Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cool bug!

Sitting on the back patio the other night while my girls played, we discovered this cool lookin' critter crawling across the concrete, so I just had to grab the camera.

I wasn't sure what the bug was.  It looked similar in shape and color to the Box Elder Bugs common around these parts, but the cool color pattern was significantly different.  I looked online and thought it might be related to the milkweed bug.  In my web browsing, I was delighted to find  Am I the last to find this sweet online resource?!  

After perusing the pictures and not finding any that matched my bug, I posted my photo to the's ID Request.  Within minutes, one Yurika Alexander, a Japanese bug geek married to a New Jersey man, pointed me in the right direction...Firebug (Wikipedia link) Firebug ( link) (Pyrrhocoris apterus)!!!  Turns out I had been looking under the beetles section, when I should have been looking under tree bugs.  All this time I just thought firebugs were those little boy pyromaniacs that can't stop playing with matches or taking flaming sticks out of the fire...they are real bugs too!

So, and Jim McCormac's blog have inspired me to pay more attention to all the bugs I see while out birding, and now I know what resources are best to help me identify them.  While waiting for a movie a couple weeks ago, Jessica and I popped into the bookstore next door.  There I saw the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman.  I'll have to see about adding that book to my library now.


  1. Firebug, huh? It certainly is cool looking!

  2. That's a Georgia Bulldog colored bug!
    Go Dawgs!:)

  3. He is a cool bug! Great design on his wings...looks like an upside down face--like a mask! :-)

  4. @Jerry - Thanks for commenting!

    @Jean - funny how you should mention the Georgia Bulldogs as I am a huge Boise State Broncos fan. ;-) How long can Georgia's coach stay in place with all the fan pressure to win?!