What bug is it??!!

suel41452October 11, 2010

I lifted some iris clumps today and found many that had the rhizome bored into. In a few of the bored-out places, there was an insect that was about 1/2" long x 1/16" wide, brown all over. It looked somewhat like a combination between an ant & a cricket. It was tending a cluster of light yellow, very tiny eggs. Anyone know what it is?

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

A beetle?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:53PM
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suel41452

Not like any beetle I've seen. I'm thinking maybe borers ate out a tunnel, and some bugs are just using them for a home. It resembles an ant more than anything. I'm digging up more - if I see another, I'll try to get a pic.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 8:21PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

It's not an earwig, is it? They tend their eggs and young.
Renee

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:26AM
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suel41452

I'm familiar with earwigs, so I know it's not an earwig.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:15AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Here's a great site for bug ID.
Renee

Here is a link that might be useful: What's That Bug?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:03PM
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chadinlg

I have read (on other forums) of crickets which chew onto rhizomes. Not that they live inside them, but I suppose that's possible also. So they could be crickets...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:20PM
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suel41452

I shouldn't have said it looked somewhat like a cricket. It didn't have large back legs at all. It's just that the head seemed "boxy" and not oval or pointy like most ants. I think the insect was using the borer hole in the rhizome like a hermit crab as a nursery! The way it was zooming around inside the rhizome, trying desperately to protect the eggs, reminded me of an ant, too.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:15PM
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suel41452

hosenemesis - You were correct after all! I'd never seen a female earwig before, only males. After googling for images, I'm sure the bug was a female earwig. Thanks for the tip!!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 1:49PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Cool. I was dismayed when I found out what good mothers they were.
Renee

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 2:09PM
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