Thursday, April 20, 2006

That bug is a western conifer seed bug

Yes, I have the answer. Thanks to those who commented on my post What's that Bug? for their guidance, and especially to the experts at the website What's that Bug? (WTB) for their prompt reply to my query.

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Interestingly, the western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis), is, according to this site (which refers to the bug as the pine seed bug), often misidentified as an assassin bug or a stink bug. Especially interesting because one of the links that homebird found and kindly left in the comments was to a page that shows a picture of the seed bug, and indentifies it as stink bug. Further investigation of this site reveals that there is also a page dedicated to the western conifer seed bug, with a different picture of what sure looks like the same bug. (I've sent them an e-mail about this.)

The University of Guelph Pest Diagnostic site has a page about this bug as well, one that goes into more detail about what a western bug is doing in eastern Ontario, and about the bug's structure:
Leptoglossus occidentalis is a member of the family Coreidae, the leaf-footed bugs. As such, it has the characteristic swellings of the hind tibia.
This feature of the legs is clear in all the photos, mine, and those on the linked sites. The feature is absent from the collection of stink bugs at the other page homebird found for me.

Still, I'm amazed when an individual bug species is identified at all--there are so many, and the appearance of different members of the same family can differ so radically, in both their adult and earlier forms. I can't wait to see what turns up in the house next!!

Submitted to Friday Ark #83. Go see who's on board this week.


Michael Solomon said...

Excellent find and great detective work! I got as far as coridae but most members in my books are dull, and this one is quite painted. Water bugs also have the broadened tibiae, but there's nothing hydrodynamic about your bug. Now, I wonder how far from his home he is and what it means!

Pamela Martin said...

Michael! Great to hear from you. Thanks, but the greatest bit of detective work really was knowing to ask the folks at What's that Bug?. They were truly great, getting back to me in 24 hours, in what must be a busy season for them as more and more of the northern hemisphere comes into the bug season. (I got my first blackfly bite of the year today!)

homebird said...

Well, now, goes to show you can't even trust some of the supposed experts on the web! Glad you ID'd your bug and also that it was not, in fact, a stink bug.

Muad'Dib said...

Ahhhh! I guess I spoke to soon with my guess.. :)

Assasin bugs have sharp front legs methinks and I didn't even look..

What I want to know is what are the bedamned little beetles I keep finding in my house with a brown fuzzy band across the width of their black backs.. hate them.


SusannahA said...

That's my bug! It matches exactly the 3 I have in a box (dead, of course). I found them on a dying spruce from Alberta. (I am in Vancouver, BC.)

I've been looking everywhere for a name and photo.

I love your site.

Charles said...

Being a layman when it comes to bugs - I had one in the house and killed it thinking it was a cockroach. It does in fact stink - which is why it could easily be mistaken for a stink bug. The smell is similar to tree sap and marzipan if you can imagine a combination of the two. From now on I will be sure not to kill it and will place it gently outside.

Blue Moon said...

We live in Maine, just bought our house 2 months ago, and have found several of these strong scented creatures in our home. My hubby thinks they have a bit of a floral smell, something familiar, but not sure what exactly. Our house was built in 1948, so heaven only knows what else we haven't found yet! Thanks for the's nice to at least put a name to them.

Bee Anderson said...

Yes thank you all. It is already January 2007 but I have been finding single slowly crawling western conifer seed bugs in my home in St. George, Maine - halfway up the coast between Portland and Mt. Desert. They have seemed harmless and I haven't even smelled them - unlike the numerous "lady" bugs who do not act like ladies. Since my son and I each found one upstairs, I am very glad they are nothing akin to a bedbug. I haven't found any reason to kill them though they are called "nuisance bugs" by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Thanks to Michael Bohne and "Russell" for pictures, easing our minds. Latest visitor found on curtain in living room...wonder if it's time to get the Christma tree out of here! Though I think we saw the first ones well before Christmas. Anyone know if there may be a connection between their appearnce and the work done on the structure of our old (1880?) attached barn, which was starting to rot in the front?
Thanks from Barbara - mom

Anonymous said...

Every year these bugs appear in bunches in my apartment in Vancouver, BC. I have several of them right now (October, 2007). They'll be gone soon enough and I won't see them again until next year.

They're very docile, but they can give you a start when they turn up in awkward places, like on your pillow just as you're getting into bed, or on remote controls that you've just picked up, taps that you're about to turn, light switches that you're about to flip, spice jars that you're about to open, etc.

I rarely discover them just hanging out on a wall.

cassie1013 said...

OMG, thank you so much for posting. I just moved out to south surrey and have never seen this bug before..until a couple days, and I just found my second a few minutes ago. They're quite startling, one I almost stepped on on my carpet and my second was on the guest bed....this is definately my bug. They stink when you kill them, and unfortunately, my desktop (busted laptop at the moment) computer is right next to where I killed the second lol..What a distraction while paper writing, LOL

So they aren't harmful I assume?

Anonymous said...

When you get to catching up to a dozen a day in your house, they turn in to a real nuisance. Also when you wake up to one landing on your face in the middle of the night...

They do that so often I wonder if they can see in Infra-red. They unerringly target the head/face in a dark room.


Anonymous said...

I live in Northern Idaho and have only started to notice the bugs in the last five years. There are so many on the sides of buildings they dive bomb you when you walk by them. They sound like a B52 bomber when they take off. I can't stand them, if there were only a few it would not be too bad. I do not like the fact that they are eating the seeds of the conifer trees. I would love to be rid of these stinky feisty bugs.
A couple of years ago there were so many bugs on the sides of the buildings downtown it was unbelievable. There are more and more of them every year, they are taking over. We are wondering if they were brought in to control a noxious weed because of the sudden onset of the millions of these bugs. I had never seen this bug before 5 years ago. We always had the round black stink bug but never this one.

Anonymous said...

I declared this past March Conifer Seed Bug Appreciation Month. Whenever I find one I take a picture of it with my cell phone and send it to my boyfriend because he also appreicates CSBs and considers CSB sightings Important. Also, once i put a few drinks of water next to a CSB because even though they can go for a winter without food, they need water. It drank the water and everyone was happy.

genericviagra said...

I thing that this bug is a great problem to many farms and corn producers because they miss a lot of money every year and a lot of aliment was missing.So we should be careful with this insect.