Subject: Martha’s Vineyard bug
Location: Martha’s Vineyard, MA
October 7, 2012 1:17 pm
I photographed this on Martha’s Vineyard on Oct. 6, 2012. It was a sunny day, about 70 degrees F.
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, and we have been getting at least one identification request per day despite not posting any new images lately. Your photo is exceptional, so we are creating a new posting. The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific northwest, but beginning in the early 1970s, it began to increase its range, most likely through accidental human intervention. The Western Conifer Seed Bug is now found across the northern portion of North America in Canada and the northern states. In the early 2000s, it also was introduced to Europe where it is spreading. This is one of our most common identification requests when the weather cools as the Western Conifer Seed Bug will enter homes to hibernate. It is not considered a threat to people, pets or homes, and it feeds on fluids from the seeds of conifers, so it doesn’t do any harm to the trees themselves either. It is considered a nuisance when there are high population densities of Western Conifer Seed Bugs.
Thanks for the quick response and the kind words about the photo.