Subject: Unidentified insect
Geographic location of the bug: Lone Butte, British Columbia
Time: 06:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi there, I’ve found a couple of these insects around our new property in the interior of BC and was wondering if this is some type of cicada, or is it something else entirely?? The ones I’ve been seeing appear to be hiding when found (in rock piles and old abandoned shacks). When found they seem to only want to be on their back with legs in the air…very tricky to get them to flip over to see the pattern on the back. They are about an inch or so long, and 1/2 an invh wide (very chubby looking through the abdomen). The one I found today had green stuff in its mandible area. Neither had fully developed wings so thinking they aren’t yet adults, but seems to be getting late in the year to be seeing insects that haven’t fully developed yet…we’ve already seen snow here and daily highs are regularly in the single digits now. We live in a mature fir forest if that helps.
I’m really quite curious to know what these critters are, what life stage they are at, and if they are common to see in BC’s interior.
Thanks a bunch for any info you can provide.
How you want your letter signed: Julie Kline
We believe this is a Great Grig, Cyphoderris monstrosa, and according to BugGuide, they eat: “staminate flowers of coniferous trees, and flower parts & pollen of broadleaved shrubs; sometimes eats fruit and small insects” and “males stridulate to attract females or to announce territory; males also have fierce fights over territory and/or females.” The habitat is described as “coniferous forests containing Lodgepole Pine, Englemann Spruce, and Mountain Hemlock; adults hide beneath leaf litter during the day, and become active at night, climbing tree trunks and continuing high into the branches to feed, sing (males), and mate.” BugGuide even has an image of a Great Grig on its back as you describe.
Much appreciated! I did a bit more research after sending you this request and suspected the same thing. They really are pretty cool bugs.