Currently viewing the category: "Plants"

Subject: Flax seed looking thing in bed
Location: Seattle, Wa
November 24, 2013 5:57 pm
I have found a few things that look like a flax seed on my bed the last week. I also found one beetle looking brown bug on my bed it had very short legs. Can you help me?
Signature: SMG

Plant Seed, we presume

Plant Seed, we presume

Dear SMG,
As your email indicates, this appears to be the seed of some plant, Flax or other.  It does not appear to us to be the egg of an insect.  The only insect egg we can think of that it even resembles is the egg of a Katydid, but we cannot fathom how a single Katydid Egg would find its way to your bed, so we are still leaning toward this being a plant seed.

Subject: What is this bug!?
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
November 12, 2013 1:18 am
This bug was found by a friend of a friend on their friend’s kitchen table. I’m not sure if it’s even a bug. It definitely looks like something not of this world. I’ve named creature. My wife is convinced that a lizard and a walking stick or daddy long legs have successfully mated. Either way can you help us find out what we live next to?
Signature: Scared S.O.B. Nathan C.

Probably Seed Pod

Probably Seed Pod

Subject: Weird bug
Location: Las cruces nm
November 12, 2013 10:41 am
What bug is this is it dangerous?
Signature: Cs

Subject: What is this?
Location: Las Cruces, NM-on top of a kitchen table
November 12, 2013 4:41 pm
I found this picture of a bug on a friend’s facebook. A lot of people have looked at it but we can’t figure out what it is. We are concerned if it’s poisonous or dangerous.
Thank you,
Signature: idash89

Dear Nathan, Cs and idash89,
Your Facebook Family contains a few What
‘s That Bug? readers, and we will try to solve this problem.  This is not a bug.  We believe it is a seed pod of some type.  Perhaps a botanist in our readership will be able to provide additional details.

Hi Daniel,
The person who found this said it was “walking”. Any ideas?
Thanks idash

Hi idash,
We do not believe this is a bug.

Yet more identification requests
Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Las Cruces, NM
November 12, 2013 10:47 am
This bug was found by a woman in our area and everyone is arguing what it may be. We are completely stumped. It appears to have spikes coming off of it, and a stinger on its end. The envelope is for a size comparison. Thank you 🙂
Signature: Tanya

Subject: ID this bug please
Location: Southwest New Mexico
November 12, 2013 9:04 am
What is this insect or spider?
Signature: Dustin

Subject: What kind of bug?
Location: Illinois
October 11, 2013 11:22 pm
I found this bug on my sheets tonight. Can you identify it?
Sorry the picture is so bad, I was using my phone.
Thank you for any help!
Signature: Jill

Seed, not Bug

Seed, not Bug

Hi Jill,
This is a seed from a plant.  It is not a bug.

What is my egg?
Location: Redding, CA (Far Northern Calif)
April 2, 2012 9:42 am
These eggs were laid on my pansies in Redding, CA. I found them on 3/31/12. As you can see by my picture, there are 3 leaves with eggs and 1 with bugs (maybe aphids?)
Signature: Jan

Pansy Seed Pod with Aphids

Dear Jan,
We got a chuckle thanks to your letter.  The eggs in question are actually Pansy Seeds.  When they are ready to disperse, the pod pops open.  It does appear that you have Aphids, but they are unrelated to the seeds.

Aphids with Pansy Seeds

Thanks for the quick response! Silly me


What is this larva/worm-like creature in my bathroom?
Location: Southeast Michigan, indoors, second floor bathroom.
November 28, 2011 3:12 am
Hello there!
The other day I found this small crawly thing, moving somewhat like a caterpillar across my bathroom floor. I scooped him up and took it outside. Tonight, I was in the bathroom and saw one on the floor again, then noticed another on the counter, and then I saw a pair of shorts on the floor, and upon shaking them out, two more fell to the floor.
This is the first time I’ve seen anything like these critters; adult bugs usually seem cool to me, but the squishy, wormy types really gross me out.
This was in my second floor bathroom, and I have not noticed these bugs anywhere else in my house (yet?). In the pictures, you will see one end taper to a sort of proboscis, which is the ”head” of the critter, and it uses this to sort of pull itself along, it seems.
Anyhow, I look forward to your help. I’d love to know if these are a potential pest, where they might come from, and how to stop them.
Signature: Adam K.

Seeds? or Larvae???

Hi Adam,
Autumn is the time of year that many living creatures fulfill their reason for living and reproduce, and this includes plants.  Many plants have evolved unique methods of dispersing their seeds, and this includes the development of spines and stickers that attach to the fur and feathers of mobile creatures, and this includes human beings.  Clothing, like the shorts you seem to have left on the bathroom floor for several days, can become infiltrated with seeds that are transported to new locations.  We believe these are seeds, though before we enlarged the images, we mistook them for the larvae of Carpet Beetles.  If they did in fact move of their own volition, then perhaps, like Mexican Jumping Beans, the seeds contain insect larvae that are feeding on the embryo inside, eventually emerging as adult insects.  In our opinion, your things do not look like insects, but they do resemble seeds.  Perhaps eventually a reader with a more botanical background can confirm or deny our suspicions.

Not larva, but Seed, we believe

Thanks for the response… wow, that’s weird, and really creepy. You see, these things did move, and the pointed end would move around back and forth, as if it was a feeler/antenna/proboscis. The “body” was soft and segmented and moved like a slug/caterpillar, in an inching fashion… and they moved relatively fast for their size and form of locomotion.
The reason it’s weird is that those pair of shorts haven’t been worn outside for at least two months, and they were clean before I took them off. So it is hard to grasp where they came from!
Hopefully plants aren’t evolving in creepy ways! Just kidding… but anyhow, thanks again for the response. It still seems a bit of a mystery to me, but since I removed them, I haven’t seen them again

Hi again Adam,
Maybe we are wrong and maybe they really are some unknown larva or other creature.  Now that this is a featured posting, perhaps someone will be able to provide a conclusive answer.

Eric Eaton responds
Yeah, these actually are larvae.  Some kind of fly as I recall.  Hang on…..Ok, looks like larvae of Fannia:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/562282
Not sure if I want more information on exactly where they were found….:-)
Eric

Thanks much Eric.  We are also linking the the family page for these creatures, which we suspected had to be Fly Larvae if they were insects, and we learned on BugGuidethat the “Larvae live as scavengers in various kinds of decaying organic matter.”

Muscoid Larva

WOW! Holy crap! That has to be it, Daniel! Those look *exactly* like the things I saw, and you will notice that in the page there, the person said they found them “eating” cigarette butts! That must be it! There was an coffee mug that my roommate had been using as an “ashtray”, and it was nearly overflowing with butts. I dumped it out after finding the bugs, wondering if that was the problem. That’s it! Thank you!

At the risk of sounding crude Adam, we are very happy they had nothing to do with the shorts on the floor.  We are put out by human parasites.  We also feel it is fair to call them Maggots.

lol No, no, that gave me a good chuckle. I am quite happy they had nothing to do with the shorts, since the shorts are mine! I guess those little maggots crawled out of the mug, and must have fallen down onto the shorts. Human parasites are no friend of mine either 😉 I still wonder how exactly the maggots got in the glass in the first place, but I suppose a Fannia adult could have laid eggs in there before they died out. That would also explain the small flies I saw in the bathroom about a month ago.
Thanks again!