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Old 11-21-2006, 04:08 PM
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 70,814,682 times
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Also in Missouri are assassin bugs. Theyre not deadly but can inflict VERY painful bites. They fly but are seldom seen. They have a "beak" (proboscis) that they inject digestive/paralyzing enzymes into their prey. They then drink the bugs from the inside out, leaving just a shell. Theyre rather slow, but if handled or disturbed, they shove that beak into you and it hurts like the dickens! Here is a assassin bug I found in Missouri (Fitchia aptera):
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j292/Illinoisboy/Fitchiaapterasideleftcloseup.jpg (broken link)

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j292/Illinoisboy/FitchiaapterarearRHview.jpg (broken link)

Here is a silhouette of it, showing in detail the beak:
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:47 PM
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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Thanks for the explanatin Steve-O about the differences in Black Widow species. That made it clear to me. I usually found them by recognizing their webs first which look haphazard and badly and erratically woven...no symmetry like other spiders, just silk shot everywhere and jagged edges. Black Widows certainly perform their function I'm sure in Nature...but they are terrible at Spider architectual beauty... As for the Assassin bug...gross...reminds me of a nastier version of the chigger which bites, injects a fluid into the victim that dissolves living tissue into a liquid, then it sucks it out...UGH. Gross. As for the scorpions... hmmm...and to think I keep my shoes all along the closet floor.. I do check for spiders just in case if I haven't worn them in awhile, but I never thought to check for scorpions in Missouri!
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:55 AM
Location: Just a few miles outside of St. Louis
1,921 posts, read 5,252,098 times
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Lots of good information, Steve-O. Funny thing, not one bit of it surprised or alarmed me. For one thing, I have kinfolk in, and around, the Springfield area, and have been there a number of times. More importantly, living in NW Florida, (the Panhandle, between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach), we have many of the same critters that MO has. But, I didn't see a picture of a wolf spider. Do you have those?

To anyone who is alarmed by these critters, (that is planning to move there), trust me, you get used to them. You may not like them, but you get used to them. Keep your distance from the nasty ones, use common sense, and you will be fine. I would rather deal with these types of creepy crawlies, than deal with the two-legged ones, anyday! (Besides, if you do have to kill one, you won't have others trying to fine you, sue you, throw you jail, use political correctness against you, etc. ). These critters are beneficial, and so long as they are not in my house, or are an immediate threat to me, outside, I leave them alone. Better yet, they usually leave me alone. They are just as scared of us, (if not more so), than we are of them! (I know, those of you with major critter phobias, just rolled your eyes, and gave a nervous laugh, but it is true).
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:28 AM
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Don't be scared of this stuff! Such a non-problem overall. These bugs etc don't want anything to do with you except the chiggers, ticks and mosquitos and you can contol them with no problem. Quit hiding under the bed and come see for yourself. Not meaning to sound mean at all.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:01 PM
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Hi, Fed up!
You may want to consider your definition of "conservative" vs the Midwest's definition of "conservative". I consider myself pretty conservative, too, however so far my experiences with the "Midwest conservative" have been judgemental, snobbish, arrogant and just plain down right rude. However, I hear Indiana is a pretty friendly state! Never been there, though. Good luck to ya!

Hi, CelticLady 1.
Yes Missouri has wolf spiders or at least here in Cape Girardeau. I get them every summer in my basement. We also have copperheads and rattle snakes that slither into our back yard occassionally. My neighbor had a copperhead trying to move in their basement when the weather started turning cooler. :eek

(I left off the second colon in my last post)

Last edited by Marka; 11-24-2006 at 06:48 AM.. Reason: merged
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:34 AM
Location: Joplin area
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Wow, I never knew that the Joplin area had different kinds of spiders. I have seen the snakes and even scorpions, but the spiders I didn't know about.
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Old 11-24-2006, 01:28 PM
23 posts, read 76,525 times
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The spider and insect pictures are amazing, informative, and dare I say beautiful?-in their own right. Thank you so much! Although I am one to leave them alone (what with running away while screaming for my husband), I don't know what happens to them after I leave. I just know they are expected to be gone when I return. Thank you, though, for allowing me the chance to safely view such creatures. Maybe next time I won't scream so loud!
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:06 PM
Location: SW MO
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Hello, all!! My first post after perusing the forum for awhile. Steve-o, thanks for sharing some very beautiful pictures!!!
We moved to MO in 1998 from the northern states, and tho I had a problem with the insects, snakes, etc. I've pretty much gotten used to it. This past Summer's heat nearly did me in, but that hasn't been a common occurence since we've been here.

Wow--Steve-o, that pic of the copperhead made me realize I must be much more careful on my jaunts outside. It looks like you might not even see it if you weren't watching for it!!!
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:40 PM
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 70,814,682 times
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Thanks for the comments! And yes, be careful where you step. Most snakes, and especially the venomous ones, are very cryptic. You dont see them unless you REALLY look for them (like I do) and even then its hard to tell heads from tails, theyre very well camoflaged.
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Old 12-06-2006, 02:23 PM
12 posts, read 39,544 times
Reputation: 14
Default tarantulas

Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
HOLY COW!!!! None of ya'll told me there were tarantulas in Missouri!!!!!!!!!

There. There. IF you life in town, you will probably never see one. When a child, I lived in southern MO. Scorpions andTarantulas were thick. My mom kept a tea kettle on the stove all the time and sloshed the poor things with boiling water. It was the easiest way to kill them. We also have brown recluses but I have only seen a few of them in my life. They are here, but not every-day common. There was also a scary, hairy thing that is called a grass spider, or wolf spider. They say they are harmless, but I find them really scary.

I now live in Northern Mo and never see scorpions or tarantulas.
There is SOME thing everywhere. I wouldn't live in CA because of earthquakes. My sis lived in CA many years and wouldn't live in MO because of tornados.
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