Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this bug?

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Question
Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  
I am trying to figure out what type of bug this is for a Biology lab. It looks like a beetle, but I can't find what kind of bug it is. It crawls. I'm in North Manchester, IN and this bug was observed on 09/20/14 at 1:45 pm in a dorm room.

Answer
Hi, Elizabeth:

Thank you for including an image with your question.  This is a "Western Conifer Seed Bug," Leptoglossus occidentalis .  Despite the name, this insect is now found coast-to-coast in the northern half of the U.S.

Here's a blog post I wrote about it:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2009/09/indoor-insects-of-autumn-part-1-of-4.html

and another:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/03/true-bug-tuesday-exporting-western.html

These are at most a "nuisance pest" that does not affect the health of people or pets, or destroy property or crops.

Have a great school year, Elizabeth :-)

Sincerely,

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 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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