What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Singapore insect
Location: Singapore
June 4, 2014 9:24 am
Hi Daniel
Was wondering if your expertise could point me in the right direction to ID this guy. I wasn’t sure what to put in the subject. I found it on the bark of a tree in rainforest habitat. It’s quite small about 15mm in length.
Signature: David

What's That Bug???

What’s That Bug???  A Jumping Tree Bug

Dear David,
This really is a disorienting image.  We are nearly certain this is a True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera, but it has some very distinctive features, including huge eyes that are almost fly-like and antennae that almost seem to come from the bottom of the head.  We are going to need some assistance with this identification.  It seems to resemble a Backswimmer like this image on BugGuide, but it does not look aquatic.

Wow!  Definitely a plant bug in the family Miridae.  There are some really strange ones.  The family is so large and diverse that I cannot begin to even assign a subfamily to this one.

It is almost like it can turn its head 180º.

Update:  Jumping Tree Bug
Based on comments received yesterday, the consensus is that this is a Jumping Tree Bug in the Plant Bug subfamily Isometopinae, and this image from BugGuide supports that consensus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Singapore

10 Responses to Jumping Tree Bug

  1. David says:

    Thanks for your efforts Daniel. The only guess I could give myself is that maybe it’s some type of plant bug.

  2. sccabrian says:

    This looks quite a bit like a plant bug (Miridae). The single closed cell at the base of the membrane and the cuneus are the two biggest clues to me. There’s a lot of disparity in the family, but that’s my best guess!

    • sccabrian says:

      Sorry for the split comment, but I feel I should add that for some reason it looks like the subfamily Isometopinae. We have a few here in the US, and they’re definitely a little bit weird. I believe one of the characteristics that makes them a Mirid oddball is the presence of ocelli (which I believe your bug has). If I’m not mistaken, they’re specialized scale insect predators as well.

      • David says:

        Thanks very much for your reply. I can confirm the presence of ocelli from a larger image of the same bug. Your Isometopinae suggestion is intriguing. Bugguide.net mentions the following characteristics for Isometopinae: “Ocelli present (uniquely among the family), eyes often holoptic, head unusually shaped, often flattened anteriorly”. Sounds very like our guy although he was a bit bigger than the 2-3mm length mentioned on the bugguide site. He was small but more like 15mm.

      • bugman says:

        Thanks so much for your comment, and we are glad you were able to assist David. This image on BugGuide does have a similarly shaped head.

  3. Tiew Chong Yi says:

    I think it is a species of the Geocoris.


    • bugman says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, but there are quite a few folks who believe this is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae and probably in the subfamily Isometopinae, and based on this image posted to BugGuide, the members of that subfamily do have unusually shaped heads.

  4. David says:

    Great sleuthing everyone. Thank you.

  5. Claas Damken says:

    Hi everyone,
    It might be a bit late to give my few cents here, but it is indeed a mirid in the subfamily Isometopinae. There is the genus Astroscopometopus which looks a bit like this specimen:


    However, I am not convinced but the 15mm size info. All isometopinae and the vast mayority of plant bugs in general are much smaller. (objects in the camera display appear larger…)

    Here is another image of a similar creature where I added a scale bar (different species though):




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