Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Beetle Identification

Advertisement


Question
Beetles zoomed
Beetles zoomed  
Beetles
Beetles  
QUESTION: Hi Ed,
I live on the Pacific coast of Mexico and found this clump of beetles on the side of my refrigerator yesterday around noon. Attached are 2 photos, one is zoomed. I've tried to identify them, but no luck and I don't think I've ever seen them before. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have an organic farm and insect control is not easy. First step is always to know what I'm dealing with. Thank you very much.
Dobie

ANSWER: Dear Dobie - Is there any way that you could obtain a clearer close-up of at least one of these insects? I cannot even be certain whether these are beetles or true bugs from the images provided. I am inclined to believe that they more likely are bugs, as this type of massing behavior is more typical for them than for most beetles. Another item that would be helpful in narrowing down possibilities would be noting any item (plant or animal) that you see them feeding upon.

Waiting to hear back,
Saugy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Beetles more zoom
Beetles more zoom  
QUESTION: Hi Saugy,
Thanks for the quick reply. I thought they were beetles because of the 6 legs and what looks like 3 body sections. I haven't seen them on any plants yet, only on the side of the fridge, which seemed like a strange place and made me think maybe they had just hatched. If I see them again, I'll for sure let you know. Hope this picture helps to identify them, be they beetles or bugs.

Thanks again,
Dobie

Answer
Hello Dobie - At least now I can confirm that these are indeed nymphs of a true bug (order Hemiptera); likely in the family Coreidae (leaf-footed bugs) - see http://tinyurl.com/b2xs7s7 for an example. This family includes both plant-feeding and predatory species, so I would just keep an eye out for any untoward activity on your garden plants. Should you see them feeding on plants, applications of an insecticidal soap should provide at least some measure of control.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ed Saugstad

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Publications
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.

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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.