Please tell me he’s not a killer
After moving to Southern Colorado a few months ago, we have become huge fans of your website while attempting to identify many of the unknown insects (at least to us!) we have encountered here. We were prepared for the rattlesnakes, but it was the 4-5" Multi-colored centipedes, huge wolf spiders and a myriad of Black Widow spiders which caught us off-guard. Anyway, it all got to be a little too much for our 7-year old daughter when I was explaining to her that she needed to stay back from any shiny black spider she might find while out playing in our back yard and she wailed,"Why does everything here want to kill us??!!" (And up until this point I had thought I was doing a good job being calm and factual about the whole thing.) Anyway, we have been able to calm most of her fears regarding new bugs thanks to your great site. Here is one that has stumped us though. We spotted this little guy on the side of our stucco house a few days ago. He was between .25" and .5" long. His unique body shape intrigued me and I can only guess that it’s the larval stage of some common insect. My best guess was some sort of Antlion because we have something like those living in the dirt below where we found him. I would love to know what he is and also for my daughter– does he want to kill us??!! Thanks so much.
We quickly located Nisoscolopocerus apiculatus on BugGuide. Nisoscolopocerus apiculatus is an atypical member of the family Coreidae, the Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs. Other than the identification and the following description: “body mottled gray, pear-shaped (abdomen expanded, head and thorax narrow); wings short in adult, barely covering anterior portion of abdomen; antennae apparently 3-segmented, bent laterally almost 90 degrees after first segment; terminal segment spindle-shaped”, there was not much helpful information on BugGuide, except to say that it lives “on the ground in dry fields and savannahs.” Coreid Bugs are plant feeders and they will not harm you. Thank you for contributing a new species to our site.
Thanks so much for the speedy ID–it made a great surprise birthday present for me ; ) I noticed that the Coreid photos on BugGuide were from the county just north of us, so maybe it’s unique to this area. Regardless, I’m glad to know its relatively friendly. My daughter was also thrilled to see it posted on your site. As an artist-type myself who dreams up great projects which then take on a life of their own, I just have to say,”Keep up the great work. It’s appreciated!!”