I’m in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and this bug has been living in my apartment with me for quite some time. it seems quite content to just chill out on my rather large ivy plant, in the window. it’s moved about 6 inches in total in the last few weeks. i know it’s alive because it will move if i breath on it. here are some links to the photos I’ve taken of it. Is this a stink bug?

Dear Adrian,
You have a Coreid Bug or Leaf Footed Bug, so named because of the large rear legs on many species. More specifically, it is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis. They are plant feeders and are usually not noticed until they seek shelter in the home in the autumn so they can hibernate. They are plant eaters and are related to stink bugs, hence the foul odor they emit. There is no way to prevent them from seeking shelter, but they will not breed indoors. They just want to hibernate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi folks,
An FYI note.
Just discovered your site while shearching for info on “Bess Bugs” (i.e. beetles of family Passalidae). I noted two inquiries about mystery beetles on 10/15/03 and 11/1/03 that you identified as members of Passalidae. According to my copy of “A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America”, the two beetles pictured are actually members of family Lucanidae, specifically, they appear to be similar to Ceruchus piceus. However, I realize that my book (given to me when I was about 8 for Christmas), may be out of date, and perhaps some reclassification has occurred. However, my personal experience with these particular beetles is that they don’t live in rotted wood, and tend to be predators in forest undergrowth, as opposed to the more common Passalidae, which I spent my childhood evicting from various logs. Their elytra do look more like bess bugs however.
Anyway, back to
my actual work (protein crystallography, not sure where I went wrong).
D. Coleman

Dear D. Coleman,
Thank you for your editorial check. We just researched our misidentification in the book you cited by Dillon & Dillon and have come to the same conclusion that you did. Our edition states that they breed in decaying logs of beech, oak and other trees. Though we pride ourselves on copious research, we do make mistakes and want to thank you for bringing this error to our attention. We do not want to misinform our curious and often frightened readers.

Thanks for your response to my “Bess Bug” inquiry. I’d also like to complement you on an excellent site, and will use it in my continuing efforts to teach my wife not leave the county over every creature I find.

We were in Dierks, AR near the Lower Saline River in the Ouachita Mountains and pretty close to the southeast border of Oklahoma. We lifted up a kayak only to find this extremely fast moving critter resembling a centipede. However, it was approximately 6-8 inches long and the body was black with yellow legs and red antennas. We chased it around on the ground and a friend got it on video, but the critter started raising it’s body off the ground and almost bouncing around like it was mad. None of us had ever seen anything like it. And here is some more information on the area: we saw the largest tarantula ever in AR in this area and the river we were on is really full of sulphur from the decaying plants. I understand this is due to the lake only being drawn down twice a year and the soil on the bottom containing the sulphur gets stirred. So my conclusion on these large bugs is that maybe it has something to do with the water. Again, though, I am really curious as to what the centipede look alike might be. If we are able to get the video on computer and download an image, I will make sure it is sent to you.
Thanks, Renee Wilson, CPA
Loan Review Officer
Bank of the Ozarks

Dear Renee,
Oklahoma has centipedes the size you saw. Since you are so close, you may be within the range of the species. I haven’t found much information on them except that they are large and have a poisonous bite. I don’t think the water has much to do with the size of the tarantula and centipede you found. Please send the photo if you are able. We would love to see it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Eggplant bugs?
I am hoping you can help me identify the spiny little critters that have taken up residence on my eggplants. Sorry the picture is not real clear, but it does show their yellow and brown stripes, and the spikes that cover them all over. I live in San Diego, California. How can I get rid of them without using some harmful chemical? Would insecticidal soap work?
Thanks for your Help,
Dawn Jurek

Dear Dawn,
Your eggplants have an infestation of Keelbacked Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, in the nymph stage. The adults are green winged creatures that have sharply keeled backs and sharp spines on each side of the head. The nymphs are black and orange and spiny as indicated in your photo. The nymphs are very sensitive to approaching danger and migrate to the other side of the stem en masse away from the hands of the gardener or any other perceived danger. They feed on the sap of solanaceous plants including eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. Treehoppers, which belong to the insect order Homoptera, are related to aphids, cicadas, mealybugs, scale insects and leafhoppers. You can try picking them manually, but beware the sharp spines, or you can spray the plants with a mild solution of soapy water.

(10/12/2003) Hi
I fancy myself as an amateur entomologist, but I recently found two creatures that have me stumped.  Four times over the course of the last month I found what appears to be a large grub.  I initially thought
the animal was a centipede of some sort, but upon closer inspection it seemed to be an insect.  It had 7 or 8 segments with 6 legs on the second segment.  It trailed its long tail after it with amazing speed.  Each shiny, plated segment had 2 black spots on a background of red/rust and yellow.
Today while walking in a nearby forest (this time with camera in hand) I spotted a bizarre blue grub.  It had the same body plan as the first animal I described: segmented with 6 legs up near the front…except this one was a dazzling iridescent blue.    I was able to snap a couple of nice photos.
I am guessing that these are Coleoptera spp.  larvae.  Am I correct??
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.  This is driving me nuts!
Melody McFarland
Durham NC



Dear Melody,
It appears as though you have photographed the elusive glowworm, either a female or a larva. Glowworms are beetles from the family Phengodidae. It is a small group of relatively uncommon beetles closely related to Lampyridae or Fireflies. Liker the fireflies, glowworms are capable of luminescence, or glowing in the dark. They are usually found in foliage or on the ground. The adult females of many species are wingless and luminescent. They are predaceous. I will try to get additional information on your exact species which is an amazing color. Here is the only photo I could locate online of a pair of glowworms, and as you can see, structurally, the female looks much like yours in everything but color.

Hi Daniel!
Thanks for the prompt reply!  I combed through every insect book I have and was not able to find anything. Your website is fantastic!

Ed Note:  January 13, 2009
This posting got lost in our site migration and we are just now posting it live again.

Perhaps you can add this photo to your collection I have another full-back view if you would like for me to send it. I’m hoping to take a photo of a sphinx caterpillar some day. This moth visits my Ginger lilies each fall. I live in Jacksonville, NC.

Dear Peg,
Thank you for the beautiful photo of a Pink-spotted hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata [Fabricius]) . The caterpillars feed on jimson weed and sweet potato as well as related plants. Try looking for them there. Good luck.