Wordless Wednesday–Bug-pocolypse?

I bought this plant in early April. It was an impulse purchase when I went to get some organic soil that I couldn’t find. I got it around the same time I got the mushroom kit I posted about in an earlier Wordless Wednesday (which for me is never Wordless)

Schefflera bonsai

The “bugs” appear a few days after I got it. There aren’t many–one or two at a time. But they’re large–3/8″ to 1/2″ as you can see by the ruler next to this one. And they are clearly some sort of weevil, which is not quite so obvious from this photo.

Mystery weevil

So here’s where the fun comes in. I look this thing up in all the usual places. I start on the computer with search terms like “invasive weevil” or weevil in house. I get the usual suspects that might be in my area: strawberry weevil, rhododendron weevil, things like that.

So I break out the bible of all bug books, Whitney Cranshaw’s Garden Insects of North America. If it’s not in there, it’s not to be found. I do find something similar–the Pale’s weevil–but of course, that’s only found in the Midwest and I am in New England.

But of course, I’m not sure I should be deterred by that. In the mid-2000s, I made what I thought was a positive ID of an Assassin bug. So I go grab my bug book to be sure and I look it up and they say it’s not found in Connecticut. So I shrug and say, “Well, it must be some look alike relative.”

A full 2 years later, at one of those 1 day Bio-blitz things where they try to ID all the species in a given locale, I read that they have found the “first ever” Assassin Bug in Connecticut. And I think, “Oh no, you haven’t” but of course, what can you say about that?

So if I have some new invasive weevil, what should I be doing? Stomping on them, I suppose. I’ve already thrown 2 out the window, thereby forever altering Connecticut’s delicate ecosystem. This is how invasions start. Let’s hope it was too cold for them to survive–or that my trusty birds ate them for me!

Later searching led me to this fact sheet that reassured me that these things were in fact native to my region so I hadn’t brought on a bug-pocolypse after all. They’re native to the “eastern” United States from Texas to Nova Scotia. That’s some definition of “east!” Anyway, I feel relieved that I haven’t started a new invasion. I just hope I haven’t now imperiled my trees!

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