Let me start with my apologies for sending big, clumsy pics rather than cropping and optimizing them, and, if it’s inconvenient, for sending these smaller files to replace them. I must also apologize for failing to include any information regarding the bugs aside from their location. Truth is, they didn’t do anything remarkable aside from be very pretty and hang about. I rarely if ever saw them on plants, but almost always on structures (the house, the shed, even the bird perches, but never plants that I can recall). I never saw them eat. I was never bitten by one. I tried for years to have them identified. They were there every summer, first in congregations and later alone or in much smaller and less cohesive groups. They were beautiful and I enjoyed their company greatly, but the only thing I ever learned about them was that they were ‘some kind of assassin bug’. :-> That may be all I ever learn, I suppose, but that doesn’t diminish at all what they added to our landscape. Anyway, thanks again for a truly excellent resource (and a great idea all the way around; I admit to a certain sense of curiosity what you learn in your occupational field of expertise from the photos submitted by us non-photographers). I hope these photos (poor as two of them are) are of some use. Peace,
We want to begin our reply by telling you how much your letter has warmed our hearts. First, your name “Peace” is a joy. The polite tone of your query is quite refreshing. As you might have read on our homepage, we are having difficulties receiving images. All large images are being transmitted, but we cannot open them. This is a problem we are eagerly waiting for our web master to correct, but personal obligations have limited the time he can devote to charity work on our site. We are being forced to delete most correspondance as it is too much for us to email each and every person back and redirect them to send us images in another format. Additionally, we have never been able to answer everything. Now, getting to your question. These photos show a juvenile and adult Florida Predatory Stink Bug, Euthyrhynchus floridanus. Clear images of the adult can be located on BugGuide. The Florida Predatory Stink Bug is doing something remarkable for your yard. They are helping to control problematic insects in your garden without the need to use pesticides. Lastly we want to critique your images that you have labeled as “poor”. Poor is subjective. Your blurry image shows the distinctive coloration and markings of the adult specimen and that allowed us to make the identification. As artists who teach photography, we tell our students that a less than optimum image of a rare or important event or thing is preferable to no photograph at all. It is also our observation that the introduction of digital photography has made many amateurs into quite competant visual chronicalers, though we fear for the longevity of the archives due to the lack of negatives. Thanks again for your appreciation of the aesthetics of the natural world.
Daniel and Lisa Anne