Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug



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I found this little bug walking (not hopping or flying) on one of my pillows today. It looks like it might have wings, and was only a few millimeters in size (1-3). It also floated on top of the water I trapped it in. I live in Texas, and the weather has been relatively humid lately. I hope that you can help me to identify it, I'm very curious!

Thank you so much,

Dear Lucy - This is a small fly, it appears to be in the family Drosophilidae (vinegar/pomace flies; often but erroneously called fruit flies). One of the commonest species is Drosophila melanogaster, familiar to anyone who has take a basic course in genetics. They often become nuisance pests indoors, as they are attracted to just about anything fermenting (like overripe fruit) or with a trace of yeast (they often wind up in glasses of wine).

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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