Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What...The...Heck Is That Thing?

Last week my wife got a call from our daughter--seems we had a new occupant in our house. They caught a little bug, a bug they couldn't identify. When my wife and I got home, we couldn't tell what it was.

I grew up across the street from where I now live. We live on the side of a mountain and as a kid, I was on that mountain everyday. I'm sure I wasn't up there everyday, but that's how it felt. I know I spent more time hiking and catching critters on the mountain that any of my kids have. Then again, I can't really blame them. If I had video games, computers, and on-demand entertainment as I kid, I probably wouldn't have spent much time up there either. 

And even though I have lived here almost all my life, I did not know what that bug was. It was small, just a little bigger than a mosquito. It had six legs (though one was missing, most likely lost in its capture...) and two long antennae. It had the body of a tiny Praying Mantis, but the head didn't look like that at all. I was stumped.

Since we didn't know what the bug was, we did what most people do, we turned to Facebook, the fount of all knowledge. My wife asked her friends; I asked my friends. At first, we received little response. It could be because my pictures weren't too clear. It was so small, I had a tough time focusing on the little guy (I'm assuming it was a guy...).

It wasn't until Sunday that we got what we think is the definitive answer. A neighbor came up to us at church and told us it was most likely an Assassin Bug Nymph. I did a quick search, saw some pictures on-line, and agreed. Of all the bugs we were told it could be, the pictures of the assassin bug nymph looked the most like the one we caught.

The bug no longer resides among us. We have no idea if there are others about. They're so small we might miss them. But, as things change in life, it's probably not the last bug about which we don't know lives either inside or outside our little home.

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