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Parks and Recreation
Prince William County Wildlife - Insects

See also our section on Butterflies


Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug, (BMSB), is an invasive insect not native to North America. It was accidentally introduced near Allentown, PA in 1996 and has spread since that time. It was found in Virginia in 2004 and by 2010, it was found throughout most of the Commonwealth. The BMSB feeds on a wide range of tree fruits and seed pods as well as many vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucurbits, and sweet corn. High densities of this pest species have also been seen in soybeans and corn. However, so far in Virginia, the most severely damaged crops have been tree fruit (apples and peaches). For homeowners, it is mainly a nuisance pest, as it invades houses in the winter looking for a place to over-winter. For businesses such as hotels and restaurants and other commercial settings with public interface, the presence of high numbers of these bugs in the fall can have economic consequences.

The BMSB is a grayish brown shield-backed bug about 3/4 inch long with white bands on the antennae and legs, alternating black and white spots on the abdomen, and no spines on the front of the thorax. Nymphs lack wings, and have reddish and white marking on the upper surface of the abdomen. There may be spines of the front of the thorax in nymphs.

Black Widow Spider Like all spiders, the widow spiders have two main body parts, the cephalothorax and abdomen. The cephalothorax bears the head and legs. The abdomen is much larger than the cephalothorax. The spinnerets, or silk and web making appendages, are attached to the rear end of the abdomen. On widow spiders, the spinnerets look like a cluster of small cones.

Females of the Western, Southern, and Northern widows look like the classic black widow spider. The body is shiny black and the underside of the abdomen has orange-red marking(s) on it. The Western and Southern widows usually have the distinctive red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen although it is important to note that the hourglass is sometimes separated into two triangular parts. The Northern widow almost always lacks a complete hourglass and instead has two red bars on the underside of the abdomen and red bars on the top of the abdomen. Many female widows will also have an orange-red spot immediately above the spinnerets on the top of the abdomen.

The males and females cut a one-half inch circular hole into the wood, then create a tunnel parallel to the surface of the wood. Within the tunnel the female stores food and lays eggs. The developing carpenter bee larvae are in individual cells in the tunnel. There is usually only one generation per year.

Bumble bees are large, hairy bees that collect and carry pollen on their hind legs to bring it back to the hive.
Size: 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches (19.1-38mm). Color: Generally black and yellow

  Bumble Bee

Bumble bees are common and inconspicuous insects; yet most people have never seen the fascinating bustle of activity in the nest of the bumble bee. Inside the nest, a colony of these social insects may number 200 or more. Members engage in most of the activities of a human society–gathering food, caring for offspring, constructing a home, defending it, and regulating the environment inside it. Bumble bees have very few natural enemies, skunks being one of the few animals that find bumble bees tasty, sting and all.

By nature, stripers are anadromous, spending most of their adult lives in saltwater, making spring "spawning runs" to freshwater tidal rivers. However, this species has been successfully stocked in freshwater lakes, and landlocked stripers have been established in several lakes around the state.

Longhorned Beetles/

Adults are called longhorned beetles because of their long and distinctive 11-segmented antennae, often longer than the beetle's body. The thorax and wing covers on some species bear small, stout spines. Roundheaded borers (larvae) are elongate, cylindrical, and have large gnawing mandibles. The name roundheaded borer refers to the enlarged thorax directly behind the head.

Adult longhorned beetles are medium to large cylindrical beetles, usually brown, reddish brown, or black in color. They are sometimes mottled or banded with white or gray. Larvae (roundheaded borers) are brown, reddish brown, or black. They are sometimes mottled or banded with white or gray.

Click Beetle

The larval form of the click beetle is the wireworm, which can be a pest in gardens and turf if there are large numbers of them. The wireworms feed on the roots of plants. Click beetles feed on nectar from flowers and are not pests.

These flattened, elongate, brown beetles are about 1/4 to 3/4 inch long. On their underside, they have a click mechanism that aids them in defense and righting
themselves when they are turned upside down. They release this mechanism with an audible "click" which causes the head to snap back with such force that they can be propelled into the air as much as several inches.

: 1/4 to 3/4 inch (6.4-19.1 mm).
Color: Brown

Black Vine Weevil 

The adults feed on a wide variety of evergreen, deciduous, and herbaceous plants. The larval form is destructive on yew (taxus), hemlock, rhododendron, and several other broad-leaved evergreens. Adults and larvae will sometimes feed on strawberry and impatiens.

Black vine weevil adults are black, 1/4-inch-long weevils with short, broad snouts. The head is narrow, the thorax is medium and rounded, and the wing covers are broad and well rounded. The wing covers have fine yellow hairs and conspicuous corrugations which appear as lines down the back. Adults cannot fly; their wing covers are fused together. The larvae are white with a well-developed brown heads, but no legs.



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