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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this beetle poisonous?
Location: Southern California
April 6, 2014 11:01 am
Hi,
We found this bug in my daughters bed. For the past week, she has been waking up with horribly swollen and disfiguring bites that turn into oozing blisters within a few days. Any ideas what this is?
Signature: Thank you, Krishni

Western Conenose Bug

Western Conenose Bug

Dear Krishni,
This is not a beetle.  It is a species of Assassin Bug known as a Kissing Bug or Western Conenose Bug,
Triatoma protracta.  You can compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.  Though it is not a poisonous species, it is of some concern because they carry a pathogen known to cause Chagas Disease.  Chagas Disease is a much greater threat in the tropics than it is in the United States, but there is a possibility that your daughter might have contracted the protozoan that causes Chagas Disease.  According to BugGuide:  “Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in many humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan. The most notorious vector is T. infestans, found in South America. The North American species are not normally thought to transmit the disease, though they can carry the parasite. (The North American species do not normally defecate at the site of the bite, which is what actually transmits the parasite–see Kissing bugs (Triatoma) and the skin [University of California eScholarship]. The CDC site says that rare vector-borne cases of Chagas disease have been noted in the so. US.”  You may want to contact the Center for Disease Control for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Attacked while watching TV
Location: Central Mississippi
April 3, 2014 8:37 pm
Dear Bugmen, This bug came out of nowhere and flew right down the leg of my shorts and gave me a decent sized sting (or bite?). It appears to have a stinger on its head, and it did put out a pretty foul smell. Its been a few minutes so i guess I’m not going to die but I’m sure curious what he was. Any ideas?
Signature: Bewildered in Mississippi

Black Corsair

Black Corsair

Dear Bewildered in Mississippi,
This Assassin Bug appears to be a Black Corsair,
Melanolestes picipes, and though they are not considered dangerous, the bite is reported to be quite painful.  You can compare your individual to this image posted to BugGuide.  It is noted on BugGuide that:  “Males seen in open in spring, presumably searching for females? During mating, spongy pads on legs are used by males to mount females. …  Males come to lights in summer.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Caution: reported to sometimes bite humans (when handled).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug in Maine
Location: Northeastern USA,Maine
March 29, 2014 9:15 pm
Hi bugman. We just got our first semi nice day here in Maine and all the birds and bugs are coming out,quite beautiful. But,we had some clothes out on the clothesline and we shook them out good then we saw this bug tonight. Not sure if its from outside from the clothes or from our basement? Our neighbor just did get back from Florida,too. It has my mother freaked! lol
Signature: Jacob from Maine

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

Hi Jacob,
It is quite apparent from your images that this Masked Hunter met with an untimely end, perhaps at the hand of your “freaked” mother.  The Masked Hunter is a local species for you, and it is a species that has adapted to living in close proximity to humans.  Masked Hunters are predators that when they are immature, like your individual, have a sticky surface that attracts dust and debris, effectively masking them, effective camouflage in their environment.  Masked Hunters feed on Bed Bugs and other undesirable creatures in the home, so they are beneficial, though they might bite if carelessly handled.  We would urge you to be more tolerant if you encounter additional Masked Hunters in the future, and we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Indianapolis Beetle
Location: Indianapolis, IN
March 29, 2014 7:08 pm
We saw this bug at a house we are considering buying. Should we be concerned about an infestation? Is it a type of cockroach?
Signature: Corey C.

Red Shouldered Bug

Red Shouldered Bug

Dear Corey,
This is a Red Shouldered Bug,
Jadera haematoloma, and it is basically a benign species, however, when they have a food source and conditions are correct, they can become quite plentiful when they gather in aggregations, and then they might become a nuisance.  Red Shouldered Bugs feed on the seeds of various plants, including the Goldenrain Tree, Koelreuteria sp.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae tend to feed in groups, and favor developing seeds and fruits of their favored hosts, but will also suck sap from foliage, flowers, buds, or oozing stems. They feed on a variety of plants primarily in and related to the family Sapindaceae. Favorites include Balloonvine (Cardiospermum species) and Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria sp.), both in Sapindaceae, and they regularly use Soapberry (Sapindus sp.; Sapindaceae) and Maple/Boxelder (Acer sp.; Aceraceae). Additionally, reported on a variety of other plants, especially feeding on fruit, including Chinaberry (Melia azedarach; Meliaceae), Fig (Ficus spp.; Moraceae), Althaea (Malvaceae), Plum, Cherry, & Peach (Prunus sp.; Rosaceae), Apple (Malus sp.; Rosaceae), Grape (Vitis sp.; Vitaceae), Ash (Fraxinus sp.; Oleaceae), etc. Adults sometimes gather around human food leftovers and other smashed insects to feed as well.”  BugGuide also notes that the Red Shouldered Bug:  “Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Corythucha species in so cal?
Location: Deukmejian Wilderness Park, La Crescenta, California 91214
March 28, 2014 10:49 pm
Hello,
I have been recently photographing a species of Lace Bug (Corythucha) for a biology project that I cannot identify. I have found these solely on the Thick-leaf Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon crassifolium) and observed clusters of the nymphs as well (which I have included in the photos). The adults seemed to be exhibiting some maternal care and am very curious to find out what species I have been observing as this is the only population I have been able to find in this area. I have collected these photos from Deukmejian Wilderness Park in La Crescenta, CA 91214 in the Alluvial community at an elevation of 2500 ft. I will greatly appreciate any information you can lend to me, thank you for your time.
Signature: Travis Farwell

Lace Bug

Lace Bug

Hi Travis,
You might want to try posting these images to BugGuide as well because we are a bit leery of providing an exact species identification on Lace Bugs which are quite similar in appearance.  For now, we are posting your excellent images in the hope that one of our readers can provide additional information.

Lace Bug Nymphs

Lace Bug Nymphs

Thank you for your help Daniel, I will be posting to BugGuide shortly.

Let us know if you get a definitive identification.

Lace Bug

Lace Bug

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect found in house
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
March 26, 2014 7:44 pm
I have never seen an insect such as this before. It is very lethargic so I had no trouble capturing it. It is about a centimetre from nose to end of body. The body seems to be slightly concave when viewed from the side or the top. It cannot climb glass.
Signature: Xerli

Masked Hunter Unmasked

Masked Hunter Unmasked

Dear Xerli,
This is an immature, predatory Assassin Bug that is commonly called a Masked Hunter because the nymphs are sticky and they attract all manner of debris to their bodies, effectively masking them.  Your individual must be newly molted as it has not yet masked itself.  Here is a matching image from BugGuide to support our identification.

Hi Daniel, thanks for the info. I did notice that there is dust stuck to the body, but not a lot. How do they survive a Canadian winter, especially one like we have had in Winnipeg, Manitoba this year? Is this type very common here? I ask because I have not seen one before.
Regards,
Xerli

Hi Xerli,
Most of our reports of Masked Hunters come from homes, not the outdoors, so we can presume that they have adapted to cohabitation with humans.  We suspect that it might have been introduced to your home from some purchase or by hitch-hiking with a visitor.

Hi again, just answered all my own questions! Found the Bug Eric site http://bugeric.blogspot.ca/2013/01/true-bug-tuesday-masked-hunter.html
Xerli

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination