Subject: Sierra Nevada bug I cant identify
Geographic location of the bug: Eastern Sierra range
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi, encountered this lovely green and red (or orange?) bug at 9800 feet near a lake in eastern Sierras near mammoth,
CA. An entomologist friend thought it was a “true bug” but wasn’t sure specifically what it was. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed: Craig P
When it comes to attempting to identify unknown insects, large and showy creatures with a wide distribution range are much more likely to be documented with online images than are smaller insects with a limited range. Species only found at higher elevations are often poorly represented on the internet. We agree with the entomologist that this is a True Bug, but if that was the best the entomologist could provide, we might be going out on a limb stating we believe this is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae. It looks similar to the Scarlet Plant Bug pictured on The Natural History of Orange County, but it is obviously a different species. We had no luck browsing BugGuide which indicates there are 1930 members of the family in North America. Perhaps one of our readers will recognize your Mirid Plant Bug.
Thank you so much! That alone is helpful (and interesting). Had no idea this would be such a stumper, but I’m also a novice.
Thanks again. Will keep eyes out for more thoughts.