Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bug identification


I have asked several local science teachers about these bug/nymphs and no one has been able to identify them.  We live in northwest Wisconsin.

Dear Mark - These appear to be nymphs of the white-margined burrower/burrowing bug, Sehirus cinctus (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Cydnidae) - see http://tinyurl.com/pg92os2 for an image. They are not pests, and the female bugs exhibit parenting care of their young. See http://tinyurl.com/o7g9532 for more detailed information. There also are nymphs of some species of stink bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) that can be similar in appearance, but these do not occur in large groupings like the burrowing bugs do.

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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