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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/WCSB came out of hibernation too early!


Dear Mr. Hintz,

I somehow landed on this website and just read a Q&A very similar to mine, wherein Heather had inquired about the mortality of the western conifer seed bug, (Leptoglossus occidentalis). Strangely, Sir, she's not the only bug lover out there, (besides dedicated entomologists, of course, and I have a very similar question, I'm afraid. I've found one of these adorable little guys haphazardly crawling along my bedroom crown moulding last night; a few get in every year here in the Puget Sound area of western WA, and typically wind up being discovered on glass ledges as hardened little corpses suspended forever with one front leg reaching toward the window's perceived sense of freedom. I put this one in question on a glass sill last night, and found it on a close corresponding sill this morning. I carefully carried it outside, and tucked it underneath some ivy. It's fairly cold here right now, and for some bizarre reason, I decided to check on it this afternoon. Yep. Right there, and looking quite deceased. I gently touched it with a tiny branch, and got enough movement to make me believe it was not postmortem contractions or such. I brought it back in, hoping that I was not elongating the death process in doing so, and it quickly resumed rapid activity once warm. I've tried to research what to do now, but, as you know, outside of some general historical, geographical, anatomical, and lifecycle data, I've not been able to find much else, as everything else is prejudiced on eradication instructions. I suppose that I'm running on here, Sir, so let me get to my question now. I've put it in a vented container with some pine cones, doug fir bough debris, and attempted two blooms from my only blooming bonsai azalea. It doesn't seem interested in any of these items. While I'm perfectly willing to, but not actually that interested in keeping this bug as a pet, #did two years of insect care due to feeling sorry for a praying mantis that got shipped in to a local hardware store with nursery plants, and after Lector passed, I subsequently reared crickets due to feeling terrible guilt at having forced their forefathers to live in the same terrarium with such a deadly and cruel predator), I'm interested to know two things, please: 1) Will this insect die if I put it back outside, or will it/can it go back into hibernation? 2) Is it remotely possible for me to keep it in a terrarium for a few months time until the weather is favorable for its outdoor survival? I guess I lied, because dependant upon your answers, I may need to know more. If the answer to both is no, then is it, in your opinion, kinder to release it outside to a most likely faster death, or to let it live out whatever is left of its short existence in my house, dreaming of a mate and inevitably seeking the light of the sill with every effort put forth in route to the outside world? If the answer to the latter of my first duo is "possibly", then what exactly will it eat? So far, no luck with several different stages of maturing fir cones and seeds... I'll appreciate whatever time that you feel so inclined to spend on your response to me. I realize that most of the world would find the lot of this as entirely ridiculous and idiotic. But I'm not concerned with how I'm perceived; I have my reasons, and I honestly can't change the unique compassion and respect that I have for all of life... sometimes, we have to do harm, and sometimes, there's just no need to. Also, I just happen to find bugs totally fascinating little critters! Thanks again for any time that you might spend on this. Kindly grateful.

Hi Katherine.
Members of  Family Coreidae are notorious for entering dwelling seeking warmth. In Ohio where I live we find a lot of Marmolated stink bugs. In answer to your questions:
1. Assuming the temperature is very low I am sure that the bug will die if you out it outside
2. I see no reason why you cannot keep it in a terrarium but since you cannot supply the developing cones for food I cannot say.With the exception of caterpillars I have never had much success if feeding herbivores.
 Since you have put in a container just enjoy the observation.
This bug may be close to the end of its life cycle and this will limit your ability keep it alive until it warms up
 I think you would be surprised how many people would not find your activity ridiculous. This is a buggy world and it belongs to the bugs. During my high school biology teaching days I always kept terrariums with insects. I now teach college biology classes in entomology. My present interest involve Arachnids and I have kept tarantulas for years.
It was a pleasure to hear from you. Whenever you want to talk Bugs I am here.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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