General Question

Hobbes's avatar

Can anyone identify this insect?

Asked by Hobbes (7311 points ) July 22nd, 2008

At work the other day, my boss and I found an insect that we had never seen before. We called the local university, and got transferred to a pest control place which charged $20 to identify an insect. We didn’t want to spend that sort of money, so we took pictures of it, and now I’m asking you guys. Does anyone have any ideas?

Here is a link to the photos of it. It’s roughly the size of a silver dollar, maybe a little bigger.

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27 Answers

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I think it is a type of stink bug, it goes by the latin name Rhaphigaster nebulosa. It is a European stink bug so if some do make it to America there might only be a few, in Texas I have seen a good amount in forests though. I could be wrong but I have always called the one you saw stink bugs.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Nope I’m wrong.

Upward's avatar

Maybe a Longhorn Beetle – (Cerambycid beetle)

gailcalled's avatar

@Hobbes: where do you live? Here in rural eastern NYS, Cornell Agriculture has an Extension office with a drop-box. You can package your bug (gift wrap if desired) and leave it in drop box with contact info.

I had a stink bug on me the other day and I don’t remember it being the size of a silver dollar. Of course, I was too busy shrieking and brushing it off me to measure.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

It’s actually a mutated spider and if it bites you, then you will have super strength and web-slinging abilities and a new found responsibility to fight crime.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I found it, this time for real. It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, I’m 95% sure that’s it.

marinelife's avatar

You can submit samples to the University of Wisconsin Emtymology lab. I have seen those bugs before here in the Southeast, but do not know the name.

syz's avatar

I don’t recognize the specific species, but I would bet money that it’s an assassin bug. They are a very effective predator and use the long proboscis to impale their prey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmV6TjVNZGM

The conenose species is known as the “kissing bug” because it pierces the thin tissue of the lips of sleeping humans at night and can transmit Chagas disease.

Hobbes's avatar

I live in Columbus, Ohio (sorry, should have mentioned that).

Also, although the assassin bug and the conifer seed bug both resemble it, neither have the spiky ridge on the back.

sebrowns's avatar

harp has it correct! it is a wheel bug!

Upward's avatar

Harp got it right. – More photos here… http://bugguide.net/node/view/454

Hobbes's avatar

Woo! A Wheel bug it is. The Grand prize goes to harp. We’re going to throw a party for you. There will be cake, and your friend the companion cube. = )

Harp's avatar

Woot! Cake!

PupnTaco's avatar

That is one freaky-looking mofo. I wouldn’t mess with it.

pathfinder's avatar

It lookes like new kind of bug I gues.I thing it get to the nutationes of nature.

charliecompany34's avatar

where the hell do you work?

Trance24's avatar

I think I have seen a relative to this bug before. Same shape and color, but this one has longer legs and is larger. Not sure what they are though.

poofandmook's avatar

I am going to have nightmares. I have moderate entomophobia, if it’s possible for it to be moderate and still be considered a phobia, that is. Yet somehow, out of morbid curiosity, I had to look. Why am I so stupid? LOL

gailcalled's avatar

@Poof: Join the club. I looked, also.

Harp's avatar

No cheezburger for you, shockvalue.

gailcalled's avatar

As a completely unnessary aside; I wonder whether there is anything left in the world that doesn’t have an expert. Upward’s link shows dozens of clear, carefully composed pictures of the Wheel bug from cradle to grave.

Hobbes's avatar

Hmm. I think most fields have at least one person who studies them very deeply. But there are some that are not nearly as well researched and understood as entomology. Deep Sea Biology, Neuroscience, and Astronomy, to name a few. I think you’re right, though, that the age of pushing forward into unknown territory are largely over – what we do now is build on and expand the knowledge we already have, or connect it with other areas of knowledge, or connect different parts of the field into a unified whole.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I carried one of those damned things around with me last Comfest. It climbed on me and wouldn’t leave me be, so I stopped trying to get it off. It wasn’t hurting me any, so I didn’t see any point messing with it. Turned out s/he was a pretty cool little dude.

Hobbes's avatar

Apparently their bites can be extremely painful, so good job you weren’t more insistent.

hoosier_banana's avatar

I have been bit, it is more painful than a bee-sting and hurt for over a week, the sick part is that I watched that sucker stick it’s proboscis into my leg, I was carrying something and couldn’t brush it off right away, it went in deep. If you have kids show them the pictures and tell them not to touch.

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