Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Biting Bug

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Question
Biting bug
Biting bug  

Biting Bug
Biting Bug  
Hello there. I live in Southern California. My husband had been outside and after coming back in he felt something bite his leg. He pulled this bug off of him. To me it resembled a small slug that seemed to move like a caterpillar. The insect is extremely small but I was able to enlarge the image a great deal. I have not seen anything that resembles it. It looks as though there were legs but it did not seem to move like that. Any help? I am very interested at this point. The area where he was bit is only slightly red if that.

Thank you,
Rachel

Answer
Rachel:

This is a lacewing nymph.  Lacewings are considered to be one of the most beneficial insects because they feed on a wide variety of pest insects.  Adults are fragile, green insects seen around lights at night.

As nymphs, they are voracious predators...unfortunately, they occasionally have been known to bite if they happen to get on a human.  They don't bite to feed or anything like that.  They just bite.  Overall, this doesn't happen often and they don't seek out humans.  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs

Expertise

I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.

Experience

22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Publications
Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

Education/Credentials
BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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