spraying bug in Mexico
August 7, 2009
I work in the rural Yucatan Peninsula with local Mayans. One of my workers was sprayed in the eye by an unknown bug or bugs. The bug carried another bug on its back. Both are similar, but the carrier was much larger. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good foto. I send what I have, which is really just a piece of the larger of the two. They workers killed the bugs and I collected what the ants had not yet eaten. The workers said the bugs resemble crickets, only larger. Their name for the bug in Maya translates “little brother bug,” because they say the smaller of the bugs attached to the larger, is the little brother. Thanks for any help. I want to make sure my guy will be OK or if he needs any special treatment. Thanks!
Yucatan Peninsula, MX
We hope you are not offended if we say that your description was far more helpful with the identification than your blurry photos. Your spraying insect is a Walkingstick in the family Pseudophasmatidae, the Striped Walkingsticks, and quite possibly in the genus Anisomorpha. There are two species north of Mexico, one of which is the Two Striped Walkingstick or Muskmare. According to BugGuide: “Members of this genus can deliver a chemical spray to the eyes that can cause corneal damage (references quoted Texas entomology).” Most reports we receive say the effects wear off after several hours. The females are called Muskmares because of the spray and because the smaller males ride the backs of the females during the mating process. We are intrigued that Little Brother Bug is the Mayan name.