Subject: Found Bug
Location: Wind Gap, PA
November 17, 2016 11:43 am
We found this on a student today. Any ideas?
Signature: Doug Bartek

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Doug,
This is a blood-sucking Louse Fly or Ked in the family Hippoboscidae.  There are both winged and wingless species, and some winged species lose their wings once they find a host.  Hosts include deer, sheep or birds, depending upon the species of Louse Fly, but they are also opportunistic feeders that will bite humans if no preferred animal host is available. We found a marvelous article on Louse Flies by Meredith Swett Walker on the Entomology Today website where it states:  “Hippoboscid flies are fairly particular about their hosts. Sheep keds are not found on birds or vice versa. There are more than 200 species of Hippoboscidae, and 75 percent of these parasitize birds of various types ranging from tiny swifts to huge albatrosses. Some louse-flies even exhibit distinct preferences for a particular species of bird. One species of hippoboscid is found exclusively on frigate birds and another species parasitizes only boobies. This specificity is seen even when the two seabirds nest in densely-packed, mixed colonies where it would be easy for a hippoboscid to fly from one bird to another.
Thankfully, hippoboscids do not parasitize humans. In 1931, G. Robert Coatney conducted an experiment to determine if pigeon louse flies, Pseudolynchia canariensis, would bite humans and survive on human blood. He must have been very persuasive because he convinced two friends to join him in playing host to the flies. The answer is yes — hippoboscids will bite humans when given no other choice of host, and their bites are definitely itchy. But the flies did not survive long or reproduce when fed only human blood. Granted, Coatney’s experiment was limited in sample size and scope, but hopefully no one feels the need to repeat it.”

That is awesome!! Thank you so much for the info!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Chinese bug
Location: Anshun, China
November 20, 2016 10:50 pm
Saw this bug in Anshun, China in October. Cicadas were singing but this was the only bug I could find. Thanks for keeping up this great site.
Signature: Mark

Stink Bug

Shield Bug

Dear Mark,
This is a Stink Bug or Shield Bug in the superfamily Pentatomoidea, but alas, we have not found a conclusive visual match online.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a species identification.

Identification Courtesy of Karl
Hello Daniel and Mark:
I believe your bug is in a related family, the Shield Bugs (Acanthosomatidae). The genus is probably Acanthosoma, and it looks very similar to A. labiduroides. Since it lacks the long tail projections that are typical for males, I would say it is a female. Regards. Karl

Subject: Fall Visitor
Location: Northeast Georgia (near Helen)
November 20, 2016 11:12 am
Check out this handsome fella? Came flying in from the trees as the leaves were falling this week in North Georgia, to sit we me and the wife. Didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry, even the cat checked him out. Kept walking around and let me take his picture. That’s a piece of pink street chalk he is sitting on.
No idea really of actually what this is, a type of Mantis perhaps with how it used its front legs, also with a really small head? The vertical spiked plate on the back and the flat metallic looking area, just amazing!
You guys are the best. 🙂 Thanks…
Signature: Frog

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Frog,
This is a positively gorgeous image of a Wheel Bug, the largest North American Assassin Bug.  While not aggressive toward humans, they are capable of delivering a painful bite with the red, piercing mouthpart that is quite evident in your image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ocala bug
Location: Ocala Florida
November 20, 2016 6:57 pm
Never seen one anywhere but Ocala National Forest
Signature: Scotty Cooke

Mating Striped Walkingsticks

Mating Striped Walkingsticks

Dear Scotty,
Your image depicts a gorgeous pair of Southern Striped Walkingsticks,
Anisomorpha buprestoides, but their starkly contrasting black and white coloration is unusual and we did find a similarly colored pair on BugGuide.  According to the information page on BugGuide:  “Three color forms, two of them only found in limited areas:  White form, only found around Ocala National Forest;  Orange form, only found around Archbold Biological Station;  Brown form, widely distributed and commonly found throughout the entire range of the species.”  Walkingsticks in the genus Anisomorpha are frequently found mating and are sometimes called Muskmares, and they should be handled with extreme caution or even better not at all, because according to BugGuide:  “Members of this genus can deliver a chemical spray to the eyes that can cause corneal damage.” 

Subject: Arachnid??
Location: N/A
November 19, 2016 11:35 pm
Hello bugman(s), I came across this extra freaky close up of what seems to be a spider? I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe you can help me out with identifying this thing!
Signature: However

Sea Creature: Real or Imagined???

Sea Creature: Real or Imagined???

Dear However,
In our opinion, this is a Sea Creature, but we cannot say for certain if it is real or imagined.  We found it posted to the Russian SubScribe.RU site along with nothing but amazing images of undersea Invertebrates, but you have to scroll way down to see it.  If this is a living creature, and we don’t have a reason other than our own suspicions that it is not a living creature, then we suppose it must be a Crustacean.  We do not want to eliminate the possibility that this is a special effects, sci-fi creation using digital manipulation software.

Correction:  Sea Spider
We received a link from Stoney indicating that this is a Sea Spider in the Arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, order Pantopoda.  So they are neither Crustaceans nor are they Arachnids.  We also located the attached image, obviously pilfered from the internet, credited to Alexander Semenov’s FlickRiver site.

Subject: Bug from the Ear
Location: Florida
November 20, 2016 8:54 am
My Brother in Florida got this out of his ear after Bike riding!
Signature: JA

Froghopper

Froghopper

Dear JA,
This looks like a Froghopper or Spittlebug to us.  There are many brown species.  The name Spittlebug refers to the behavior of the nymphs which create a frothy mass resembling spittle while they are feeding on the fluids they suck from many plants and grasses.