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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/small moss looking bug


Joe wrote at 2008-03-04 02:42:48
I also found a bug fitting almost the same discription the bug i found is a small about pea sized bug looks like a piece of moss and also curls up like a rolly polly i didnt noticed any pinchers on it but the lave the small nearly transparent legs like a rollypolly but i have no clue of what it could be i look at the green lacewings larvae and could find anything that looked like it. to me i looks like a rolly polly with a moss body. i still have the bug in a plastic container and i found it climbing up my brick wall

Chesapeake Virginia

Nature Lover wrote at 2010-10-15 04:05:02
I found the same type of insect.  It looks just like a piece of pale green moss at first glance but it moves.  The underside has tiny hair like legs that form a circle.  When you flip it over it curls inward slightly as if protecting itself.  This underbelly reminds me of a starfish.  Examining it gave me the impression that it was not an insect that attached itself to moss but an actual insect in it's entirety.  But...who knows?  I can't seem to find anything about it online.  It doesn't look like lacewing underneath.  It was in a nature preserve in Cary, NC on a tree trunk.  Cute little bugger.  :)

mellie wrote at 2011-07-11 18:07:26
I also found a few specimens of this creature. I'm putting together an insect collection for school and have not been able to find any information identifying this species. I thought it was a bit of moss at first but upon examination it certainly moves and has little hair-like legs. Sure wish I could identify this guy, would be great in my collection.

Vivian wrote at 2013-07-09 00:05:39
I saw something similar this morning in Alexandria, VA - we saw this little bug, that looked like it was carrying the world's worth of moss, lint, and something that had the coloring of lichen on its back. It was fascinating! My little 6-year-old daughter and I sat and watched him for about half an hour, as he carried on with his day. When we tried to lift him up on a leaf and he fell, he curled right up, all the fuzz and moss on his back and all. I posted a video to Facebook, don't know if I could upload one here.

Jenna wrote at 2013-07-20 21:17:47
I found 2 of them at a camp in Ohio, none of the counselors knew what it was, but told us to leave them alone. I heard it could be lacewing larvae but it looks nothing like it! They're actually kinda cute but my friend thinks it bit her!

Alexis wrote at 2013-12-06 18:55:01
That is not the bug if its the same one i have just found. I thought it was ant carying a piece of moss, till i looked closer.. Its just like she described..

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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