Neotropical red-shouldered stink bug

This handsome little green stink bug, with its characteristic red stripe across the top of the scutellum and another red stripe down the snout, is the neotropical red-shouldered stink bug (or red-shouldered stink bug), Thyanta perditor. It’s another Wikipedia stub syndrome victim, alas; it lives in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean and…

Homaemus proteus

Meet one of five species of shield-backed bugs in the genus Homaemus: this is Homaemus proteus, notable for those two lovely spots on its scutellum (although not all individuals have the spots, and some have much bigger spots — I wonder if this might be a nymph rather than a color morph, but this is…

Harmostes Serratus

Harmostes serratus is distinguished from other North American species in the genus by the toothed (serrated) edges of the pronotum (the bit behind the head). This little dude is in the family Rhopalidae, known as “scentless plant bugs” because, although these insects look like and are (distantly) related to stink bugs, they are not actually…

Black Stink Bug

This is the black stink bug, Proxys punctulatus, a relatively benign insect found over most of the southern US and down into the Carribbean. It’s about 12mm long, black, with spotted black and cream legs, with a long, pointy face, banded antennae, and a black body with a single white spot in the middle. Like…

Plant Bug Nymph

The only species in the genus Coccobaphes, Coccobaphes frontifer is an unassuming little bug — so unassuming that it doesn’t have a common name beyond “plant bug”, which actually encompasses the whole family, Miridae. Coccobaphes comes from the Greek for “berry colored”. This is a very small, probably first or second instar, nymph; the adult…

Wheel Bug

One of the largest terrestrial true bugs in North America, this bad boy (or girl) can reach up to 1.5 inches / 38mm in size (although subjectively it seems much bigger in person!). The wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) is an assassin bug, which means that big pointy bit on the front is in fact a…

Leaf-Footed Bug

This is probably an adult female leaf-footed bug (Acanthocephala declivis) — this species is named for the exaggerated “femurs” on its back legs, and the femurs are larger in the male, with impressive spikes. She’s about an inch and a half long, not including her antennae. Leaf-footed bugs are named after the “leafy” extensions of…

Milkweed Assassin Bug

A handsome milkweed assassin bug (Zelus longipes), wandering along one of the tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No 1 in New Orleans. These brightly-colored, long-legged insects are ambush hunters, believe it or not, which stroll idly along foliage, reaching out to grasp prey with their front legs. Most species of Zelus seem to be cryptically…