From the daily archives: "Wednesday, December 11, 2013"

Subject: Bug identification
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
December 11, 2013 7:36 am
I am trying to identify what this insect is. I live in the Caura valley and get to view some really unusual looking insects
Signature: Frank

Black Leaf Mantis

Boxer Mantis

Dear Frank,
We spent some time this morning researching this Mantis, and we did identify it as a Black Leaf Mantis,
Pseudacanthops caelebs.  The first photo we encountered that looked like it was on FYeahMantodea, but alas, it was not identified.  The second photo we found was on FelinePress, but again, it was not identified, but the location was Peru.  We learned the name, Pseudacanthops caelebs, on Project Noah.  The last image we located was on FlickR.

Correction:  January 11, 2014
Dracus provided a comment indicating that this is an
Acanthops species.  A drawing on Web of Life and images on a UC Irvine Natural History site support that identification.  The common name Boxer Mantis is also provided.

Subject: unique bug
Location: Milford, Delaware
December 10, 2013 5:36 pm
This bug was found on our stove. Looks like a cross between a cricket and a roach. The chevron design is something we have never seen before. What is it, and should be afraid?
Signature: Maria

Assassin Bug:  Microtomus purcis

Assassin Bug: Microtomus purcis

Dear Maria,
This Assassin Bug,
Microtomus purcis, has no common name.  Like most members of its family, it is a beneficial predator, however, it might bite if carelessly handled.


Subject: ID bugs
Location: New York
December 10, 2013 8:09 pm
Would like to know what type of bugs these are
Thank you
Signature: Best regard

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

The smaller, brown insects are Bed Bugs and you should probably seek professional assistance with their eradication.  The larger striped insects are Larder Beetles.  They are a nuisance that infests stored foods.

Larder Beetles

Larder Beetles

Subject: Found in clothes pile
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
December 11, 2013 7:59 am
I had some clothes laying on the carpet for 4 days and put them into the kitchen this morning. Returning home to do laundry I saw one bug on floor (squish!). Then looked back up putting clothes into washer and noticed the towel had a few of them in it. Removed clothes and shook out onto the tile flooring. Commenced squishing bugs!! 10 maybe found. Then a couple more on the counter top where they had layed all morning. Took the best picture with my iPhone.
Signature: MSH

Cockroach Nymph

Cockroach Nymph

Dear MSH,
This is an immature Cockroach.

Did some searching around upstairs and found the mother ship already dead.  Is it common for the female to die after laying eggs?  By chance how many off spring could there be ? Is this a specific variety?
Thank you,


Possibly Surinam Cockroach

Hi again MSH,
Female Cockroaches do not lay eggs, but rather an ootheca or egg case.  The Ootheca of a Cockroach looks somewhat like a grain of black rice.  We are not certain how many nymphs hatch from a typical Ootheca, but we would guess about 50.  We will try to get more accurate information for you and we will also try to identify this species which does not look like a typical Cockroach we find in Los Angeles, nor do the nymphs.

Update:  December 15, 2013
I thought it’s only fare to give you a bit of info as far as my travels.  I am from Texas, was there for nine months traveling between San Diego, Arizona, and Fort Worth. In the last 3 months I traveled to Virginia for a few days and then flew to Frankfurt Germany before reaching Jeddah, KSA. Since being here I had neighbors from France move in next door.  Our buildings are not connected.  In fact my building is a stand alone.  I have carried mainly 3 suit cases all this time.  So the chances are everywhere that this bug hitched a ride from somewhere else.  Either with me or a neighbor.  Since the day I found the little nymphs  and big roach I have not seen any others.  I keep checking daily but no other small or big have popped up.  Well that’s my good news anyways.  Thanks again.

Subject: Our Camping Friend
Location: Chaplin, Connecticut
December 10, 2013 11:45 am
This large friend spent about three weeks with us living under the outdoor gazebo during the month of June. At first my kids we’re a bit startled by it’s mere size, at least 6 inches from head to wingtip. But soon he became a member of the family. The kids were sad to wake up one morning so see their friend gone. The kids have been doing their research, but have cam up empty!
Signature: e-mail

Male Dobsonfly

Male Dobsonfly

Dear e-mail,
Even with the lack of clarity in your image, the shape of a harmless male Dobsonfly is unmistakeable.