Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug

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Question
Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  
Lately I've been noticing a strange insect around my town, up here in Wausau, Wisconsin. It is strange to see such a large amount of the same insect this early in the year. I caught one and tried to identify it but no results show up on any site I could find. It has a thin, long black body, long dark gray wings, two long antenna and it's body and wings are only about 17mm long. It flies, but not very far. It looks similar to the queen ants that come out later in the year, but it definitely is not an ant. If you could help me figure out what it is, that would be great!

Lucy age 13
future entomologist

Answer
Lucy,

This is a stonefly, order Plecoptera. The larvae are aquatic so are common around rivers and lakes. Adults are attracted to lights. The adults are harmless and often appear in peaks of abundance, often in spring, during the year. As a developing entomologist (larva? or nymph?) you might be interested in these books: http://www.livingwithbugs.com/aqu_ent.html.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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