Currently viewing the tag: "mysteries"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Looks like string but moves
Geographic location of the bug:  Tampa
Date: 08/15/2019
Time: 11:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am attaching a picture but I also have videos I have no idea what this is I thought I was losing my mind when I saw it move
How you want your letter signed:  Debbie

String That Moves

Dear Debbie,
We prefer not to weigh in on the state of your mind, but this looks to us to be a string that moved.  The object on the end of the toothpick appears to be of fibrous nature, possible plant or animal fibers, though we would not rule out it might be synthetic.  Light weight fibers will stir with the slightest breeze.

Update:  August 24, 2019
Thank you so much I Thought it look like that but it seem to move I’m thinking maybe it was static electricity or some airflow thank you for your response I appreciate it

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I’m resending bald-face hornet girdling gridwork on bark.
Geographic location of the bug:  Tonasket WA
Date: 06/27/2019
Time: 08:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I sent this about a week ago and got the confirmation e-mail and I realize you can’t post everything. I did kinda wonder if the picture came thru as I’m on Windows 7 and I’ve had problems with the upload before. So, just checking. I was told BF hornets did it. I thought, Makes sense, thy use the bark to make their paper nests. Then I looked it up! I read they do it to make the sap run and then they eat it! They are “vegan?” and only gather insects and B-B-Q (haha) to provision their babies. Apparently they can girdle a tree, but this pattern leaves bark and cambium to continue the sap flow. Can you verify this behavior? Or if something else did, do you know who? I don’t think it’s our red-naped sapsucker, they leave a grid work of little round drilled holes, and they’re the only sapsuckers we have. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy

Did Hornets damage this tree???

Dear Cathy,
We cannot confirm that Hornets damaged this tree, but if your theory is correct, they should revisit the site to feed.  We have images on our site of European Hornets (introduced to eastern North America) stripping the bark off of lilac bushes.  We will attempt further research into this matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cicadas being decapitated
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Pennsylvania
Date: 05/25/2019
Time: 09:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have found several dozen cicada decapitated very close to their malted skins. What is causing the decapitation?
* Note I lined the bodies up in pic…
How you want your letter signed:  Dirk Rupert

Decapitated Cicadas

Dear Dirk,
Your image is the first one we are posting this year of the emergence of the Brood VIII, the population of Periodical Cicadas, incorrectly called 17 Year Locusts, which has just begun to emerge in western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and West Virginia according to Cicada Mania.  For years we have been posting images of decapitated Cicada heads, but our images have been of the heads left behind when a predator has eaten the body.  Your case is different because the perpetrator did not eat the nutritious body, so it wasn’t hungry.  We suspect a house cat might be responsible for your mystery.

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. 

Update April 25, 2018:  Eric Eaton provides information.
Daniel:
So the plant they are on is marijuana?  In any event, yes, these are Leptoglossus nymphs, which typically feed on seeds or seed pods, and that is what the “sacs” are.  I’m a bit perplexed by the “webbing” around them.  The nymphs may be maneuvering the seeds to find a good place to pierce them so they can suck out the juicy contents.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

The mystery is the sacs. The only plant nearby was the pomegranate tree with lots of pomegranates. Also, some of the sacs have been hung.
Thanks for clearing this up.

Pomegranate is one of the primary host plants for Leaf Footed Bugs in the Los Angeles area.  You frequently find numerous individuals feeding on a single pomegranate.  The “sacs” look somewhat like unripe pomegranate seeds.
Update:  August 25, 2018
Daniel: You told me that these are leaf-footed bug. I’ve found near identical images online that id them as leaf-footed, but also have found images that are identified as assassin bug nymphs.

What makes me think these might be assassin bugs is the “sacks” that were hung nearby and that the bugs were involved with them.
Anyway, I am not the only one confused as clearly people are identifying them as one or the other and I can’t see the differences in the images that are posted.
Mel Frank

Mystery of Leaf Footed Bugs with “pods”

Hi again Mel,
We are sticking with immature Leaf Footed Bugs, probably genus Leptoglossus.  Can you please provide the links?
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.  BeardedDragon.org 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:  Grasshopper on a mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Korean field of Tanchon river
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 06:27 AM EDT
Me and my Indian friend, Priyam were strolling for an walk when we saw a grasshopper on a mantis. No kidding, the mantis did’nt even bother to take the grasshopper of. We gently held it. Nor the grasshopper or the mantis tried to escape. What were these bugs doing??
How you want your letter signed:  By email

Mantis and Grasshopper

We believe this is most likely a chance encounter.  Mantids are well camouflaged among twigs and Grasshoppers rest on twigs.  This is a fascinating image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination