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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Little black bug that bit me


Found a very small, shiny, soft bodied black bug attached to my arm.  Pulled it off, put it on a napkin, and it crawled slowly.  Could not see legs, head or mouth parts from above.  It was about 3/10'ths of 1 mm. long and wide.  Squished it (wish I hadn't), and it was full of blood (MY blood).  It bit me twice, and the first bite is somewhat swollen, red and hard.  The second bite is just a bloody spot under the skin.  Does not itch.  Our cat likes to sleep in my chair.  Any ideas about what this mystery bug was?


I explicitly state in my profile instructions to questioners:  Please, no "what bit me?" questions.  Without at least an image of the creature in question, I cannot guarantee an accurate identification.

That said, it could have been a small (nymph) tick, a minute pirate bug, or even a black fly.  If it was literally attached to you, a tick is the most likely suspect.  Nymph (baby) ticks can be very small.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

Past/Present Clients
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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