Bugs

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

While it remains a mystery why anyone thought a peaceful green daisy-dwelling insect was a bed bug, the correct identification is Miridae, or plant bugs.

The mirids are one of evolution’s spectacular radiations. The family contains more than 10,000 mostly herbivorous species and is found worldwide. As many of you picked, mirids are especially recognizable by the cuneus, a portion of the fore wing that folds slightly downward and is separated from the rest of the wing by a subtle suture. I’ve indicated the cuneus on a tarnished plant bug here:

A Lygus sp. tarnished plant bug, showing the cuneus

For their efforts, the indefatigable JasonC wins 6 points for nailing the family ID with some supporting information. Entomologist Julie Stalhut picks up 4 points for being the first to provide the technical term, and Weird Bug Lady (who makes amazing plush insects) gets 4 more for noting the wing venation.

And I’m giving two points to Rob M because this was awesome.

This brings us to the end of month, and to the announcement of the July winner: JasonC.  Jason, please email me for your loot.