Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bug bite



My sister woke up to a painful bite/sting on her toe.  She found this bug in her room shortly afterwards.  Her toe is throbbing, red, and swollen.  Can you help us identify this bug?  We thought it looked like a woodlouse but it appears to have a stinger...?


Hi, Liz:

The animal in your image *is* a woodlouse, albeit a dead one.  The last segment on the abdomen has a pair of cerci ("tails"), and perhaps one of them broke off this dry specimen.

Your sister should seek medical attention for the symptoms, and not assume the injury is the result of a bite or sting.  Many, many other medical conditions are too often dismissed as insect or spider "bites" when they are something even more serious, like MRSA.

You may wish to consult a medical professional here at AllExperts, too, for more suggestions; but this is no longer an entomology question given the lack of a "suspect" in a bite scenario.  Please give your sister my sincerest wishes for a swift and full recovery.



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.

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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