East Meets West, Bug Style

The Western Conifer Seed Bug has reached eastward to my NJ office.

The Western Conifer Seed Bug has travelled eastward to my NJ office.

The bugs like to cling to the front of my office building.

Bugs like to cling to the facade of my office building.

East met west this afternoon in front of my office building. I had stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, when I saw a strange looking insect sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. I’m definitely not a bug fan, but it caught my attention anyway. Not only was it fairly large, but it was unusual because I hadn’t seen any insects hanging around all winter, except the stink bugs. Today the temperature reached into the mid 40s, so perhaps the bug was attracted by the pre-spring warmth.

The insect had a brownish colored abdomen with a pattern on it and long front antennas. I had never seen an insect like it before. I was intrigued enough to run back inside the office to grab my camera. After taking a photo of the bug, I Googled “large brown bug with antennae” to see what I could find out about it. I figured out that the mystery bug was a Western Conifer Seed Bug. Western . . . immediately I thought I had made a mistake identifying the insect. Since I live on the east coast, I checked to see if perhaps there was an eastern variety of seed bug. After a little reading on the Penn State Entomology web page, I learned that the western conifer seed bug has been expanding its range into the east. At first it was identified in Pennsylvania and now the bug ranges in New Jersey and even into Canada.

Although the western conifer seed bug I saw on the sidewalk was barely moving, apparently they buzz and fly like a bee. The bad news for me is that the bug is considered a pest that likes to come indoors, inside homes and office buildings, in the winter. Perhaps this western conifer seed bug has been hanging around with the stink bugs at my office all winter and I hadn’t noticed it before.

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5 responses to “East Meets West, Bug Style

  1. Interesting looking little critter!

  2. it is really pretty! the design reminded me a bit of frank lloyd wright stuff. :)

  3. yuck! I found one of these in my attic. At least it is not what i thought it was,- the Asian Longhorned beetle, the cause for so many dead Elms in the east. How much of a pest is this thing? Does it hurt crops/trees?

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