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

Subject:  Fun red bug of Togo
Geographic location of the bug:  Sokodé, Togo
Date: 04/22/2018
Time: 10:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this red bug in Togo which fascinates me.  Can you identify it, please?
How you want your letter signed:  Jerry Day

Immature Red Bug

Dear Jerry,
Your image is really great, but we are not going to be able to provide you more than a very general identification.  This is an immature Red Bug in the family Pyrrhocoridae, and we suspect it is probably a Cotton Stainer in the genus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Subject:  What are these Assassin Bug nymphs doing?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 04/20/2018
Time: 04:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  That’s definitive, but what are they doing rolling around those sacks, and some of the sacks have been hung up?
Thanks for identifying.
How do you want your letter signed:  Mel Frank

Immature Leaf Footed Bugs with “Pod”

Ed. Note:  We met recently with noted author Mel Frank (see Amazon) and we correctly identified what he thought were Assassin Bug nymphs found on Cannabis as Leaf Footed Bug nymphs, probably in the genus Leptoglossus, based on BugGuide images as well as images from our own archives, and he wrote back wondering about this unusual activity.

“Pods” hung by immature Leaf Footed Bugs

Hi again Mel,
As we stated earlier, these Leaf Footed Bug nymphs are phytophagous, meaning they feed on plants.  Like other members of the True Bug suborder Heteroptera, they have mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids, and members of this genus are frequently found on plants like tomatoes, pomegranate and citrus, and they damage fruit.  BugGuide notes:  “some are extremely polyphagous” indicating that they will feed from many types of plants.  Some typically plant feeding True Bugs are known to feed on dead and dying insects, including members of their own species, but that is opportunistic behavior and not true predatory behavior.  What you witnessed and observed over time, the nymphs “rolling around those sacks” and then hanging them up, sounds like the behavior of a predator storing food the way spiders wrap up prey with silk.  We wonder, perhaps, if while feeding by sucking the fluids from your
Cannabis, these Leaf Footed Bugs ingested cannabinoids resulting in altered “mindbending” behavior similar to experiments on a Spider’s ability to spin a web after exposure to drugs (see Priceonomics).  We have not clue at this time exactly what is in that sack these nymphs were rolling around, or why they were rolling them around and hanging them up.  It is a mystery.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he knows anything about this type of behavior in Leaf Footed Bugs from the family Coreidae.  We can’t help but be reminded of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the aliens using pods to generate simulacra of humans. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Possibly a Giant waterbug
Geographic location of the bug:  Tom Price Western Australia
Date: 04/19/2018
Time: 03:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi me and my daughter found an interesting bug in our pool. We live in Tom Price Western Australia (the Pilbara region) we found It  swimming around in the pool, when it was brought out it made the shape of a leaf. I suspect it is a Giant water bug, but this one is quite thin and it has long “tail”possibly a syphon for air while it lays in wait in the water.
Ive never come across one that looks like this before
How you want your letter signed:  Jordan Chennell-Kuehne

Water Scorpion

Dear Jordan,
We reserve the name Giant Water Bug for the group of aquatic predators in the family Belostomatidae.  This is actually a Water Scorpion, another aquatic predator from the family Nepidae, and both families are classified together in the superfamily Nepoidea, meaning they share physical similarities.  According to Ausemade:  “With their large pincer-like forelegs used for seizing their prey, Water Scorpions can inflict a nasty nip, although they are also known to play dead when disturbed.” 

Water Scorpion

Thank you so much for this information, Ive already got all the details for my daughter she loves insects and is very interested so of course we encourage studying them and learning about them.
Thanks again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Difference between  assassin bug and kissing bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern New Jersey,(Wenonah) right outside of Philadelphia
Date: 04/15/2018
Time: 10:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug in my bathroom sink this morning. I thought it looked like a kissing bug. My bf says, no, it’s an assassin bug. Is there a difference?
How you want your letter signed:  Melody Schantz

Sycamore Assassin Bug

Dear Melody,
The easiest explanation to your subject like is that all Kissing Bugs are Assassin Bugs, but not all Assassin Bugs are Kissing Bugs.  Kissing Bugs in the genus
Triatoma are members of the Assassin Bug family Reduviidae, so they bear a physical resemblance to other Assassin Bugs.  Kissing Bugs pose a significant threat to human health as they carry the pathogen known to cause Chagas Disease in humans.  Many Assassin Bugs will deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled, but the bite does not do any permanent harm.  The insect in your image is a Sycamore Assassin Bug.  It is not a Kissing Bug but it is possible to be bitten by a  Sycamore Assassin Bug.

Wow, thank you so very much for your time and explanation!! I truly appreciate it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Audrey
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwest ohio
Date: 04/06/2018
Time: 06:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey I found this in my bearded dragon tank and can’t figure out what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Audrey

Bed Bug Nymph

Dear Audrey,
This sure looks to us like a Bed Bug nymph, and you can compare your individual to this BugGuide image.  This is quite puzzling for us.  According to BugGuide, the members of the Bed Bug family are “ectoparasites of birds and mammals; most are associated with birds & bats, only 2 spp. (
Cimex lectularius and C. hemipterus) are permanently associated with humans.”   According to the U.S. Government Environmental Protection Agency site:  “Young bed bugs (also called nymphs), in general, are: smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.”  Your individual appears to have recently fed, presumable from the blood of your Bearded Dragon.  We would also wonder why a single Bed Bug nymph appeared suddenly in your reptile tank leading us to speculate if it was bred in your home or if it was recently transported to the tank from something you got at the pet store.  We imagine mammals and birds sold at pet stores might become prey to Bed Bugs and kin in the family Cimicidae. contains a Q&A forum posting regarding bearded dragons and bed bugs, but no definitive answer is provided.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Red Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Botswana
Date: 03/28/2018
Time: 05:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I saw this interesting beetle (?) while on safari in the Savute region of Botswana in March, 2018. It is about 2cm long. Is it a variation of an assassin bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Hugh Scarth

African Cotton Stainer

Dear Hugh,
This is not a Beetle.  Taxonomically it is a True Bug in the Red Bug family Pyrrhocoridae, and we believe we properly identified it as an African Cotton Stainer,
Dysdercus fasciatus, on iNaturalist.

Terrific. Thank you for your reply. Hugh

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination