Drawing of Beetle
August 21, 2012 12:39 PM
Dear bugman,
I don’t know if you have found my request yet or not, but just in case (and possibly to save you time) I am re-sending both the drawing and the original request, which I sent on August 1 – probably just before you were away:

My daughter just called me with a description of an insect that we can’t identify.  Unfortunately she can’t get a good photo, but gave me very detailed instructions over the phone, by which I have attempted to draw it for you.  It is shaped more or less like a ladybug, but a bit larger than the ones we usually see – about the size of a Japanese beetle.  It is mostly white, (with a pearly sort of sheen to it,) but has markings in blackish iridescent green, including a border at the edge of each shell that runs from its “shoulders” all the way to the back of the shell, but leaving a narrow white strip at the edge that you do not see from above- only when you look from the side. The green stripe becomes narrower towards the back, so that from above it almost appears
not to connect at the back, but from behind you can see that it is a continuous band. The band dents in slightly at the front, making the central white area slightly heart-shaped.  It has seven green spots, arranged from front to back in three evenly spaced pairs, and ending in a single spot in the center.  The center pair of spots is slightly larger.  The front pair are slightly oval.
The center and rear pairs are each joined by a hair-thin line.  The pronotum has a marking in the center about the width of the head, that dents in, then out, then in again.  Its antennae have no obvious club.  The first half of each antenna is orange, and the far half is black with a bit of a gap in it.  As best I can tell from her description, the head appears to have a sort of snout or proboscis.  She described it as looking almost like a third antenna, (and colored the same,) with which it was grasping its prey, which she believed to be the larva of a tortoise beetle.  Its legs are orange, and its feet black.  Only the feet are visible from above, but from the side it looks leggier than a ladybug.  Its stomach is about half and half black and orange, but the insect disappeared on her before she could get down the markings.  It appears to be a beneficial insect.  Can you identify it from this description and my second-hand drawing?  I will be curious to see how close my drawing came!  Thank you so much for your great website- I use it often!

(Update – I mailed my drawing to my daughter to have her check it for accuracy, and remarkably, she says the drawing I did by her instructions over the phone is almost identical to the one she did while actually looking at the beetle!)

Drawing of a Stink Bug Nymph, maybe

Dear akienhorse
This drawing really accurately resembles an immature Stink Bug.  There are many possible species, and this email did not contain a location.  It might be a Southern Green Stink Bug Nymph.  There are many other possibilities.  Here is a Green Stink Bug Nymph and here is another unidentified Stink Bug Nymph from our archives.

Sorry, I meant to mention that the insect was found in Bridgton, Maine (USA.)  None of the stink bug nymphs on either your website or BugGuide look quite like it, although the one from Maine does come closer than the others.  My daughter said it was a beetle, not a bug, but I will have to question her further to make sure she had that right.  I am hoping to get out to see her this weekend, and will see if I can download her fuzzy photo onto something I can bring back to my computer and send to you.

Ed. Note:  August 26, 2012
After several comment exchanges, akienhorse eventually matched this drawing to an Anchor Stink Bug nymph on bugGuide.

Location: Maine

7 Responses to Drawing of Achor Stink Bug Nymph

  1. Cesar Crash says:

    Man, if I know what iridiscent mean, , because of the beetle appearence and because of the orange “stomach”, I think it’s a jewel bug nymph more or less like this or this

  2. Cesar Crash says:

    Hey, this one has orange antenae and legs, black antenae tip and the two upper spots with the two pairs of associated points below. It’s identified as Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale – Hawthorn Shieldbug nymph

    • bugman says:

      Thanks Cesar,
      We could speculate forever on the identity of the insect in this drawing. Thanks for finding another possibility.

  3. akienhorse says:

    Thanks, bugman and Cesar, for your efforts to identify my daughter’s find. What I find so baffling is that she described it as being mostly pearly white, with only green markings on the back. The only suggestion so far that comes close to that description is the “unidentified stink bug nymph” from your archives, but it has a dark band across the front portion of the back that doesn’t fit the description. The lack of detail in your archives photo makes it hard to tell if the spots really match, although the general arrangement is close to right. How much variation is there in the color of nymphs of one species? Do they have to be an exact match to be the same species, or can the colors vary that much? If the markings need to be an exact match, then so far it appears we have not identified it. I hope someone can eventually tell us what it is, or whether we perhaps have something rare or as yet unknown.

    • bugman says:

      The greatest difference between our archive and that of BugGuide is that we maintain very tight control of our content. All postings come directly through our editorial staff and only registered members are able to make comments. Our staff is too small to post every identification request we receive. Our tiny editorial staff then deletes any inappropriate comments to ensure that the material on our site is child friendly, though not necessarily child appropriate, as we are, after all, adults. Bugguide allows anyone to register and post images, so the archive and number of postings is much vaster. We suggest you sift through the postings on BugGuide’s Pentatomidae family. There is tremendous variability in Stink Bug nymphs, both within species and between species. Additionally, Stink Bugs go through five immature instar phases, each ending in a molt. Within the same species, there can be differences in coloration between instars. This is why we state originally that though we strongly feel your drawing accurately represents a Stink Bug nymph, it is impossible to make an accurate identification based on the drawing.

  4. akienhorse says:

    I stand corrected! It really is a stink bug nymph! (More specifically, an Anchor stink bug nymph.) When I went through Bug Guide before, I must have been looking in the wrong place, as I never found anything resembling my daughter’s bug. At your suggestion I tried again, this time under Pentatomidae family, and there it was! It is absolutely, positively, a Stiretrus anchorago nymph.
    There are several clinchers. First of all, except for Bug Guide’s examples having black markings while my daughter’s had blackish green markings, I might as well have made my drawing from their photo instead of from my daughter’s description over the phone. Bravo to her for giving such an accurate description! You are quite correct about the wide variation in coloration. Bug Guide quotes one expert as saying it “helps to be colorblind” when trying to identify these critters. Second, unlike most stink bug subfamilies, this one is predatory. My daughter was correct in saying that it appeared to be eating a beetle, and that she thought it might be a beneficial insect. Apparently they have an appetite for the larvae of Japanese beetles and Mexican bean beetles, among others. The third clincher was that I got out to my daughter’s yesterday and got to see her photos (albeit a bit blurry) of her mystery bug as well as another which she saw shortly afterwards. She had said that the second one was definitely some kind of stink bug, while the first was not at all the same shape, and looked more like a ladybug. Well, I downloaded both her photos onto my laptop, and when I came home and went online to look again, lo and behold her second bug is the adult, and the more beetle-shaped first one is the nymph! My sincere apologies for having doubted you. I do have to admit, though, its overall oval shoulderless shape certainly more resembles a ladybug than a stink bug, so I can’t blame my daughter for her mistake.
    Thanks again for helping us get a positive i.d. We will look forward to seeing this friend in our garden again. I will see if I can get my slow dial-up connection to send you the photos of nymph and adult in a separate email.

    • bugman says:

      Glad we could help. Larvae of Japanese Beetles are grubs that live underground. The Anchor Stink Bug will prey upon adult Japanese Beetles.

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