Currently viewing the tag: "mysteries"
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

Subject:  Wasp eating Mantis
Geographic location of the bug:  Dayton, Ohio
Date: 09/29/2017
Time: 07:10 PM EDT
This mantis has been hanging out on our flag pole for the last 2 days. He is alive, but has been letting a wasp land on his tail for long periods at a time. Now the mantis’s tail is chewed up and half gone. Why would the mantis let the wasp do that?
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Mantis

Dear Mike,
We wish you could provide an image of the Wasp.  Generally, when wasps prey upon other insects, it is to feed their young.  We have not heard of a situation where a wasp returns to its prey repeatedly without killing it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 07:23 AM EDT
Hi Mr Bug Man,
Please identify for us this bug. We found many of them laying on the sidewalk one day during the monsoon season.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Susan

Katydid

Dear Susan,
Your request has been on our back burner since we received it.  Alas, we have tried unsuccessfully several times to identify this Orthopteran, but it does look familiar to us.  It is quite distinctive looking with its gaudy camouflage markings.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Update:  September 5, 2017
Thanks to Cesar Crash of Insetologia who identified this Katydid as
Parasanaa donovani, a species we had in our archives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Insect Behaviour
Location: Southern North Carolina
August 20, 2017 5:17 am
Friends of ours down in S. North Carolina had a strange phenomenon this weekend. A long writhing, living, rope of insects in mid-air. None of us have ever seen this before and are wondering A) what these flying insects are, and B) what causes this behavior (mating maybe)?
You guys are great, thanks!!
Signature: Cheers!

Mysterious “Rope” of Insects

This is surely a strange phenomenon.  Our initial guess is that they must be Gnats or Midges, and we are going to attempt to provide a more conclusive response for you.  We wish there was more detail in the close-up image.  We can’t even tell if these flying insects have two wings or four wings.  Flies in the order Diptera, the group that includes Gnats and Midges, have one pair of wings while other insects, like swarming Flying Ants, have two sets of wings.

Gnats or Midges????

P.S.  Were they dead or alive?  They appear dead.

They were alive.  I couldn’t get the video he has up on FB, but they are definitely moving.  They are joined somehow, very odd.  Want me to see if they’ll share the video?
MC

Mysterious “Rope” of Insects

Update from Eric Eaton:  August 25, 2017
Daniel:
No idea what the insects are.  I’d have to see specimens or at least microscope images.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Update:  August 26, 2017
Finally!  I hope these don’t get kicked back due to size.  If so, I’ll throw them up on DropBox and send you the link.
Hope this helps,
Mike Coughlin
20170819_133205000_iOS
20170819_132706000_iOS

Dear Mike,
Thanks for sending in the videos.  Normally we don’t post videos to our site so we hope we did it correctly.  We believe these are Flying Ants, which is what they appear to be in the close-up video.  The wide angle video shows many swarming insects near the “rope” of insects.  Perhaps they have gotten ensnared in the sticky strands of a spider web.

Great, glad you got them!  I looked at it more closely yesterday as well. And I agree, they do appear to be flying ants.
The odd thing is the way that they’re all lined up – you wouldn’t expect to see them as densely aligned in that configuration.
Mother Nature!
Cheers,
M Coughlin
It is our suspicion that two completely unrelated phenomena have occurred simultaneously to create the “ropes” of insects.  There was a swarm of Flying Ants and there was a silken thread, either from a Spider dropping an anchor line for a web or from a Caterpillar that was using a silken thread to decend from a tree.  That silken thread then provided a landing strip for the ants.  We might be incorrect, but that is our speculation.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination