looks like a louse, but the legs are all wrong…
Location: Los Angeles, CA
March 8, 2012 12:39 am
I found a bug while bathing my kids. Singly in the water.
I have looked and looked online. The closest thing is lice. But it is soooo different looking…
* Color and opaqueness
* visible dark eyes
* visible internal ’organs?’
* Antenna similar length smooth and seem segmented looking
* tubular body
* legs tucked under
* legs are set of 3 flat ovals with tiny simple foot kicking out at about 45degree angle, all pressed against underside of body not visible from top view. with two additional very small front legs that are leg like (not flat disc like the other 6) ending with a single point foot (not claw like like a louse).
* the upper torso is segmented (like a crawdads tail) and tapers down the abdomen ending with two points at the back.
* the torso is slightly larger than the abdomen – more oval to accommodate the tucked legs.
* each leg comes from one of the segments.
The mouth parts are hard to see, but seems to have a little bit of a two part mustache (palp). The way the light hit they eyes it seemed like they might be compound because there were a lot of light dots reflecting back.
It is a soft exoskeleton which yields to the tip of the pin as I push.
It is about 7.5 mm long (9mm to the tip of antenna).
The cat jumps into the tub when it is empty and drinks water that pools under the faucet.
I always rinse the tub before bathing, but sometimes more than others. I was tired this evening, put about 70% into it.
So it could be from the outdoor cat, or from the kids. It was a hair washing night… or…
I sure hope I was able to give enough information, clearly enough for you. I used a 30x – 25mm illuminated loupe to ID this little guy. I don’t have anything that would be able to photograph him though…
Signature: Lesley Sue
Dear Lesley Sue,
We do not believe this is a Louse, but we are uncertain of its true identity. It most closely resembles one of the plant sucking insects in the order Hemiptera, most likely an immature nymph. We suspect it might be something the cat brought in. The photo doesn’t have much detail. You can try browsing through the photos on BugGuide from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha to see if you can find a match, or perhaps one of our readers will write in with a comment.