Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this bug??


Creepy crawler
Creepy crawler  
I found this bug dead on the floor inside my closet while cleaning it today. I've seen plenty of weird bugs but this one gives me the creeps for sure. I got the best picture I could (as I was too scared to get up close and personal with this) I had it in a cup and flipped it over to try and see how many legs it had but it almost looked like a turtle shell on the bottom, I could not see any legs folded underneath. There was also a black stripe starting from the complete rear and worked its way up about half way on the body. The entire body was hard and from the side it was rounded, not flat. I'm hoping this isn't something that I have to worry about. I was going to just brush it off but I have a weird feeling. I'm in North Carolina, a pretty suburban area, there are horses and corn fields around my subdivision so maybe the environment is why I've never seen this. But how did it find it's way into my closet? Hm.

Dear Caprice - This is a stink bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), a large family that includes both plant pests and beneficial predators. However, none are household pests except for the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (see http://tinyurl.com/aaxpwpn), which yours most definitely is not. It simply was an accidental intruder that wandered indoors and died there.

Hope this helps,

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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