From the monthly archives: "January 2011"

Mites under a microscope!
Location: Western NC
December 2, 2010 8:52 am
An individual at my school came in yesterday with a hair mousse bottle almost completely encrusted with these little fellows. According to her, they’re all over her electronics and hair care products, but no where else.
She thinks they may have come in on a used rug or carpet one of her family members recently purchased, but cannot be certain. Their population seems to have exploded overnight.
I tried to aim my little camera into the ocular to take a photo, but couldn’t focus things properly. The photo does hive an outline of the creatures though. I forget the magnification setting I had selected, but I *think* it was 250x. The mites could only be visibly discerned as tiny white specks.
Any ID help is appreciated.
Signature: Jacob


Dear Jacob,
Even with your wonderful photo, we do not feel qualified enough to provide an identification for you on these Mites, but perhaps one of our readers will supply an identification.

Black bug in my pantry
Location: Gilbert, AZ
December 4, 2010 4:42 pm
We found these little black bugs in our pantry. They appeared to have eaten rice in a box of uncle ben’s wild rice and it apparently was deadly, because most of them were dead. We live in Gilbert AZ, which is just SE of Phoenix. Thanks.
Signature: Pete

Drugstore Beetle, we believe

Dear Pete,
There are numerous small and unrelated beetles that will infest stored foods in the Pantry, and we unscientifically categorize them as Pantry Beetles.  Some are quite difficult to tell apart.  We believe this is a Drugstore Beetle,
Stegobium paniceum, which you may read about on BugGuide.

Drugstore Beetle to scale

Bug/Insect Type
Location: Currently in Indiana…but may have been brought from Hawaii
December 3, 2010 11:32 am
Do you know what type of bug/insect this is? I brought a doll (made in Hawaii) to Indiana from Hawaii in August 2010, upacked it from the box it came in and placed it in my curio cabinet. I recently found this bug/insect in my curio cabinet. I saw it one day and when I went back to get it I couldn’t find it…then a couple days later, I saw it again on a higher shelf….This time I captured it. Sorry for the dust :). Can you tell me what kind of bug/insect it is? Is it Hawaiian? Please help!!
Signature: Curious Sue

Assassin Bug Nymph

Dear Curious Sue,
We decided to go back through our unanswered mail to try to post a few additional letters and photos, which is why we are so late in responding to your query.  This is an immature Assassin Bug, and based on a photo we found on BugGuide, we believe it may be in the genus
Zelus.  This comment from Eric Eaton can be found on BugGuide:  “Zelus is a genus in utter confusion right now, so even adults are getting harder to put to species.”  Since members of the genus may be found in Indiana as well as Hawaii, we are uncertain where this individual may have originated.

Small Australian Beetle?
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
December 31, 2010 10:32 pm
I found this rather cute looking beetle on my loungeroom window and was wondering if someone could help me identify him. He is only small, about 2-3cms (approx an inch), can fly, and has very well gripping feet.
Signature: Sam.

Leaf Beetle

Hi Sam,
This is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  This is a large family and many species look similar.  We tried to find a match on the Brisbane Insect Website, and the closest we could come was that this might be a member of the genus
Paropsis, sometimes called the Eucalypt Tortoise Beetles.

Black Bug is South Dakota
Location: South Dakota
January 1, 2011 12:40 am
It is almost January, 30 minutes away to be exact. I am in Brookings South Dakota. This bug flew into my bathroom and surprised me. Reminded me a bit of a boxelder bug but without the red. Is it unusual to see bugs in the dead of winter?
Signature: -Brooke

Masked Hunter

Hi Brooke,
This is a species of Assassin Bug known as a Masked Hunter,
Reduvius personatus.  The common name Masked Hunter refers to the ability of the immature insect to camouflage itself with dust and debris because of its sticky body surface.  The debris is often accumulated in its immediate surroundings.  We have one image in our archive of an immature Masked Hunter covered in turquoise fibers because the house in which it was living had a turquoise carpet.  Masked Hunters are beneficial predators in the home and they are also known as Masked Bed Bug Hunters, a fact that should bring comfort to many who worry about the prevalence of media attention to the epidemic of Bed Bugs nationwide.  According to BugGuide, the Masked Hunter is:  “Capable of inflicting a painful bite if handled but does not feed on blood, and does not transmit disease“, so it should be handled with care.

Unknown Insect

Blue Eyes Lacewing Hatchling Larva

Unknown Insect
Location: North Coast NSW Australia
January 1, 2011 12:33 am
Hi. I usually can identity most insects in my region but these babies are a complete mystery. These pictures were taken on the ceiling of an exposed patio on the mid north coast of New South Wales Australia. The insects hatched in January which is mid summer. They are very tiny and I used a macro setting on the camera to take a large image, then cropped it to bring the zoom in. (if that makes sense)
Thanks for your time.
Signature: Niall

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs Hatching

Dear Niall,
These are eggs from the order Neuroptera, and the most likely candidate is that they are the eggs of the Blue Eyes Lacewing,
Nymphes myrmeleonides, based on images that are posted to the Brisbane Insect Website.  The website indicates “They lay white eggs arranged in ‘U’ shape near houses and fences” and “The larvae are litter dwellers, they cover themselves with debris. They are predators for other small insects. They hunt under logs or debris.

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs