Currently viewing the category: "Broad Headed Bugs"

Subject: Can’t Identify
Location: austin texas
November 29, 2015 10:26 am
I have a beetle/ant like insect on a wandering jew plant. They stay in one spot & barely move. Neat little bug but after a long jnternet search couldn’t figurenout what it was. Any help would be appreciated in quenching my interest. Thanks.
Signature: Shane from Texas

Broad Headed Bug Nymph

Broad Headed Bug Nymph

Dear Shane,
This is an immature Broad Headed Bug in the family Alydidae.  According to BugGuide, Broad Headed Bugs are : “All phytophagous; Alydinae feed primarily on Fabaceae (often on seeds); Micreletrynae, mainly on grasses.”  Though we cannot provide you with a species name, we did find a visual match to this “not yet identified nymph” on BugGuide.

Subject: New Ant in Yard
Location: Rio Grande Valley, TX
July 16, 2013 2:31 pm
I live in South Texas (rio grande valley), and have noticed a colony of ants I have never seen before. They showed up in our garden (lots of mulch, cucumbers, sweet potato’s, papaya plants, banana plants, etc.), and have very distinct characteristics. They move very quick, I could swear I saw one jump, and their abdomens do an odd bouncing up and down when they approach another ant from their colony. It almost looks like they chase one another sometimes. Their antenna have a white tip, but they are otherwise black.
Signature: Brandon

Broad Headed Bug Nymph

Broad Headed Bug Nymph

Dear Brandon,
While this is not an Ant, it is a very convincing ant mimic.  We believe it is an immature Broad Headed Bug in the family Alydidae.  According to BugGuide:  “nymphs are often ant mimics” and they feed “primarily on Fabaceae (often on seeds).”  Do you have beans or peas in your garden?  Your photo is not very sharp and it might also be an immature Damsel Bug which is a predatory species.

Thanks for the response! After looking at google search photos I believe you are correct. That explains the peculiar behavior. I’d point out that it does look like a whole colony of them. Also the only seeds in this area are our sunflower plants. No beans or peas. Ill try and get a better resolution photo for you soon if they are still there. Thanks for your help.

Subject: Beetle Perhaps
Location: East Central Florida
January 2, 2013 2:14 pm
Found this bug on a necklace pod plant. Central east Florida. He is about 1 inch long
Signature: Ken Pichon

Broad Headed Bug

Dear Ken,
This is a Broad Headed Bug in the genus
Hyalymenus, possibly Hyalymenus longispinus which is pictured on BugGuide and which is endemic to Florida according to BugGuide.  Though there are no photos available of the other two species, BugGuide notes:  “3 spp. restricted to FL (H. longispinus, H. notatus, H. potens).”

Subject: Wingless wasp?
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
October 27, 2012 7:21 pm
I saw this insect working its way up a cedar tree outside the job. Thought it was an ant at first yet it appears to have some type of wing structure on its back. Not sure what it is. My guess would be a wingless wasp. It resembles a velvet ant minus the velvet. Feel free to post if you find this insect interesting.
Signature: Calvin

Broad Headed Bug

Dear Calvin,
This is an immature Broad Headed Bug which is believed to mimic the appearance of an Ant.  Ants are in the same insect order as Wasps, Hymenoptera.  Your confusion makes perfect sense.  Immature Broad Headed Bugs effectively mimic Ants.  Broad Headed Bugs are often called Ant Bugs.  Here is a photo from BugGuide of an immature Broad Headed Bug in the genus

Subject: Butt eyed ant
Location: Lilburn, Georgia
October 6, 2012 3:51 am
I found this guy on a weed that had grown up in my salvia bush. It had two spots on it’s butt that looked like eyes. Quiet a beautiful ant.
Signature: antwatcher’s sister

Ant Bug Nymph

Dear antwatcher’s sister,
Though this is not an Ant, your error is understandable.  This is an immature Broad Headed Bug in the genus
Alydus, and they are frequently called Ant Bugs since they are such effective ant mimics.  There are several fine photos on BugGuide.

Subject: What is this thing?
Location: A wetland in Reynoldsburg, Ohio
October 7, 2012 2:35 pm
Me and two fellow students are doing a project concerning the insect life in our backyard wetland. We found this nifty-looking guy, but have no idea what it is. I’ve looked everywhere online, and asked in a bunch of other Q&A sites, and gotten nothing. People keep saying it might be a velvet ant, but I know it’s not. It has a proboscis, long antenni, really long back legs, and you might not be able to see in the pictures, but it appears to have very small, possibly vestigial wings folded up on the back of its thorax.
Signature: Connor

Immature Ant Bug

Hi Conner,
This True Bug is a very effective ant mimic.  We believe it is an immature Ant Bug in the genus
Alydus, a group of Broad-Headed Bugs that are well represented on BugGuideThe BugGuide genus page mentions the common name Ant Bug.  We would not discount that it might be a nymph of a Black Damel Bug, Nabis subcoleoptratus, based on this photo on BugGuide , but we still favor the Broad Headed Bug. 

Immature Broad-Headed Bug