Ant in armor
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 1:03 PM
I found this fellow about a month ago when I picked up a lawn sprinkler. It looks a lot like an ant. But it doesn’t have the clear narrowing between segments and looks almost like it is wearing a suit of armor. Also, there was only one that I could find and behaved with more curiosity and intelligence that most ants. I can’t seem to find anything quite like it on the web. Do you know what it is?
Oak Ridge, TN
PS: I hope repeats are OK. I asked about an adult ant lion some months ago.
This is a new family for us. Your insect is a True Bug known as a Broad Headed Bug in the family Alydidae. We believe it is the nymph of Megalotomus quinquespinosus which has no common name. According to BugGuide, it feeds on the juices of plants, especially those in the pea family.