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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify this Insect - Cause of bites


Unknown Insect
Unknown Insect  
Patient presents with red well circumscribed skin lesions measuring about 2-3 cm. Patient feels that these lesions are caused by this insect photographed by the patient. Location is Los Angeles, California. Could this insect bite and cause the lesions?
Thank you.
Leo Gordon, MD

Dear Dr. Gordon:

The insect in the image is a Tropical House Cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus .  Here's more:

This insect is now common throughout the southwest U.S.  I am not aware of this insect inflicting bites or lesions, though crickets in general can certainly bite if handled roughly.  I might suspect a kissing bug, genus Triatoma , in the assassin bug family Reduviidae:

or, possibly bed bugs (some people can react badly to their bites), or any number of other biting creatures that can blunder into homes.  I'm surprised the patient did not notice the offending creature immediately, which makes me suspect either a nocturnal blood-feeder, or some other malady manifesting itself as a "bite" wound.

Hope this helps.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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