big yellow bug with big black eyes, wait, red eyes
Location: Williamsburg, Va, USA
May 3, 2011 2:48 pm
Hello! Last night I was sitting on my patio with my dog. I was waiting for her to do her business when I heard her sniffing at something. Usually, she would go on about her business but she just kept sniffing at something. So I went to take a look and saw this big yellow bug, a little over two inches. It has a larg abdomen and six legs. On top of it’s head, at first, I thought to be two large black eyes. I looked from another angle and saw that it infact had two red eyes and that the black dots were perhaps a sort of defense pattern. What I found most strange were the slightly transparent, yellow, soft leaf/petal like elements, one on each side of the head that almost looks like a collar. I took a hand shovel to push it a little so test its reaction and it did little to nothing. I tried aggravating it a little so it would walk onto the shovel so I could throw it over the fence. Since I do not know what that insect is capable of, perhaps poisonous if injest ed, I did not want my dog to eat it. Thanks for answering!
P.S. I apologize for the blurryness. I was using my cell phone camera with night vision, it’s very hard to keep absolutely still. I didn’t want to miss the chance of capturing an image.
Signature: Curious Bugger
Dear curious Bugger,
Despite the extreme blurriness of your photograph, we are quite confident that this is a newly emergent Periodical Cicada thanks to your vivid verbal description. It is also a member of Brood XIX, the Great Southern Brood, which appear every 13 years and is profiled on this website. After spending 13 years underground as nymphs, when the soil temperature reaches 64ºF, the mature nymphs rise to the surface en mass and metamorphose into adults, usually at night. Because their emergence is based on soil temperature, they generally appear in the southernmost reaches of the range first, and as warmer weather reaches the higher latitudes, so do the appearances. Here is a map of 2011 emergence records. If you are lucky, you will be treated to one of the most unique and unusual of insect sightings, the mass emergence of thousands of 13 Year Cicadas whose ear-splitting mating calls will fill the trees for about 6 weeks. During that time, they will provide a bounteous meal for birds, reptiles and mammals that will gorge themselves on the fatty morsels. They are also considered a delicacy for entomophages of the human sort. Here is a photo from BugGuide of a newly emergent, teneral member of the Great Southern Brood. Its wings should have expanded and hardened and its body should have darkened several hours after its emergence.
Thank you so much for your informative response. So those are the guys that won’t be quiet, ha ha. Thanks again for the links.