")
If they (mantises) are big enough they may bite you. When I was a kid I picked one up after my mom telling me they won't hurt you. It turned its head to look at me and then it bit down on the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. It hurt. Thanks mom.

I still think they're just about the coolest bug ever.
  #23  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:16 PM
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Insects like the one in OP's picture, but much longer than 3 inches, are common in Thailand -- indeed several ended up next to our house just two days ago due to a storm. They're often fried and eaten! The Thai word for the species (which is applied to several other species, including some chelicerates as well as insects) is also a slang word meaning "pimp."

Among arthropods on our property I consider the one depicted in this video to be most frightening and dangerous, though there are others my wife detests more.
  #24  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:36 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Tarantula hawks.

0 percent tarantula.

0 percent hawk

100 percent bad ass.
  #25  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:56 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is offline
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Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
It was a Praying Mantis! I had NO IDEA we had those in Canada. I bent over really close to see him and he turned his head and looked up at me. Creeped me right out. So then I was worried about him being so close to the road and put my hand near him to shoo him off the road and the bugger jumped at me. I pretty much screamed my head off and ran away back to the car.
We occasionally get some huge Praying Mantises (Mantisae? Mantisases?) here in my area. I've never seen one act aggressively, though- they've always been very docile for me.

Here's one I found on my porch a year back or so- that's my hand holding it.
  #26  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:58 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is offline
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Since you won't link, I will. Unlike the insect in the OP, these guys don't hurt humans (well, unless you're aggressively pestering them).
We had a swarm of those things last year. We thought they were hornets, and I even girded my loins to go out and find their nest to kill 'em... and then realized they were nesting in the ground. I did some research, and found out that they're completely harmless.

They look scary as hell, though. And they're not shy- it's like they don't think anything can hurt them.
  #27  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:37 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Kill it with fire!
Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. (Somebody had to say that, too.)
  #28  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:39 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post

"Waaaait a minute..." I say and pull over, get out and walk back to see the bug. It was a Praying Mantis! I had NO IDEA we had those in Canada. I bent over really close to see him and he turned his head and looked up at me. Creeped me right out. So then I was worried about him being so close to the road and put my hand near him to shoo him off the road and the bugger jumped at me. I pretty much screamed my head off and ran away back to the car.
I've read that these are the only insects that can look over their shoulders. My son once almost picked one up, thinking it was a stick. That's when we learned it's also the only insect that can sneer. (Which it did after it flew off a little ways.)
  #29  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:31 PM
appleciders appleciders is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Who the hell came up with this Sting Pain Index? (I know, Schmidt). And who volunteered for the research?

I'm betting it was similar quality science as that which lead to the Scoville Hot Pepper Heat Scale (designed by Wilbur Scoville and a panel of tasters).
That was my thought. Those descriptions of insect stings sound like things that a wine critic would say. "Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy"? "Hot and smoky, almost irreverent"? "Distinctly bitter aftertaste"? "Light, ephemeral, almost fruity"? This is clearly the work of a deeply warped man.
  #30  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:53 PM
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Ayuh, up here in Maine, we have these water beetles, nasty bugs, they've been known to eat small frogs as well as tadpoles, and in a thoroughly nasty way

Those "biceps" are used to latch on to the frog, they then use their rostrum (or "beak") to inject a venom that liquified the frog, turning it into a frog slushy, then slurp out the liquified contents

And yes, the bite is painful, very painful, I've been bitten by a similar water insect, the "water scorpion", while wading in our pond, it's basically a Giant Water Beetle with anorexia (very thin and spindly)

The bite caused a strong burning sensation for a half hour or so, and the welt from the beak took about three days to go away

I've also been bitten by a small centipede while I was digging potatoes in my garden, the centipede was about an inch long or so, and the venom produced a similar burning sensation for about a half hour

Neither was as bad as a sting from a yellow jacket, that burned much stronger and for about an hour, the finger I was stung on (this was an unprovoked sting, I did nothing to aggravate the wasp, it just flew up to me and stung me) swelled up to twice it's size and I could barely move it for a couple hours

The most memorable envenomation though, was a bite from a yellow garden spider, while the bite itself was essentially painless, the venom caused my right arm to have minor muscle tremors/spasms for at least 20 minutes
  #31  
Old 04-14-2012, 10:56 PM
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I love the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. It is inevitably a subjective scale, so Schmidt ran with it and had some fun with the index descriptions:
Quote:
1.0 Sweat bee Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
A true pain connoisseur isn't afraid to use appropriate descriptors.

Quote:
2.0 Yellowjacket Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
There's a story here, I know it.

Quote:
4.0+ Bullet ant Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.
And that's where it tops out.

Speaking of, here's what the Hyperbole and a Half creator came up with to replace the absurd pictorial pain scale used at doctors' offices. It conveys the essential concept much better.
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  #32  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:36 PM
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Schmidt left out cow killers (velvet ants). One stung me three times on my leg. Brilliant, intense pain for hours followed by bright, cherry-red swelling for two days.
  #33  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:47 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by booklover View Post
Since you won't link, I will. Unlike the insect in the OP, these guys don't hurt humans (well, unless you're aggressively pestering them).
Hey, I took some intimate photos of one with her prey a few years back -- click the thumbnails to enlarge.
  #34  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:19 AM
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One of the first things I saw once I stepped out of my car in Florida was a grasshopper approximately the size of a Chihuahua. It took me about a minute to convince myself it wasn't a plastic model some kid had left in the grass. And then it moved.

* shudder *
  #35  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:30 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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From Wikipedia, "Adults fly at night." I emphasize: these things can FLY. I am joining RickJay in Antarctica, where you will find me hiding under mybed surrounded by a wall of protective penguins.
  #36  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:39 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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One of the first things I saw once I stepped out of my car in Florida was a grasshopper approximately the size of a Chihuahua.
Are you sure it wasn't a locust?
  #37  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 AM
YogSothoth YogSothoth is offline
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Note to self: Don't click any links in this thread. That picture of the bug in that guy's hand almost made me shit my pants
  #38  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:51 AM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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Sheet, that ain't nuthin, boy... if you can handle the most twisted and horrifying bugs we already have, you can handle anything. (And of course I am referring to this Satanic monstrosity)
  #39  
Old 04-15-2012, 01:39 PM
Mann Slaughter Mann Slaughter is offline
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Note to self: Don't click any links in this thread. That picture of the bug in that guy's hand almost made me shit my pants
This. ^^^
I innocently clicked on the OP's link only to be faced with a creature that will haunt my dreams for the next six months!
I love reading everyone's descriptions and stories, but I'll be damned if I'm clicking on any more of these links.
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  #40  
Old 04-15-2012, 02:19 PM
shantih shantih is offline
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One of the first things I saw once I stepped out of my car in Florida was a grasshopper approximately the size of a Chihuahua. It took me about a minute to convince myself it wasn't a plastic model some kid had left in the grass. And then it moved.

* shudder *
Could that have been a Lubber grasshopper? They're not Chihuahua-sized, but they're awfully substantial.
  #41  
Old 04-15-2012, 07:43 PM
Labtrash Labtrash is offline
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That's just a giant water bug. The cockroaches here in South Carolina keep them as pets.

For pure bug induced horror, how about the Japanese Hornet?

Sweet dreams.
  #42  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:01 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
We occasionally get some huge Praying Mantises (Mantisae? Mantisases?) here in my area. I've never seen one act aggressively, though- they've always been very docile for me.

Here's one I found on my porch a year back or so- that's my hand holding it.
I had one of those in my hand once and it bit me deep enough that the wound bled. Death To Them ALL!!

I'm coming to the conclusion that we must establish a nuclear Zone of Death along our norther border. The only doubt I have is that these critters would eat radioactive stuff and just grow BIGGER.

Plan B is to fatten up Canadians so us Chubby Americans aren't tempting these critters across the border for easier meals.
  #43  
Old 04-16-2012, 12:26 AM
Kiwi Fruit Kiwi Fruit is offline
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I think these are the ugliest, meanest looking ones. Close to Antarctica, too!
  #44  
Old 04-16-2012, 12:34 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Fruit View Post
I think these are the ugliest, meanest looking ones. Close to Antarctica, too!
They're making more of those things?! Deliberately? Please send me the lab coordinates so I can call in a Predator drone strike.
  #45  
Old 04-16-2012, 07:17 AM
Panurge Panurge is offline
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Note to self: Don't click any links in this thread. That picture of the bug in that guy's hand almost made me shit my pants
This comes from The Lurker at the Threshold? Worst post/username combo in thread.

  #46  
Old 04-16-2012, 01:40 PM
YogSothoth YogSothoth is offline
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This comes from The Lurker at the Threshold? Worst post/username combo in thread.

Even the Lurker has stuff he doesn't like. There's an entire dimension I built just to store scary bugs
  #47  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:02 PM
CannyDan CannyDan is offline
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The giant water bug (Lethocerus) ranges throughout most of North America. They leave the water and fly to find a mate. Sometimes they seem attracted to street lights. I've seen literal piles of them, totaling multiple bushel baskets of 3+ inch crawlers, in certain places where this occurred. My experiences were in southeastern Florida, but here's a link to an occurrence on Florida's other coast.
  #48  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:10 PM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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I've seen the big water bugs, but never knew they could bite. Thanks for the warning.

I love praying mantises-- they look cool and they eat pests. I caught them all the time as a kid, some about 6 inches long. Never got bit.

Cicada killers are fun to watch, and I've always thought garden spiders were beautiful. Never bitten or stung by either of them, either. Or centipedes.

Come to think of it, what are y'all doing to get attacked by these critters?
  #49  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:51 PM
Pops1963 Pops1963 is offline
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Just one more bug story. When I lived in the Mojave desert I was taking care of some paperwork one Sunday evening when a SunSpider crashed the party.
Luckily I was already sitting with my pants down or it would have been even uglier.
  #50  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:36 PM
Archergal Archergal is offline
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Originally Posted by MacTech View Post
Ayuh, up here in Maine, we have these water beetles, nasty bugs, they've been known to eat small frogs as well as tadpoles, and in a thoroughly nasty way
There's a passage from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek where she describes this happening.

It's horrifying. I've been scared of giant water bugs ever since, even though I've never actually SEEN one.

Last edited by Archergal; 04-17-2012 at 08:36 PM.
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