Need confirmation of a bug
June 14, 2010
I did some research, and am about 99% sure that this is a Wheel bug. A young one from what I can tell. I am just hoping you can help me to confirm this. I have been trying to use your website for a few years to help educate my kids to not just smush bugs because they are gross or scary. We have learned a LOT over the last few years, and hope to continue. This was a new one for us, and my husband admitted it was a new one for him. He grew up just a few hours north of where we are (N. Tennessee, right on the TN/KY border) and has never seen one.
This little guy was hanging out on a small rosebush, he was walking around the leaves as if to get a better look at us as we peered at him. He kept extending his front antennae out to us as if inviting us to touch him. After reading about Wheel bugs, I am thankful I did not take him up on his invitation. At one point I pointed at him, and you coulud see him straining to reach my finger. He was a rather interesting guy, and I am glad I took photos when I did, as he has now vanished. I am guessing that there are many more back there, but I read that they are usually quite shy.
At any rate, are we correct?
Sometimes identifying immature True Bugs is difficult because they look so different from the adults. Also, many nymphs from different species look similar. Though your insect resembles the nymph of a Wheel Bug, it belongs to a different family. Your nymph is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. Just last week a similar image was sent to us, and that specimen was identified as a member of the genus Acanthocephala. You can compare your individual to a photo posted to BugGuide. This is our last posting before heading east to Ohio for a week with mom.