Strange-looking white bug with six legs is a masked hunter

Bug mystery solved

UPDATE: 9:23 a.m.

The identity of an Okanagan mystery bug has been solved.

Ashley Driegen posted a picture of an odd-looking insect to the Vernon & Area Community Forum Facebook page, sparking speculation as to what kind of bug it was.

Numerous Castanet readers added their opinion – and while a few thought the insect was a tick of some sort, by far the majority have identified the bug as a masked hunter nymph.

According to the University of Michigan website, “the masked hunter is a curious oddity of a bug that occurs throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. It was introduced from Europe before the beginning of the century. Both adults and nymphs are predators that feed on other insects including flies, carpet beetles, mealworms and bed bugs.

“The adult bug is dark brown or black and about two cm long. The nymphs or immatures are covered with microscopic hairs which catch and hold dust, lint, and other small particles of debris. This camouflage helps the nymph to ambush prey, hence the common name, 'masked hunter.' If threatened or handled roughly, these insects will bite people with their needle-like mouthparts. Their bite is very painful and can result in localized swelling.”

Have you come across a mystery bug, or just an unusually icky one? Send us a picture to [email protected], and we'll try to identify it.

ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

It's time for another round of Name That Insect.

As spring heats things up, creepy crawlies are returning to a home or garden near you.

The Okanagan has a diverse population of birds, furred critters and insects – lots of insects. And they never fail to pique residents' curiosity – as well as fears.

Some are pretty standard bug fare – but, once in a while, a creeping, crawling or flying creature will be found that is not so easy to identify.

Such was the case when Ashley Driegen posted this picture of an odd-looking insect to the Vernon & Area Community Forum Facebook page.

The white bug with six legs generated some discussion about what the creepy crawly is, but so far there's no definitive conclusion.

What do you think it is?

Send us an an email to [email protected] with your thoughts.

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