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

Subject:  Red and black striped stink bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Montenegro
Date: 07/26/2019
Time: 07:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thought you might like to know we found this guy in Montenegro Kotor Bay
How you want your letter signed:  Frangipanimoonflower

Striped Bug

Dear Frangipanimoonflower,
According to iNaturalist, this boldly colored and marked Stink Bug,
Graphosoma lineatum, is commonly called a Striped Bug or Minstrel Bug.  The site states:  “The orange and black warning colours (aposematism) indicate that the insects are foul-tasting, protecting them from predators. The nymphs do not have the orange-black stripe pattern, instead they are mostly brownish.”

Ed. Note:  We thought we needed to do additional research on the name Minstrel Bug, and we have decided upon further reflection to change the name of both the subject line of this posting and the caption on the image to Striped Bug.  A minstrel is, according to Merriam-Webster:  “one of a class of medieval musical entertainers especially : a singer of verses to the accompaniment of a harp wandering minstrels,”  but a more recent meaning entered the language with this definition:  “a member of a type of performance troupe caricaturing black performers that originated in the U.S. in the early 19th century.  NOTE: The acts of minstrels, who typically performed in blackface, featured exaggerated and inaccurate representations of black people in songs, dances, and comic dialogue. The popularity of minstrel shows in their heyday played a significant role in promoting negative racial stereotypes. Professional minstrel shows had fallen out of favor and effectively disappeared by the mid-20th century.”  What really interested us was how the black and red stripes of the Striped Bug related to minstrel costumes, and our initial searching located this image with a fascinating reversal of a racially insensitive representation of the other on the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago where this statement is posted:  “Minstrel of old sang plantation songs and other American songs like ‘Swanee River’ and dressed in a variety of costumes e.g. Uncle Sam tailcoat, pinstripe trousers, white gloves and felt top hat.”  To add further confusion to the common name Minstrel Bug, this insect is European, and we can’t imagine how a decidedly American negative stereotype came to be used for the name of a European insect.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is living on my marijuana plant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/25/2019
Time: 09:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
In addition to the predatory Green Lynx Spiders and California Mantids I have living on my pot plants, I now found this impressive guy.  So, is this a friend or foe in my garden?  Right after I took the photos, it flew away.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Leaf Footed Bug: Leptoglossus zonatus

Dear Constant Gardener,
This big True Bug is one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the genus
Leptoglossus.  Based on BugGuide, where it states “Two yellowish spots on the forward part of the pronotum are distinctive.  Also has a zigzagging white band across the wings (like some other species).  Expansions of the hind tibiae are also much larger and more jagged than most other species.”, it is Leptoglossus zonatus.  This is a plant feeding species, and it has a proboscis designed to pierce the plant and suck its juices.  BugGuide also states:  “Highly polyphagous” which is an indication that if it was on your Cannabis, it was probably feeding.

Leaf Footed Bug? Leptoglossus zonatus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Strange fly with funky antenna and cricket legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 10:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this little bug?
Can’t identify it in any list of insects in southern California
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Mirid Plant Bug on Cannabis

This is not a Fly. It is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae, but we are not certain of the species. We are currently having problems searching BugGuide, our go-to site for North American sightings, but we know from the past that many members of this family are predators and some feed on plants.  There many species of Mirid Plant Bugs pictured on The Natural History of Orange County, and the one that looks most like your individual to us is Dicyphus hesperus, and according to the Natural History of Orange County:  “Dicyphus hesperus is widely distributed over North America. It is a predator on pest insects including many species of whitefly, aphids, lepidopterans and mites. It is therefore used all over the world for control of pests on greenhouse and field vegetable crops. It has been especially successful for control of whitefly on greenhouse tomato crops.”  We also did a web search with the key words “Miridae” and “Cannabis” and we located this Wikipedia page on the Potato Capsid, Closterotomus norvegicus, which states:  “It can be found feeding on nettle, clover, and cannabis, as well as Compositae, potatoes, carrots and chrysanthemums. They prefer to feed on the flowers, buds and unripe fruit.”  The same claim about the Potato Capsid and Cannabis is also posted on Photos of Insects in Cambridge.  According to Cannabis Pests by J.M. McPartland:  ” True bugs, like the Homopterans (aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies), have piercing-sucking mouthparts and feed on plant sap.   They feed predominately on leaves, but also suck on stems, flowering tops, and unripe seeds.  Bugs, unlike most Homopterans, are outdoor problems.  The southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula) feeds on marijuana in India (Cherian 1932), hemp leaves in Europe (Sorauer 1958) and hemp seeds in the USA (Hartowicz et al. 1971).  Other examples include the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris), false chinch bug (Nysius ericae), and potato bug (Calocoris norvegicus). Liocoris tripustulatus has become an emergent pest in the Netherlands, where it feeds on pollen.”  It is our observation that plant feeding True Bugs tend to aggregate while predators tend to hunt solo.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm this identification.  We are sorry we cannot say for certain if this is a predator or a plant feeding species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large leaf bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Quincy, Il
Date: 07/19/2019
Time: 08:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this “little” guy climbing on us and he was very content to climb around instead of flying. Can you tell what he is?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Quincy

Wheel Bug

Dear Curious in Quincy,
This magnificent predator is a Wheel Bug, and like many other members of the family, it is fully capable of biting.  The bite of a Wheel Bug is not considered dangerous, but it might be painful, so you should handle Wheel Bugs with caution in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Strange looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Holden Beach, NC
Date: 07/10/2019
Time: 10:59 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug appeared on our door. It’s quite different and I can’t tell if it’s in the Mantid or the Grasshopper family. Maybe neither! I’m hoping you will tell me.
How you want your letter signed:  Ronald

Wheel Bug

Dear Ronald,
This is neither a Mantid nor a Grasshopper.  It is a predatory Assassin Bug known as a Wheel Bug.  Your image beautifully illustrates the cog-like projection on the thorax that explains the common name.  Like other Assassin Bugs, Wheel Bugs might bite if carelessly handled.  They have a proboscis designed to suck fluids from their prey, and a puncture to the skin from that proboscis is likely quite painful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Date: 07/05/2019
Time: 11:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to know what this green beetle in my garden is. Saw it July 4, 2019. Is it a fig beetle? I do have fig trees a few feet away.
How you want your letter signed:  Kim Goldberg

Conchuela Bug

Dear Kim,
This is not a Figeater, nor is it any other Beetle.  It is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and based on BugGuide images, we believe it is a Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants). “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination