From the monthly archives: "January 2018"

Subject:  unknown
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, Arizona
Date: 01/28/2018
Time: 09:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  maybe 6 or 7 mm long
How you want your letter signed:  Daniel Gronseth

Cactus Fly

Dear Daniel,
This unusual critter is a Cactus Fly in the family Neriidae, probably the Longhorn Cactus Fly,
Odontoloxozus longicornis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide the habitat is:  “Deserts; larvae in decomposing cacti.”  Thanks to your submission, we have created a Cactus Fly category, moved previously uncategorized postings into the new category, and moved previous postings originally categorized as Stilt Legged Flies into the correct family category.

Subject:  Strange tiny insect with pincers
Geographic location of the bug:  Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Date: 01/27/2018
Time: 05:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I just found this insect on my wall inside of my apartment. Have never see anything like it before.  It has 3 tiny legs on each side of the body plus the larger pincer on each side. Before killing it, the pincers were resting foreword, not pulled in like in the picture I took.  Any thoughts or ideas would be great!  Thank You so much.
How you want your letter signed:  My name is Lindsay… not sure what else to put there.


Dear Lindsay,
This is a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion that will help keep your home free of small unwanted creatures.  Pseudoscorpions seem to have adapted quite well to living with humans.  That is a conclusion we have reached after receiving 100s of identification requests of Pseudoscorpions found in homes.  We rarely, or possibly even never, receive images of Pseudoscorpions in natural environments.  Furthermore, most of our sightings are from colder climates, with the vast majority occurring in Canada.  Though you were unaware of its identity at the time of the killing, we hope in the future you will be more tolerant of Pseudoscorpions found in your home, so we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Hi Daniel,
I really appreciate the speedy reply. Now that I know the insect is harmless I will definitely be tolerant of them, in the event I see another one.  I actually hate killing anything, including insects ( I actually put stink bugs outside instead of killing them, lol)
Thanks again

Subject:  Coon Bugs
Geographic location of the bug:  Cowra NSW
Date: 01/27/2018
Time: 09:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just read your response to another person re these bugs so thought I would also add my location sighting fyi. While we don’t have cotton, we do have marshmallow weed and peach trees.
How you want your letter signed:  Jennie

Aggregation of Coon Bugs

Dear Jennie,
Thanks for submitting your image of an aggregation of Coon Bugs,
Oxycarenus arctatus, in the family Oxycarenidae.  This is only our second submission of Coon Bugs since we initially posted in 2014.  According to Cesar Australia:  “The coon bug is a seed and fruit feeder, which occasionally swarms on cultivated plants including cotton, stone fruits and some vegetables. They prefer malvaceous plants such as marshmallow weed, but can reach pest status on crops, especially in dry seasons when other food is scarce. Feeding causes young fruit to shrivel and leaves discoloured patches on ripening fruit. These small bugs are most abundant in warm weather and are often found swarming around fowl yards, on fences and around the walls of houses. Adults are about 3 mm long with a black and white body. Nymphs are black with a conspicuous blood-red abdomen.” 

Aggregation of Coon Bugs

Subject:  Ants protect it.
Geographic location of the bug:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 04:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this “button” like thing, along with a few other attached to a chia stem. Ants seems to be feeding from them and protects them.
How you want your letter signed:  Quique.

Scale Insect

Dear Quique,
We feel pretty confident this is a Scale Insect in the Hemiptera superfamily Coccoidea which includes Mealybugs as well as Scale Insects.  These are plant parasitic Hemipterans that are immobile as adults.  Like many other Hemipterans, including Aphids and many Hoppers, the Scale Insects exude a sweet “honeydew” that is attractive to Ants, so Ants often care for the Hemipterans.  Planet Natural has a nice posting regarding Scale Insects.

Subject:  Elm Seed bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Osooyos, BC Canada
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi There
Just hoping to get conformation on this beetle.
Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Hannah Rowe

Elm Seed Bugs

Dear Hannah,
We agree that these are invasive Elm Seed Bugs,
Arocatus melanocephalus.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to, and widespread in S. & C. Europe, established and spreading in w. NA (BC-OR-ID-UT)” and “Invades homes during summer, may stay through the winter.” 

Subject:  Found in kitchen
Geographic location of the bug:  Sullivan county NY
Date: 01/26/2018
Time: 08:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I don’t know what this bug is.
How you want your letter signed:  Nancy Heller

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Nancy,
Western Conifer Seed Bugs like the one you submitted often enter homes when the weather cools so that they can hibernate.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs, though a nuisance, do not pose any threat to your home or furnishings, and they will not harm you or your pets.