From the monthly archives: "May 2005"

Orange Bug – now BIG black bug
I had emailed a few weeks ago about some small orangish bugs with black dots along it’s tail end — you had suggested they might be asassin bugs…..NOW – – I just got back from vacation and found these bad boys on my tomato plants….no more of the small orange ones….I think they grew up…and they fly now…. > I watched them a bit this morning and they seem to be "secreting" some clear fluids from their tails….. Do I kill these things or leave them?
Robyn McRae

Hi Robyn,
You have Leaf-Footed Bugs, Leptoglossus phyllopus, from the Coreid Bug group. It is a widespread and conspicuous minor pest of many kinds of crops including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and ornamentals. This includes tomatoes. Here is a page with more information.

weird bug
Hi – I’ve seen another interesting bug. It was crawling across my porch. it’s not the first time I’ve seen its kind, and have always wondered what it is. Thanks!!

Hi Michelle,
The wonders of metamorphosis never cease to amaze. Most everyone can identify a Ladybug, more accurately a Ladybird Beetle, but few people recognize the larval form. That is what you have photographed. They have ravenous appetites and devour huge quantities of Aphids. The Larval Ladybird Beetles are often found in tall grass and they are very mobile.

ID, plant bug?
Hi, Daniel.
You were so helpful with the last mystery bug, I wonder if you could help me with this one. Finding it on my cukes and celery. About 1/4″ long. Any ideas?

Hi Amanda,
I’m afraid we can’t be much more accurate than you have already been. It is a True Bug, and possibly a member of the Plant Bug family Miridae. This is a large family of soft bodied insects, most less than 3/8 inch long. They use their beaklike mouthparts to suck plant juices. They are often injurious to crops.

Good enough. I’ll keep feeding them to the chickens. Thanks again.

Can you please help me identify this bug in my lawn. It looks like a flying beetle and I need to know if it is going to cause problems. Please let me know if you cannot see the pictures.

Hi Shaki,
You have a species of Spittle Bug which we identified on Bug Guide as Prosapia bicincta. The nymphs are often found sucking the juices from plants while under the protection of a mass of frothy bubbles exuded from the anus. Another common name is Frog Hopper. They are injurious.

Costa Rican bug
Hi Bugman
Congratulations for your excellent website! Don’t know if you can also help me with some Central American bug… There is a bug in Costa Rica whose droppings are extremely acid, causing severe skin irritations: the spot first turns red, then blue the next day and then all the skin far around the spot gets full of blisters and after a week or so, peels off. They call it "chinche" here. I happened to make a picture of such a guy months before I made my own bad experiences with it. Do you have any idea what class of bug it is, or where could I find information?
Kind regards

Hi Pia,
Your bug is a True Bug from the Family Coreidae, The Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs. They are plant pests. In California we have a Western Leaf-footed Bug, Leptoglossus clypealus which is called the Chincha, which means “bug” in Spanish. There are also bugs known as Chinch Bugs in the Family Lygaeidae, the Seed Bugs. Hope that helps, though we can’t give you an exact species name.

can you name this beetle?
… and do i need to eradicate from my garden? or is it a good bug?
thanks……….. bob
Effective communication is comprised of brevity, clarity, simplicity & humanity.

Hi Bob,
You have a Harlequin Cabbage Bug, Murgantia histrionica, which is a True Bug, one of the Shield or Stink Bugs from the Family Pentatomidae, not a Beetle. They range across the U.S. They feed on the juices of cruciform plants including cabbage, kale, and broccoli as well as turnip, horseradish, potato, beet, bean, grape, squash, sunflower, ragweed and citrus foliage. I find them on wild mustard. The female lays double rows of barrel shaped eggs and wingless nymphs are active all summer. They are injurious to plants, causing blotching on the foilage and ruining the commercial value.