From the yearly archives: "2012"

Subject: orange bug with black stripped legs
Location: spotsylvania virginia
December 31, 2012 10:52 am
Found on a window screen. Tried search but no luck.
Signature: barbara from virginia

Sycamore Assassin Bug

Hi Barbara,
This is a Sycamore Assassin Bug in the genus
Pselliopus and since it is the second individual from the US that we received in the past two days, we suspect there are other Sycamore Assassin Bugs showing up in the area.  The Sycamore Assassin Bug from Tennessee was found in the kitchen sink.  You didn’t clarify if your individual was on the inside looking out or the outside looking in.  According to BugGuide there are three eastern species and they look quite similar.  We don’t feel too confident trying to identify your Sycamore Assassin Bug to the species level.  BugGuide states:  “Adults hibernate under rocks, bark, sometimes in groups” and there is no mention of them trying to hibernate in homes, but through the years, we have gotten enough reports of them being found indoors in the winter that we can make that assumption.  Pselliopus barberi is found in Virginia and according to BugGuide, it “overwinter as adults.”  Another eastern species is   Pselliopus barberi and according to BugGuide, it is:  “Dull orange, marked with black and white, especially legs and antennae (1). Pselliopus cinctus and Pselliopus barberi appear to be the two widespread species in the eastern United States. Dull-orange adults from this area are likely (?) cinctus, and bright orange ones are likely (?) barberi. This guide is being written somewhat provisionally at the species level.”  Based on that information, we are guessing that your individual is most likely Pselliopus barberi.  BugGuide also indicates:  “Adults likely overwinter.”  Since it is the last day of the year and the month, it is time to select a Bug of the Month for January, and since we have had two sightings in two days of Sycamore Assassin Bugs, we have decided to feature your submission as Bug of the Month for January 2013.

Thank you! He was inside. Stinky when I had to squish hIm. No others sited (yet).

Thanks for the clarification Barbara.  This particular species of Assassin Bug did not pose a threat to you or your home, however, many Assassin Bugs deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled.  We cannot recall any incidents of folks writing to us about being bitten by a Sycamore Assassin Bug.

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Amboseli, Kenya
December 27, 2012 11:39 am
Please can you help me identify this species. It’s a caterpillar found in East Africa and is about 3-4 inches long and about as thick as a man’s thumb.
Signature: curious conservationist

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Dear curious conservationist,
This is the caterpillar of the Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth or just plain Emperor Moth,
Bunaea alcinoe.  You may verify our identification on the African Moths website.  We learned from David Gracer, who runs Small Stock Foods, that they are edible. 

Subject: roach?
Location: Portland, Oregon 97266
December 30, 2012 5:06 pm
Hi! I’ve had 4 of these in my room, and found a couple dead downstairs. Looking through your site I *think* it’s some kind of roach.
The bugs seem to be attracted to light, both natural and lamps (I found the first two in my lamp, and the other two were on or around the window on a sunny day. They fly, but not very quickly.
Should I be worried about them harming my home or myself?
Thank you for your time, and your site! I’ve used it several times to ID bugs since I moved to Oregon from Minnesota!
Signature: Lynnette Carlson

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear Lynnette,
This is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug,
Halyomorpha halys, and we just learned on BugGuide that it also has two other common names:  Interstate Bug and Asian Stink Bug.  This is an introduced species that does not have any natural predators in North America, so it is increasing in numbers and expanding its range unchecked.  Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs frequently enter homes as the weather cools so that they can escape harsh temperatures and hibernate until spring.  We suspect that you are finding individuals that have entered you home to escape winter conditions.  They will not harm you or your home, though they are a nuisance.  Additionally, their increasing numbers might be contributing to the decline of native species that compete for food and habitat.

Amber Assassin Bug
Location:  Cosby, TN
December 30, 2012
Hi and Happy New Year!
Found this black ‘n’ white adorned critter in my kitchen sink today.  I haven’t been able to find very much information about it, other than it’s been found in Florida, Maryland, Massachusette, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and I was hoping that you might be able to provide more info.
December 30, 2012
Cosby, TN ~ The Great Smoky Mountains

Sycamore Assassin Bug

Dear Renée,
This is a Sycamore Assassin Bug in the genus
Pselliopus.  According to BugGuide, there are three species found in the Eastern U.S. and we do not feel confident identifying your specimen to the species level as they look so similar.  Like other Assassin Bugs, they are predators and according to BugGuide, they search for their prey in:  “Meadows, fields; typically on flowers.”  BugGuide indicates that:  “Adults hibernate under rocks, bark, sometimes in groups” and since many Heteropterans or True Bugs seek shelter from the winter cold in homes, that could explain why you found this individual in your kitchen sink.  We don’t know where you found the name Amber Assassin Bug but we did find a BugGuide posting with that description for Pselliopus cinctus.  In the future, please use our standard form for submissions.

Subject: bug in Panama garden
Location: Bqquete, Chiriqui province, Panama
December 29, 2012 10:42 pm
I watched this for ages in the garden in Boquete , there were 4 of the same on the one branch and did not seem interested in going anywhere even when I got really close. they were about the size of a thumbnail. I have never seen anything like this before and would love to know what it is, is it poisonous etc.
Signature: Thanks, Carol

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymph

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymph

Hi Carol,
This colorful individual is an immature Giant Mesquite Bug in the genus
Thasus.  Not only is it not poisonous, it is actually edible.

Subject: Aggressive brown spider
Location: South Central Texas
December 29, 2012 5:08 pm
Hey bugman,
I unknowingly swept up this brown spider in my kitchen. He wasn’t too pleased, and responded by lifting his front legs in aggression when I moved near to take the photo. He’s hairless and about the size of a gold dollar. Is he dangerous? I’m trying to decide if I need to move out of my apartment or not!
Signature: Brittani Wray

Probably Giant Crab Spider

Hi Brittani,
We don’t often trade with gold dollars, but we are guessing that this spider is a pretty good size.  There is not that much detail in your image, but based on the general shape and the relative length of the front two pairs of legs, we believe this is a Giant Crab Spider, perhaps
Olios giganteus which you can find pictured on BugGuide.