Subject: Wild Lookin Turtle Bug
Geographic location of the bug: Upstate NY
Time: 06:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
Earlier this week (6/29) came across a bug that I have never seen before, and neither has anyone else that I have talked to!
I was on a beach by a lake in the Adirondacks, and in the sand I saw what I believed to be a very small turtle shell. Upon picking it up, I realized that it was not a turtle, but a large insect! It was about 1.5 inches long, the front 1/3 of the insect looked like a large ant or beetle , and the rear 2/3 looked exactly like the shell of a small turtle.
I did not have a camera or phone with me so I do not have a picture, and I have been unable to find anything close online. I know that you have said that it is unlikely that you can ID the bug without a picture, but I just had to ask. I attached a drawing if that is of any help.
Any ideas you have would be great, thanks!
How you want your letter signed: Chris
At first we thought your drawing resembled a Spider, sans a pair of legs, but your excellent written description, including finding it on the shore, leads us to believe this is a Dragonhunter naiad, the aquatic larva of the Dragonfly Hagenius brevistylus. It is thought that its shape causes it to look like a submerged leaf, helping it to capture prey.
Thanks for the quick response and great identification, that is exactly what I saw! I am super impressed with both your insect knowledge and amazing “customer service”!