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Can anyone please offer a suggestion of what the insect below is? It is about 3mm in length, and I saw it on my kitchen counter. I live in an apartment, 9th floor of a highrise. It is January 5 (winter), 2021, in Ottawa (-3C outside).
I suspect that is might not be relevant, but last month, I saw what might be Dermestid lavae. The beetle below, however, doesn't look like a Dermestid beetle
How and Where to Request a Bug Identification
There are a lot of insect enthusiasts, both skilled and amateur, on societal networking nowadays, and according to my own experience, the majority of them are likely getting inundated with insect identification asks. While I appreciate everyone’s interest in learning about the spiders and insects they experience and I truly do wish I could answer each ID petition, it is just not possible for me to achieve that. Recently, I have been getting dozens, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of ID requests each week, by email, by Twitter, on Facebook, through instant messaging, as well as by phone.
Since I am only able to answer quite few ID requests myself, I believed it’d be very helpful to readers if I supplied you with details about where you can get puzzle bugs identified by trusted experts (who have more time to do this than that I do).
Bug identification request - Biology
I nsect I dentification K ey
Order Ephemeroptera: the mayflies
Based on your answers to the questions, you have identified your insect as being in the order Ephemeroptera!
Members of this order include: mayflies (sometimes called fishflies).
Etymology: Ephemeroptera comes from the Greek ephemera, which means ephemeral or short-lived, and ptera, which means wings. Ephemeroptera, therefore, means a winged insect with a short life, which is a reference to the fact that the typical adult mayfly lives only a day or so. See an adult mayfly by clicking here.
&bull two pairs of net-veined, somewhat triangular-shaped wings
&bull the front pair of wings is much larger than the hind pair (some species lack hind wings altogether)
&bull two long threadlike cerci, usually with a third, similarly long and thin caudal filament between them
&bull soft body
&bull large eyes that typically cover most of the head
&bull wings are held vertically when the insect is at rest
&bull two short, bristly antennae
&bull long and thin abdomen
&bull hemimetabolous metamorphosis (egg &mdash naiad &mdash adult)
Click here to see examples of more mayflies!
Number of species worldwide: about 2,000
For a list of all of the orders in this key, click here: List of Orders.
Classification note: Fishflies and mayflies are not flies. True flies are in the order Diptera.
Oops! If this doesn't appear to be the order for your insect, go back through the key and look more carefully at your insect while answering the questions again. Your perseverance will reward you!
Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, request it here.
Triatomine Bug FAQs
Various triatomine bugs in all life stages, from eggs to nymphs to fully grown adults. A variety of bug species, that share similar traits, are pictured.
Triatomine bugs are a type of reduviid bug that can carry Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease.
Where are triatomine bugs typically found?
Triatomine bugs (also called &ldquokissing bugs&rdquo, cone-nosed bugs, and blood suckers) can live indoors, in cracks and holes of substandard housing, or in a variety of outdoor settings including the following:
- Beneath porches
- Between rocky structures
- Under cement
- In rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark
- In rodent nests or animal burrows
- In outdoor dog houses or kennels
- In chicken coops or houses
They are typically found in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America (as far south as southern Argentina). The map below details triatomine occurrence by U.S. state.
Eleven different species of triatomine bugs have been found in the southern United States:
- Paratriatoma hirsuta
- Triatoma gerstaeckeri
- Triatoma incrassata
- Triatoma indictiva
- Triatoma lecticularia
- Triatoma neotomae
- Triatoma protracta
- Triatoma recurva
- Triatoma rubida
- Triatoma rubrofasciata
- Triatoma sanguisuga
Triatomines are mostly active at night and feed on the blood of mammals (including humans), birds, and reptiles. Triatomine bugs live in a wide range of environmental settings, generally within close proximity to an animal the bug can feed on, called a blood host. In areas of Latin America where human Chagas disease is an important public health problem, the bugs nest in cracks and holes of substandard housing.
Because most indoor structures in the United States are built with plastered walls and sealed entryways to prevent insect invasion, triatomine bugs rarely infest indoor areas of houses. Discovery of the earlier stages of the bug (wingless, smaller nymphs) inside can be a sign of a triatomine infestation. When the bugs are found inside, they are likely to be in one of the following settings:
- Near the places your pets sleep
- In areas of rodent infestation
- In and around beds and bedrooms, especially under or near mattresses or night stands
How can I keep triatomine bugs away from my home?
Synthetic pyrethroid bug sprays have been used successfully in Latin America to get rid of house infestations. Although similar chemicals are available in the United States, none have been specifically approved for use against triatomine bugs. A licensed pest control operator should be consulted before using any insecticides to kill triatomine bugs. Roach hotels or other &ldquobait&rdquo formulations do not work against triatomine bugs. Long lasting insecticide treated bednets and curtains have been shown to kill these bugs.
Other precautions to prevent house infestation include the following:
- Sealing cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors
- Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
- Using screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears
- If possible, making sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs)
- Sealing holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside
- Having pets sleep indoors, especially at night
- Keeping your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs
I think I found a triatomine bug. What should I do?
If you find a bug you suspect is a triatomine, do not touch or squash it. Place a container on top of the bug, slide the bug inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if not available, freeze the bug in the container. Then, you may take it to your local extension service, health department, or a university laboratory for identification.
Surfaces that have come into contact with the bug should be cleaned with a solution made of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water (or 7 parts ethanol to 3 parts water).
Triatoma sanguisuga Credit: CDC, courtesy of James Gathany
Triatoma gerstaeckeri next to a penny for scale. Credit: S. Kjos
Triatoma protracta Credit: CDC, courtesy of James Gathany
How can I tell if the bug I&rsquove found is a triatomine and not another kind of bug?
There are many beetles and non-triatomine reduviid bugs that resemble the triatomine bug. Two examples of non-triatomine reduviid bugs that do not feed on human blood, but prey upon other insects are the wheel bug and the western corsair. Some plant-feeding bugs, such as the leaf-footed bug also resemble the triatomine. If you are unsure if the bug you&rsquove found is a triatomine, you may wish to consult with an expert, such as an entomologist, for clarification.
Can I get Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, from a triatomine bug?
Yes. However, the transmission of the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite from a bug to a human is not easy. The parasite that causes the disease is in the bug feces. The bug generally poops on or near a person while it is feeding on her blood, usually when the person is sleeping. Transmission of the parasite happens when poop is accidentally rubbed into the bite wound or into a mucous membrane (for example, the eye or mouth), and the parasite enters the body.
It is important to note that not all triatomine bugs are infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease. The likelihood of getting T cruzi infection from a triatomine bug in the United States is low, even if the bug is infected.
Could I be allergic to the bite of a triatomine bug?
Yes. The saliva of certain types of triatomines can cause an allergic reaction in some people. An allergic reaction can have severe redness, itching, swelling, welts, hives, or, rarely, anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction). People with a history of anaphylactic shock should consult a physician to obtain medication to use in case of a bite. It is important to note that not all triatomines are infected with the parasite even though their saliva may cause an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction after a triatomine bite does not mean that you have been infected with the parasite T cruzi, the cause of Chagas disease. The swelling that may develop at the site of parasite inoculation (where the parasite entered the body through the skin or mucous membranes) is called a chagoma. When the parasite enters the body through the eye, the swelling around the eye is called Romaña&rsquos sign. Chagomas, including Romaña&rsquos sign, usually last longer than an allergic reaction and are less likely to be severely itchy.
What do I do if I think I may have Chagas disease?
If you suspect you have Chagas disease, consult your health-care provider. Or, to find a physician familiar with diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease and other parasitic infections, ask your general practitioner or primary care physician for a referral. You may wish to consider visiting a physician who specializes in infectious diseases. To locate a clinician in your area, please visit the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene&rsquos Clinical Consultants Directory.
- pattern of veins and crossveins runs diagonally across wing
- Long antennae and cerci
- Wings fold flat and extend past tip of abdomen
Development: Hemimetabola, i.e. incomplete metamorphosis (egg, nymph, adult)
Taxonomy: Polyneoptera, closely related to Orthoptera and Embioptera
Distribution: Common in and around fast-moving streams in temperate and boreal climates. Approximately 10 family and 465 species in North America and 10 family and <2,000 species worldwide
Stoneflies are generally regarded as the earliest group of Neoptera. They probably represent an evolutionary “dead end” that diverged well over 300 million years ago. Immature stoneflies are aquatic nymphs (naiads). They usually live beneath stones in fast-moving, well-aerated water. Oxygen diffuses through the exoskeleton or into tracheal gills located on the thorax, behind the head, or around the anus. Most species feed on algae and other submerged vegetation, but two families (Perlidae and Chloroperlidae) are predators of mayfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera) and other small aquatic insects. Adult stoneflies are generally found on the banks of streams and rivers from which they have emerged. They are not active fliers and usually remain near the ground where they feed on algae or lichens. In many species, the adults are short-lived and do not have functional mouthparts. Stoneflies are most abundant in cool, temperate climates.
Did you find an unusual looking insect in your yard or house? Maybe we can help you identify it. You can email our Grad Student Outreach Coordinators at BugID.UIUC @ gmail.com with your questions, and we'll try to get you some answers.
Information to include in your email:
- Where did you find it and when?
- What does it look like (be as detailed as possible or attach a photograph)?
- How big is it?
- Where do you live?
Please note that we answer emails on a volunteer basis and receive many emails during the summer months. If you need a quick response, we recommend contacting your local extension office.
Biology - High School Insect Collection and Identification - Biology bibliographies - in Harvard style
Your Bibliography: Anic.ento.csiro.au. 2015. Hymenoptera | What Bug Is That?. [online] Available at: <http://anic.ento.csiro.au/insectfamilies/biota_details.aspx?OrderID=27447&BiotaID=29800&PageID=families> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
Ichneumonid wasps - Australian Museum
In-text: (Ichneumonid wasps - Australian Museum, 2014)
Your Bibliography: Australianmuseum.net.au. 2014. Ichneumonid wasps - Australian Museum. [online] Available at: <http://australianmuseum.net.au/ichneumonid-wasps> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
Brisbane Insects and Spiders
Summary of a bug's life - in-complete metamorphosis
In-text: (Brisbane Insects and Spiders, 2006)
Your Bibliography: Brisbane Insects and Spiders, 2006. Summary of a bug's life - in-complete metamorphosis. [image] Available at: <http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_insects/Buglife.htm> [Accessed 28 March 2015].
Grasshoppers - Family ACRIDIDAE
In-text: (Grasshoppers - Family ACRIDIDAE, 2011)
Your Bibliography: Brisbaneinsects.com. 2011. Grasshoppers - Family ACRIDIDAE. [online] Available at: <http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_grasshoppers/Acrididae.htm> [Accessed 28 March 2015].
A Bug's Life
In-text: (Chew, 2006)
Your Bibliography: Chew, P., 2006. A Bug's Life. [online] Brisbaneinsects.com. Available at: <http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_insects/Buglife.htm> [Accessed 28 March 2015].
Family Ichneumonidae - Ichneumon Wasps
In-text: (Chew, 2013)
Your Bibliography: Chew, P., 2013. Family Ichneumonidae - Ichneumon Wasps. [online] Brisbaneinsects.com. Available at: <http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_ichneumonwasps/ICHNEUMONIDAE.htm> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
Parasitoids of Lepidopteran larvae
In-text: (Parasitoids of Lepidopteran larvae, 2012)
Your Bibliography: Cottoncrc.org.au. 2012. Parasitoids of Lepidopteran larvae. [online] Available at: <http://www.cottoncrc.org.au/industry/Publications/Pests_and_Beneficials/Cotton_Insect_Pest_and_Beneficial_Guide/Beneficials_by_common_name/Parasitoids_of_Lepidopteran_larvae> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
Butterfly Life Cycle
In-text: (Butterfly Life Cycle, 2015)
Your Bibliography: Drexel University - Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Natural History Museum in Philadelphia. 2015. Butterfly Life Cycle. [online] Available at: <http://www.ansp.org/explore/online-exhibits/butterflies/lifecycle/> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
In-text: (Acrididae Family, 2015)
Your Bibliography: Ento.csiro.au. 2015. Acrididae Family. [online] Available at: <http://www.ento.csiro.au/education/insects/orthoptera_families/acrididae.html> [Accessed 28 March 2015].
Mantodea - praying mantids
In-text: (Mantodea - praying mantids, n.d.)
Your Bibliography: Ento.csiro.au. n.d. Mantodea - praying mantids. [online] Available at: <http://www.ento.csiro.au/education/insects/mantodea.html> [Accessed 30 March 2015].
In-text: (Eurema hecabe, 2015)
Your Bibliography: Lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au. 2015. Eurema hecabe. [online] Available at: <http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/pier/hecabe.html> [Accessed 29 March 2015].
UF/IFAS Okeechobee Extension Service | Duranta / Golden Dewdrop
In-text: (UF/IFAS Okeechobee Extension Service | Duranta / Golden Dewdrop, 2012)
AUSTRALIAN WATER BUGS. THEIR BIOLOGY AND IDENTIFICATION (HEMIPTERA-HETEROPTERA, GERROMORPHA & NEPOMORPHA.
AUSTRALIAN WATER BUGS. THEIR BIOLOGY AND IDENTIFICATION (HEMIPTERA-HETEROPTERA, GERROMORPHA & NEPOMORPHA. By Nils M. Andersen & Tom A. Weir. Entomonograph Volume 14. 2004. Pp 344 including 8 colour plates. Apollo Books/CSIRO Publications. DKK 420.00. ISBN87-88757-78-1.
Just as this review approached completion, the sad news of the death of Nils Møller Andersen arrived from Copenhagen. Nils died, aged 63, on 12 May 2004. As his obituaries surely will state, this is a sad and premature loss to entomological systematics. Nils' studies of the Heteroptera – notably the semi-aquatic bugs or gerromorphans – exemplify the depth and breadth expected of a modern systematist. These range through detailed functional morphology, cladistics (including methodologies), molecular and combined studies, biogeography and interpretation of fossils. Nils did not neglect fundamental revisionary works and catalogues: indeed, according to Niels Peder Kristensen, the world catalogue of Gerromorpha is essentially complete and will be published to add to the substantial volume of systematic work left by Nils.
Thanks to an Ebbe Nielsen-inspired collaboration with Tom Weir, Nils Møller Andersen became a regular visitor to the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) in Canberra. Although well-known as the driest (non-Antarctic) continent, Australia provided a focus for much of Nils' later work on aquatic bugs. For many years Tom Weir had been collecting water bugs, particularly in remote and spectacular locations. In tropical northern Australia, seasonal waterbodies are frequent, as they are around the wetter continental margin and even sporadically in the arid centre: they support a diverse and endemic aquatic insect biota. Add to these the marine estuaries, mangroves, tidal reefs and open tropical oceans, and the preferred habitats of water bugs are very well represented. The collaboration between Nils and Tom in the field and in the collection halls has resulted in this excellent monograph filled with beautiful illustrations, including four plates of nostalgia-inducing habitat photographs.
The volume commences with a review of the general biology and the ecological and geographical distribution of the Australian water bugs – using the terms ‘semi-aquatic bugs’ for Gerromorpha and ‘aquatic bugs’ for Nepomorpha. Slightly less than half the genera, but most species, are endemic to Australia. Other genera are either South-east Asian or more widespread. Notable in the Australian fauna is the high percentage of semi-aquatic bugs that are marine (including those inhabiting mangroves and coral reefs). Within Australia, species diversity tracks high rainfall and temperature, and seemingly fails to reflect classical Torresian, Bassian and Eyrean regionalization or the biogeographical ‘break’ of the Macpherson–Macleay overlap. Certainly in many parts of the world, newly created aquatic habitats are colonized rapidly by certain dispersive (winged) water bugs. Andersen and Weir review their earlier studies on the relationship between wing polymorphism and habitat type, including ephemerality. The vagility of winged taxa perhaps overrides regional biogeography, and might detract from their advocated role as biomonitors, since, being independent of dissolved aquatic oxygen, they tend to be less reliant on good water quality.
This concise but very interesting opening section is followed with a succinct review of the higher classification employed, including mention of extra-limital families (Paraphrynovelidae and Macroveliidae in Gerromorpha Potamocoridae and Helotrephidae in Nepomorpha). For non-specialists in the group, the informative and well-balanced discussion of the familial level phylogeny is invaluable. For the Gerromorpha, this derives from Andersen's (1982) earlier manual Hennigian approach, but there is reference to a quantitative cladistic analysis by Andersen & Weir to appear in Invertebrate Systematics (in press), which ‘supports Andersen's initial hypothesis'. Slightly detracting from the book are a few statements concerning ‘plesiomorphic’/‘apomorphic’ taxa based on the polarity of one or few major features. A brief critique of one existing molecular study of Gerromorpha is used to advocate ongoing combined analyses. The phylogeny of the Nepomorpha presented is somewhat speculative, being derived from several sources, and with limited illumination from molecular studies. However, all this is to change with the imminent publication of a combined analysis for Nepomorpha ( Hebsgaard et al., 2004 ).
A short section on fossil water bugs – which actually is an impressively rich record – includes an Australian Lower Cretaceous mesoveliid nicely photographed by David Grimaldi, and tables of the putative gerromorphan and nepomorphan phylogenies overlaid on the geological time scale. A well illustrated chapter on identification precedes a concise guide to collection and specimen preparation, followed by a traditionally dichotomous key to adults of the Australian families. Neophytes to identification of aquatic bugs, unversed in entomological morphological terminology, may complement the keys in this book with an on-line approach using Lucid™ keying technology, prepared by the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Research at the Australian Museum ( Cassis & Elliot, 2003 ).
The bulk of the remainder of this volume (pages 67–308) comprises individual chapters, one per family, organized in a homogenous manner and beautifully illustrated with line drawings (both habitus and showing diagnostic structures), scanning electron micrographs and maps. Although most of the illustrations have appeared elsewhere, there is a notable coherence to the layout, style and labelling. Interspersed in the text are a further four plates dramatically showing many aquatic bugs (and Tom Weir) going about their daily business. Users of this book may decide for themselves if the vaunted ability to attach numerous colour images to electronic keys such as Lucid™ does indeed provide an advantage over the quality photographs, professional paper-based ink drawings and greyscale SEMs of the calibre presented in this work.
Each family chapter contains a key to the Australian genera, and under each genus, a key to species, some notes on the biology and a summarized distribution. One slightly detrimental aspect of the standardized layout is that the continental map provided in association with many taxa fills nearly 60% of a page, whether the plotted taxa occur over most of the continent or just south-western Western Australia. Some variation to include column-width sections of what is a familiar continental outline might have improved layout, in what otherwise is a delight to the eye. The work concludes with extensive references, a list of abbreviations for institutions, and a valuable checklist located in an Appendix.
Although I advocate getting our biodiversity stuff out via the web or CD, with lots of pictures and ‘idiot-proofed’ interactivity to compensate for contemporary lack of training in anatomy, I fell for this book. It is a model of presentation of non-redundant information, well laid out, easy to use, and visually attractive from cover to cover (the bugs on the front, the authors on the back). Of course, unavoidably, this sort of quality comes at a price.
Stored products of agriculture and animal origin are attacked by more than 600 species of beetles, 70 species of moths, and about 355 species of mites, causing huge quantitative and qualitative losses and insect contamination in food commodities. This is an important quality control problem. This book, Insect Pests of Stored Grain: Biology, Behavior, and Management Strategies, provides comprehensive coverage of stored product entomology for the sustainable management of insects and other noninsect pests, such as mites, birds, rodents, and fungi, with the aim to mitigate and eliminate these losses of food from grains.
The author, who has studied sustainable and herbal management of stored grain and seed insect pests in his research, considers sustainable management of stored grain insect pests and eco-friendly approaches along with the utilization of waste materials. Starting with a history of stored product entomology from the beginning to the modern era in detail along with an introduction of storage entomology, the book then goes on to cover a range of important issues, including
Insect Pests of Stored Grain: Biology, Behavior, and Management Strategies covers a vast amount of valuable information on stored product entomology for the sustainable management of insects and other noninsect pests.
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NC State University Entomology extension faculty and staff work with county field faculty, growers, consultants, and the public across the state in solving insect problems through research based and environmentally sound practices.