Entomology (Study of Bugs)/mystery bug

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Question
Greetings, Eric, from a former Coloradan living in Eugene, Oregon. This morning, sitting on the front steps of our 1927 Craftsman-style house, I looked down into the ivy alongside and was struck with the sight of a jet black bug with a striking bright white spot in the middle of its back. I couldn't tell if it had wings. It was at least 3/4" long, not at all slender. Very black with a very white spot in the middle of its back maybe 1/16" in diameter. I turned around to call to my wife for a camera and, yep, when I looked again, it was gone. I'm quite sure I greeted it; I always talk to spiders I find inside and take them outside to our grape vine.
Thanks, Eric, for any light you can shine. Ever been to Carbondale (CO)? I went to school up there in the High Country and miss it, though not as much as I do the ocean when I'm there for long!

Answer
Graham:

There are many insects I can think of that would fit your description, so I am afraid I can't help you without at least an image.

You may want to look at the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America .  We went to great lengths to include conspicuous insects from your area in that book.

No, have not been to Carbondale.  I've only been here since October, 2011, though, so....

Meanwhile, it is only fair to warn you I went to Oregon STATE. :-)

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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