Currently viewing the category: "True Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Type of bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles
Date: 10/18/2017
Time: 06:04 PM EDT
Found this bug on the main stem of my woody plant. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Abel Z.

African Painted Bug

Dear Abel,
This is
Bagrada hilaris, the African Painted Bug, a recently introduced, invasive Stink Bug that is normally found on plants in the cabbage family, including wild mustard.  Daniel first found African Painted Bugs in his own vegetable garden in 2009, a year after they were first reported as an Invasive Species.  According to BugGuide:  “2008 – CA – earliest NA record: Los Angeles Co., CA 2008” and “hosts on members of the mustard, nightshade, mallow, legume, sunflower and grain families, causes substantial damage to cruciferous crops such as broccoli, cabbage, mustards, and cauliflower, as well as infests a wide range of other crops and weeds species (Palumbo and Natwick 2010). It has become a serious agricultural pest in the sw US.”  It seems the hemp family Cannabaceae can be added to the list of plant families affected by this “serious agricultural pest.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Found on Asters and it appears to prey on bees
Geographic location of the bug:  Bloomington, Indiana
Date: 10/16/2017
Time: 09:31 PM EDT
I’ve seen a couple of these bugs. They are pretty small, only looking like a tiny piece of bark that fell onto the flower. They seem to park themselves on the aster and aren’t afraid of being photographed. Today, I got a shot of one sucking on the abdomen of a small bee. It looked like the bee wad dead.
How you want your letter signed:  Teddy Alfrey

Ambush Bug eats Flower Fly

Dear Teddy,
Your images are exquisite.  The predator in your images is an Ambush Bug, and though it resembles a bee, the prey is actually a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family SyrphidaeAmbush Bugs are frequently found on blossoms where they ambush insects, many of which are pollinators.

Ambush Bug

Thanks for the “exquisite” comment, and the quick reply!!
My thought was that the prey was something like a Mason Bee, but of course, you’re right about the Flower Fly.
I have quite a few insect photos on my Flickr page:
And on Facebook:
Other than bees, my favorite insects to photograph are spiders, but I don’t get much love for my spider photos!
Thanks again!!!

We have published your links so maybe you will get some additional traffic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Catskill New York
Date: 10/15/2017
Time: 10:15 AM EDT
Hundreds of these bugs on and around my house. Also finding their way into my house.
Can you tell me what they are ? Are they pests or are they good for my garden ?
Thank you !
How you want your letter signed:  Deb

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Deb,
Though it is a North American species, one can make the argument that the Western Conifer Seed Bug is an invasive species when it is found outside its original range of the Pacific Northwest.  Beginning in the 1960s, there was a noticeable range expansion across much of North America and eventually into Europe, and this range expansion is probably due to human assistance.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs will enter homes when the weather begins to cool, and they probably stowed away in luggage and other items that people took with them when they traveled or relocated.  Though Western Conifer Seed Bugs feed on the seeds of conifers, there is no evidence they harm the trees themselves.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Zarcero, Costa Rica
Date: 10/14/2017
Time: 04:28 PM EDT
I haven’t found this guy in books or websites yet. Is it possible you know what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Charlie Doggett

Cog-Wheel Bug

Dear Charlie,
Your insect bears such a strong resemblance to the North American Wheel Bug that we are quite certain it is in the same genus.  Many years ago we posted an image of a mating pair of similar looking members of the genus that we tentatively identified as
Arilus carinatus, but we do not know how many members of the genus are found in Central America.  Right now we cannot access BugGuide to verify how many members of the genus are known.  Flicker has an image of Arilus carinatus that looks very similar to your image, and we strongly suspect that identification is correct.  A google book entitled Latin American Insects and Entomology by the amazing Charles Leonard Hogue has a drawing on page 223 of the Cog-Wheel Bug, Arilus carinatus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bed bug or flea?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Indiana
Date: 10/11/2017
Time: 06:12 PM EDT
Hello, there is a concern about bugs in the couch at my workplace. Now we’ve had an exterminator visit 3 times in the last month. Twice he brought a dog to sniff for any sign of bed bugs. All three visits he told us we had nothing to worry about if our concern was bed bugs. He mentioned it could potentially be fleas since we are located in a very pet friendly location. But im still not entirely convinced. I’m attaching one photo of a picture of the bug. And another photo next to a basic ink pen to compare size. What is your opinion here? Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Zach

Bed Bug

Dear Zach,
Thanks for including the ballpoint pen tip for scale.  This is a Bed Bug, and its small size indicates there is probably a breeding population of Bed Bugs in the couch.  If the exterminator did not address the issue, and if the couch isn’t valuable, you might want to consider discarding it.

Bed Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  UFI – Unidentified Flying Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Park County, Colorado 9300 feet
Date: 10/09/2017
Time: 05:40 PM EDT
I was draining our water feature yesterday and noticed this bug swimming underwater.  Its hind legs were really long, making it a good swimmer.  I fished it out of the pond and it flew away pretty quickly.  Bright green between the eyes.
Can you ID it?  None of the sources I’ve looked at seem to have it.  Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Brad Klafehn


Dear Brad,
As its name implies, this Backswimmer in the family Notonectidae swims on its back, with its ventral surface up.  Your individual looks like the one in this BugGuide posting from a high elevation in California that is identified as
Notonecta kirbyi.  It is also reported from Colorado according to BugGuide’s data.  As you observed, Backswimmers can also fly quite proficiently, which serves them well should the pond they are hunting in dry out.  Backswimmers are also called Water Bees or Water Wasps, according to BugGuide, because of their painful bite, a fact many swimmers and waders can confirm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination