Alabama bug question

May 28, 2011 @ 6:57 pm | Filed under:

A coppery-colored* flying insect, about the size of a small butterfly, with translucent, veined wings like a leafhopper. The wings were much smaller in proportion to the body than is the case with a butterfly. Skinny, bent, grasshoppery legs (um, I think, if I’m remembering correctly). From its head, a little upward-curving horn (not really a horn, but that’s what it looked like, almost a rhino effect). And upcurling pincers or something from the back end, as well.

Any idea what that was?

*(Huh. In the one regrettably unfocused, unhelpful photo I snapped, the thing looks more like a yellow-green. Long skinny body. It was the curling tail and horn that intrigued me!)

EDITED TO ADD the unhelpful photo. My camera couldn’t focus on the thing, plus I was inside looking through the glass door to which he was clinging. All you get from this picture is (maybe) an idea of coloring and body shape. I’d say he was a little over an inch long. The blurry horizontal bars are miniblinds.

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13 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Meredith says:

    The horn means it is probably some type of beetle. Maybe you saw a famous boll weevil down in AL? Maybe you can narrow it down with these beetle photos

  2. Kristen says:

    I’m not sure. Was it a cicada? I’m sure you must know what they look like, right?

    I’m wondering where in Alabama you were. We are very close to northern AL and were sorry to have missed you!

    God bless,

    PS. We were talking about you as we drove thorugh the Shenandoah valley more than a week ago, especially when we passed the living museum in Staunton!

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    Ooh, Kristen, I’d have loved to see you! I am still homesick for the Frontier Culture Museum… 🙂

    We did see (and hear, oh my) lots of cicadas and they WERE that same copper color, but I’m almost positive this bug was something different. The wrong sort of wings. However, it’s entirely possibly I’m mixing up his coloring with the many cicadas that decided to smash themselves against our windshield.

    Meredith, nope, not a boll weevil! I keep plugging things into Bug Finder (thanks for the link—I’d forgotten about that site), but so far, no joy. I know I have at least one entymologist friend reading here, so maybe she’ll weigh in at some point…

  4. sarah says:

    Jeb Bush?

  5. Theresa says:

    Caddis fly?

  6. Tracy says:

    My husband says Earwig.

  7. Tracy says:

    or maybe a scorpion fly? since you said like a rhino, not like with tusks.

  8. Melissa Wiley says:

    Nope, none of those. 🙂 I SO wish I’d gotten a good picture! Argh. It had more in common with a butterfly or dragonfly. I’m thinking the wings were not spread out flat at rest like a dragonfly…folded together like a butterfly’s. I thought for sure the upcurving horn and long curving tail/spike/thing would make it easy to ID, but I can’t find anything like it at the bugfinder sites!

  9. Joann says:

    I’m thinking if it’s in the beetle family it could be a June bug?

    But that would not be easily confused with butterflies or dragon flies.

    So maybe an antlion

  10. Melissa Wiley says:

    Hmm–Joann, the antlion wasn’t quite right, but it led me to mayflies, which are the right size, color, body type, and wing type, and the long spiky tail things are right (I only remember one but could’ve been my angle). I can’t see the head shape clear enough in those photos to know if it has the upturned nose/horn.

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    Actually, in that first link, the long feelers (or whatever they are) are the shape and curve I remember. So maybe there were two of them, but from my angle one was blocking the other.

    We were a house right on a lake, so that fits too.

  12. Penny says:

    Speaking of bugs, have you watched Masterpiece Theater’s “My Family And Other Animals” – you MUST. The book is excellent, and they stayed true to it in the movie. IMDB it to check it out – you won’t be sorry 🙂

  13. Tracy says:

    hmmm…this one is hard to identify. From the picture and description of pincers in the back, I was thinking a katydid…but that is probably not right. Mayflies are not very big insects and they color doesn’t seem right for a mayfly so I’m thinking it was not one of those. How were the wings held as it was resting?