Category: true bugs


Spittlebugs are fun to bother. They’re like opening Christmas presents–you never know what you’ll find wrapped in the mass of slimy bubbles. I just tried two in my yard–they may or may not be the same species (I definitely do not know much about these kids). The first one was kinda shy, but the second did a cool butt dance.

March 31, 2017

Diamond-backed Spittlebug nymphs (yes, same species!). They produce the foam by essentially “farting” into their “pee,” which is more or less just the plant’s juices with a little bit of the sugar removed. The little butt-dance the last one is doing is the accordion-like movement that they use to blow the bubbles. 

Reposted July 14, 2019



Okay I don’t know if ABC news just fucked up whatever this lady actually said but this information is catastrophically wrong.


Kissing bugs are like bed bugs; they enter homes and they feed on the blood of large mammals, such as humans, while those mammals are asleep. They’re an indoor, nighttime threat, not something to be careful of “outdoors” which is outright dangerously misleading.

“Most people experience flu like symptoms after being bitten” is also completely false.

Chagas disease is contracted when an infected kissing bug defecates on a host’s skin and the host subsequently scratches the fecal matter into the bite wound. The bite itself does not cause any symptoms other than itchiness, and a kissing bug only carries the disease if it has recently bitten someone else who was infected.

There are an estimated 300,000 people in the United States who have Chagas and this is another thing articles keep bringing up, but almost all of them contracted it while out of the country. Almost no chagas-carrying kissing bugs exist in the U.S. and almost no people have ever been infected while within the U.S.


THIS. IS NOT. A KISSING BUG. I’ve already seen more than one news story use photos of non-parasitic assassin bugs like this wheel bug. There are thousands of species of assassin bug and only a COUPLE are blood-drinking kissing bugs. Assassin bugs are everywhere and they are beneficial.

No that it’s particularly relevant to most people living outside of central and south america, but I think it’s interesting enough to be worth nothing that chagas can also be contracted orally from contaminated sugercane and acai juice, since those plants are common resting and defecating areas for the triatomines:

“Between 1968 and 2005, a total of 437 cases of acute Chagas disease were reported in the Brazilian Amazon region. Of these cases, 311 were related to 62 outbreaks in which the suspected mode of transmission was consumption of acaı (Nobregaet al., 2009; Valenteet al., 2006). Pintoet al. (2003) reported the occurrence of a family microepidemic of acute trypanosomiasis probably transmitted orally, involving 12 people, of whom two died, in the municipality of Igarape-Miri (PA) in July 2002.In an outbreak of acute Chagas disease affecting 17 people belonging to three families, which occurred in the locality of Rio Bispo municipality of Mazagao (Amapa state) in October 1996, researchers were able to elucidate the transmission mechanism: ingestion of acai juice infected with the feces of wild triatomines. Acai juice was prepared at night and the insects attracted to the electric lights fell into the juice being prepared in the machine and were ground up with the fruit pulp (Valenteet al., 1999, 2002, 2006, 2009).“

source, sci-hub link

FYI, the next time your doctor tells you it was a spider bite…

Doctors ARE NOT ENTOMOLOGISTS and just because they went to medical school doesn’t mean they can’t still be dumbshits who read the same untrue anti-bug garbage on the internet their patients come across and believe it wholeheartedly.

July 6, 2019


White moth = saltmarsh moth
Brown moth = walnut sphinx (remember the screaming caterpillar?)
Green stink bug
Brown stink bug

I wanted a moth on every finger, but couldn’t find enough. So I settled for bugs. But the green stinker wouldn’t cooperate, walked over the sphinx’s face, made him pee all over me, then walked over the saltmarsh moth’s face, peed on me himself, then flew off. Rude!

March 25, 2019


Help me they started to Show Up and replace other buggs

I am unsure what you need help with? I cant quite tell what they are but they look very similar to milkweed bugs to me. If you want to get rid of them I am the wrong person to ask, I’m not an exterminator.

Uh oh. Fairly recent (within the past 10 years) invasive species to California. Essentially anytime you see swarming like this, it’s bad news.

Scantius aegyptius – Mediterranean Red Bug [link to bugguide]

Here’s a news article on these guys with suggestions of what to do for getting them positively identified and recorded for your area [link], if they are a new invasive for your county/state (since I don’t know where you are)

October 19, 2018

@mywildbackyardyt submitted:

The Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, is one of the largest terrestrial true bugs (Hemiptera) in North America. Come with as I explore the woods searching for one of these awesome giants.

This is an excellent video. First off, wheel bugs are awesome. For a while, all I could find were the nymphs, the adults eluded me (but not for long!). The nymphs are beautiful, but lack the “wheel,” instead you have to look for a powdery-blue bug with red accents (also, they’re huge):

Second off, I love the comparison with the leaf-footed bug. The one in the video is an older Leptoglossus sp. nymph. Interestingly, the younger nymphs are very similar to Zelus spp. assassin bug nymphs:

Leaf-footed bug nymphs are on the top (they are gregarious, meaning they tend to stick in large groups), and the assassin bug nymphs are on the bottom–these are solitary, because they’ll eat each other if they stick together. 

And note, I do have photos where I’m “holding” assassin bugs, like above, but I want to emphasize that I have never picked up an assassin bug, they have always walked onto me. As long as they don’t feel threatened, they are unlikely to try biting you (I think), but be careful if you are going to handle these things! They are true bugs, closely related to the aptly named stink bugs–and like the stinks, they have a scent gland that they will emit a strongly-scented chemical from if they feel threatened. Chances are, a wheel bug will let you know if you’re getting a little too close.

Thanks for sharing your video!

September 11, 2018

@psychicbouquetofstars submitted:

My friend’s little garden has a little assassin bug in it! I had one last year in my garden and I watched him grow up until he flew away… anyways thought you’d enjoy him!!!

Yes I love him. Assassin bugs are one of my favorite insects (shhhhh don’t tell the moths). I recently caught a cluster of eggs hatching (and the newborns always have a dance party after they squeeze out)[link to previous post]. Your baby is related (I’m pretty sure, anyway) to the Zelus renardii (Leafhopper assassins) I have fairly reliably:

Top left is a very gravid mama, top right is a newly molted baby, bottom two are older babies dooting around. 

Below, a completely unrelated Scudder’s katydid nymph who mimics the assassins!

Thanks for sharing!

September 9, 2018

@keepcalmandcarrieunderwood submitted:

Pfff he thought I thought he was a leaf. Vernonia, Oregon

Nice Chlorochroa stink bug! There are a couple species over in Oregon, and they look essentially the same up there. 

When I moved to Texas, and suddenly started seeing bugs everywhere, I couldn’t believe how bug-bereft Washington state was. Then I went through a bunch of old photos from when I lived in Washington, and found things like this:

This is the baby version of your friend. I had no idea what it was when I saw it! I didn’t think Washington even had stink bugs! Funny what we don’t see until we start looking for it.

September 3, 2018

hey, some follow up on my thyanta perditor eggs, how long does it usually take stinkbugs to hatch? you are able too see them, right? is there anything that could make them not hatch or be delayed? i read that they take about 6 days but im nearing on 10 days and getting nervous about the babies. thank you! 🙂

Hatch time can be highly dependent on temperature and other environmental cues (length of day maybe?). Warmer climates have faster hatch times and faster development because metabolism also speeds up with increasing temperature.

For my Thyantas, the brown stripes just got darker (or lighter? I think I posted them on here with my stink babies tag), I didn’t notice their faces BUT I also didn’t know to look for them.

Also, I have seen faces show up, and the eggs never hatched… then… wasps came out. If there is an egg, there is a wasp that parasitizes it. And the wasps develop completely to adulthood in their host, so they take longer to come out that the babies normally would.

Best strategy to adopt for any eggs you collect: hold them in a container nothing can climb out of (paper towel rubber banded over jar, or a sealed plastic container which you open a crack once a day to refresh the air and prevent mold). This was, babies can’t escape, and you don’t end up with a ton of weird random tiny flies (psst: they’re wasps!!) in your home.

Posted July 24, 2018, from Calgary, after not sleeping more than four hours in three days because hey, what better time for your AC to go out than midnight on the hottest day ever (lie, only 110 F) the night before leaving on a business trip? So if I don’t make sense, that’s why.

Also please wish good Canadian Bug Blessings on me. The meeting in Pasadena today was good and I did get SoCal pigeons, but NO BUGS?!?! 😒

You can tell the stink bug eggs will hatch soon when their cute little faces show up.

Rough Stink Bug eggs (on live oak)

July 22, 2018

hi! im fascinated by the thyanta perditor stinkbugs in my garden (common name too long). i cant find any images of them as nymphs, though. so you inspired me – i took some eggs and im going to raise them myself! ive never raised bugs before though, do you have advice? should i just give them pieces of the plants the adults live on or should i try giving them fruits as well (the nymphs eat the same as adults right?) and how do i best give them water? thank you, all help very appreciated! 😃

Very good! I raised Thyanta custator last year, and they were a lot of fun but I got so behind dealing with all my rearing photos I still haven’t uploaded most of them (or made a follow-up post for them on here [link to posts with my stink baby tag]). I made a couple entries for them on iNaturalist [link] and Bugguide [link].


To answer your questions:

Feeding the babies: They will basically eat any soft leafy plants (which is why gardeners aren’t fond of them, but I’ve never seen them cause actual damage!). You want to feed them whatever is easiest for you to provide them fresh, continually. Try a bunch of things! I started out giving them a random assortment of plants (some stink babies grow up on grasses, and those were easy!), but the problem with Thyanta is their favorite foods dry out really quickly. If you give them something like lettuce (from your garden or the grocery store!), you can make a clean cut on the stem and wrap the stem with a damp paper towel. It should last a decent amount of time. Something with a more rigid stalk (ragweed or pokeweed leaves? Leafy flowery bushes?), you can place in a small container or jar with water, but make sure there is something that prevents them from following the stalk into their watery grave. I have been having success with filling the container with water, then throwing in paper towels or cotton balls to slow the water evaporation and keep the babies from drowning.

Watering the babies: Insects (to my knowledge) don’t drink water like other animals do! All of their water comes from their food. So just make sure their food is nice and fresh, and they will be fine!

Preventing escapes: They WILL try to escape. Find a way to stop them! I used critter carriers with a piece of paper towel over the opening between the container and the lid. If you raise them in a jar, you can use one of the canning lid rings with paper towel or fabric. They can squeeze through much smaller holes than you think they can, and they can go MUCH FASTER than you think!

Molting: If they stop moving/stop eating, and then you see “dead” ones at the bottom, they may have just molted!


Above is a molting baby Thyanta! Bugs (True Bugs, hemiptera) tend to be red after molting. In the image above, you can see the old skin (the exuvia) he is squeezing out of. Those skins are basically an empty shell in the same shape/size as the babies had been. They are fun to collect to compare the size of the babies at each life stage.

GOOD LUCK and let me know if you have any more questions!

July 18, 2018