University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #17

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


This creature, though not an insect, can be quite dangerous. If you were to get bitten by a Black Widow Spider, you should seek medical attention immediately. The female of this species is easily recognized by the red, orange, or yellow hourglass-shaped spot on the underside of her abdomen. She gets her name from the unique habit she has of eating her mate. To read more about spiders, take a look at Entfact 622 - Common Spiders Found Around Homes and Buildings and to read about a spider with a very unusual method of capturing prey, see Bolas Spiders.


This very destructive insect, the Japanese Beetle, is not native to the United States but has probably caused more damage here than in its native country. It was first found in New Jersey in 1916 and has since spread through most of the northeastern United States. The larval stage of this insect is an especially destructive pest in lawns, golf courses and pastures, feeding on the roots of many plants. The adults feed on foliage, flowers and fruit and are most active on warm sunny days. You can read more about the Japanese Beetle by following these links:

Japanese Beetles in Kentucky
Japanese Beetles in the Urban Landscape
Distribution of Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica) in Western Kentucky

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This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: