The bug in the image above…March 26, 2007
Edit 20070726- I replaced the image above. Here’s another picture of a larval brachypsectrid.
…is a larval brachypsectrid. The Brachypsectridae are a family of beetles that are quite unremarkable as adults, but the larvae are very flat, doormat-like things with big teeth at one end and a big spike at the other. When a spider, mistaking the beetle grub for an actual doormat, walks on it, it is impaled on the teeth by the spike. Apparently, dudes wot ot 2 no believe that the grub actively attracts the spiders with a false pheremone.
They live in Texas and Australia. OK leave me alone, I don’t know where they live, but for America north of Mexico it’s just Texas and a very small, probably extinct introduction in SoCal somewhere.
I nicked the image from here.