© anomalies-unlimited.com

The Alien Bug feedback from smarty pants readers

Actual Name of Alien Bug: "Ted"

Final, Overwhelming Correct Answer Vote: "Botched transporter job of Alien bug who had to go get gasoline during clandestine US East Coast Invasion: 4 votes
(John, Lessa, Alisha and me. 5 if you count Daniel who said it was "suspicious")

People who think it's some kind of phasmid/Stick Insect/Leaf Mimic/Mantis:
(pretty much everyone else): 1874 Votes

"Mating Moths/Somethings or Others": 7 Votes including an entomologist and an ecologist (I think they win)

Mindless idiotic ranting about stupid bullshit: 1 person

Most frequently suggested photo of what bug is: :http://www.earthlife.net/insects/phasmida.html

Thank you to all who took the time to write in, find pics and comment...this was amazing to learn about. I am constantly impressed at the eclectic bunch that visits my site :) (I want some stick bug pets now)

From: Onetwoxyou32
http://www.tropicalecotours.com/images/mantis.jpg

I just happened on your site and saw the alien bug photo..if you haven't already found out what it is ..its probably a leaf mimic..see above sites....your site is funny and interesting keep it coming !
From R.L. Hunter~
I haven't written before but I just had to comment on the alien bug. It looks to me like some form of leaf or stick insect which are called that because they look like leaves or sticks (imagine that, isn't science wonderful? :-)…

From Thomas in Sweden ~ "I am guessing
that it is a type of mantis (rose)".

(Isn't this incredible?)

From Tiffany - a Wheelbug?

From Alisha: :
Y'KNOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS BUT I SWEAR TO GOD I SAW ONE LAST WEEK. MY FRIEND AND I WERE OUT HAVING LUNCH AND IT WAS ON HER CAR. THE DRIVERS SIDE MIRROR TO BE EXACT. AND IT WOULDN'T GO AWAY. WE DROVE FAST, SIDE TO SIDE AND EVERYTHING ELSE TRYING TO GET THAT DAMN BUG TO FALL OFF. WHATEVER IT IS, IT HAS CRAZY GLUE FEET. I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE IN MY LIFE. WE WATCHED IT FOR A LONG TIME WHILE WE WERE RUNNING ERRANDS AND SUCH. MY FRIEND HAS A BUG PHOBIA SO WE DEFINITELY LOOKED CLOSELY AT IT. IT'S THE SAME BUG FOR SURE. IT WAS EVEN NASTIER IN REAL LIFE. WHENEVER WE WOULD STOP THE CAR IT WOULD CRUISE AROUND JUST KIND OF MOSEYED ALONG THE CAR-BODY, (IT KIND OF AMBLED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION) BUT IT WAS DEFINITELY ALONG FOR THE RIDE. WE LIVE IN TEXAS BY THE WAY, AND EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT A REAL COLD PLACE, IT IS WINTER AND THERE AREN'T THAT MANY BUGS OUT. JUST WANTED TO SHARE WITH YA.

(It's an alien invasion and Alisha proves it...since the one going to get the gas (that Phil caught on camera) didn't make it, now they're trying to do carjackings. I guess they got stumped on the "opposable thumb" problem.)

From Kid D:
The Alien Bug is a Phasmid. Or a Leaf & Stick bug; walking sticks, leaf bugs. It is not an uncommon insect, you just do not see them often because of their uncanny ability to blend into their surrounding environment. Had that insect been in a tree or bush, Phil would have never saw it. Rest assured, it is a Phasmid. Although, I could be a government employee trying to make you THINK that it is a phasmid.

(Now there's some great pics! And yeah..I think you've got a point there, Kid...they can of course make you THINK they're Phasmids. I know the government's got some kind of cloaking device on planes because I personally saw one screwing up as it was trying to 'change"..but are They this good? The story is getting even more serious than I thought here...)

As I typed Kid's post up, this came in from HunterKillerX. (Secret coded note to everyone who comes to my site a lot so knows how to read my secret code: HunterKillerX must have read my mind when I was typing Kid's post and emailed right then! He's one of Them! I'll pretend I don't notice though, ok? Shhhhh)

Why, here's an interesting letter:
It's a type of walking stick (the insect not the cane). You know those kinds, that are all thin and skinny? Some look like leaves, we have the kind pictured in those photos around our house. They -are- bugs.

(See? He doesn't know we know canes aren't bugs! See how HKX is talking to me like I'd think a cane would somehow animate - like a Disney movie - and come to life as a bug and walk around on Phil's window?! This is proof of that "confused Men In Black" type of thinking reported so often in Alien Encounters! They sent this to throw us all off! Hey, I read Whitley Strieber's insane crap...)

This is from Anne, who writes funny letters and made me laff :):
That bug is probably an orchid bug. I have a friend who's a biology grad, and he works in a greenhouse, and he told me about these bizarro critters. There are ones that are WAY more freaky looking than Ted, your bug there. (I've named him, if that's ok.) And there's a whole ORDER of bugs that look just like leaves, or sticks, or flowers. This is the group that the orchid bugs are in. I've found several walking-stickbugs near my house. (I live on the river. There was a VOLE in my house last night -- you just never know WHAT will come wandering by next!)

What do you think is in this picture? Dead leaf? You would think so... but you would be WRONG! It is a CLEVER and INSANE creature, that simply has DELUSIONS of being a dead leaf. "Look at me, I mean ignore me! I'm a dead leaf, ha ha, not a juicy bug to eat, just a leaf!" It pretends to be a dead leaf so well that it forgets to ever move sometimes.

HAHA YOU FOOL! They are INSECTS! They have FOOLED you, and thereby avoided being eaten, because you would certainly not realize they were juicy and delicious insects, therefore you would pass them by, unwittingly! And, at this point, Annie realizes she needs to get to bed finally. And now Annie notices she is speaking in the third person. But Annie still wants to reiterate that those ARE really bugs! Even if Annie is quite wippy right now, that doesn't change how cool phasmids are!
If you'd like, I'll find some pictures of the most INCREDIBLE and STRANGE Orchid Bugs, which are absolutely unbelievable... they look just like flowers. It's hard to even believe they're not just flowers, even while ON THE PHONE with the guy who has seen them in real life and knows it for a fact. "Are you SURE? They're REALLY bugs? Even that purple, round flowery-looking part? Okay. I guess."

From Rebecca:
Hi Rahni,

I saw your "bug" and thought I would try a bit of speculation - it looks to me like a pair of mating moths.Lepidoptera (the family in which moths and butterflies are) mate by joining the tips of their abdomens together for some time - I have seen it in butterflies but not moths. I know in the picture you can see only 7 legs, and not the twelve that there ought to be.I would suggest that perhaps some legs have been hidden behind other legs, wings etc., or possibly been lost - arthropods with missing legs are not uncommon. I don't suppose we will ever really know what it is, but I hope this is useful to you.

I am an ecologist, my specialty is arachnids/opiliones - that's harvestmen and spiders in English. I must also point out that in scientific circles, having six legs would make it an insect - a bug is a specific type of insect with a piercing beak and hemi-metaboulous digestion - that means it injects a digestive enzyme into the prey, and sucks out it's food that way. I know that is pretty pedantic, but being as you have the kind of website that carries this kind of stuff thought it would be useful to you?

(Though you do understand that me saying, "a bug" is a lot easier for me than "Wow! An insect with hemi-metabloulous digestion!")

And wonder of wonders - even the Alien Bug, a truly intellectual mission, generates Hate Mail

From KerazyAtes:
you are so stupid. its just some bug and i bet you made it up too on top of it. nothing looks like thay bug you ought to stop bullshitting people about the bug anyoe can just go paste some crap together and make up a story about it and it wasnt even funny and you didnt even have the parts of the bug named right.

Dear Kerazy;
Kiss my Buttockial region. Love, Rahn

From John, who makes the most sense so far...
Regarding Phil's Weird Alien Bug:
I've seen the same "bug" in Texas. Of course, that IS where the Marfa Lights are. But, that is not a bug one easily forgets (even if your watch does lose 2 hours you can't explain). While I'm currently in Phoenix, I've had a house in Austin for about 15 years and I've seen over a dozen of the weirdest damn bugs there...10" long centipedes, too...right outside my house! These were bugs that I'd seen neither before nor since. They all seemed to have that mutated, spindly, freaky, ripped-apart-and-put-back-together-wrong-by-the-transporter look. Some could fly and some couldn't. One looked like it had a stinger that would penetrate a fingernail, and it wasn't a scorpion. I am not a fan of Texas bugs. I've been bitten by giant fireants, stung by giant scorpions, stung by giant hornets, and in general, they DO make 'em bigger in Texas! (ironically, all the poisonous Texas snakes I saw were smaller than their Arizona counterparts)

From Erewhon:

Hey Rahn,

just found your site today and have been on it for the last 2 hours. very nice collection and some very witty remarks. just thought I'd chime in on the alien bug subject. I'm sure I've seen this insect before

I believe it's from the family commonly known as leaf and stick insects.(the technical name is on the web somewhere. figure I won't pretend I actually know it off the top of my head :-)). And just for a laugh check out this page and related links. I really hope this is a tongue in cheek site. if it isn't then the human race may be in even more trouble than I thought.
http://www.brookview.karoo.net/Stick_Insects/Recipes/recipes.html

Oh, that's not joke. In fact on my Odd Books page you can find two books that contain serious recipes for bugs. Even
where to special order them if you don't have them in a handy backyard. Ew? I am not believing they taste like chicken.

From Daniel:
Hey. This looks very suspiciously like a Leaf-Footed Bug. The body shape, flaring segments on the hind legs, and pointed head all suggest this. There are thousands of varieties. They're found all over the world, and have varying degrees of camouflage complexity. I first became acquainted with them at the Smithsonian Insect Zoo, where I interned as a teenager. They have a piercing mouthpart, very much like a hypodermic straw, which they use to suck plant sap. Each variety usually specializes in one genus or species of plant. They're in the family Homoptera, or “true bugs”, which contains more species than any other animal family on the planet. About one eighth of all the world's multi-cellular animals belong to this category.

Here's a link to a more common, less crusty variety:
http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/fetch21/FRST308/lab2/leptoglossus_occidentalis/leaf.html

You wondered what it’d be like to be able to walk on glass, so imagine this: instead of palms and pads on your feet you have a sheet of black, densely-packed tubes extending from the flats of your peds about half an inch. Velvety-soft to the touch, they excrete a highly viscous liquid, but just a drop, no more. When you tense your tendons a thousand half-globes of this milky goo bead across the surface of your hands and feet. When you relax, the stuff retracts back into the tiny tubes like Elmer’s being sucked up a straw. When you step you tense, touch, pull, relax, repeat. Stan Lee got it wrong. If peter parker wanted to hide his spider powers he would’ve had to wear his gloves when he was acting normal, and take them *off* when he was playing wall- crawler.

From JHawkins:

Here's your boy

Assassin Bug
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Reduviidae

I was bitten by one of these things. It was small, brown, about 1/4" long. It felt like being simultaneously hit by a baseball bat, an electric shock, and a dog bite. Worse than any bee sting I've ever had. I developed a fever, headache and dizziness, nausea...Hurt for weeks, and left a hole in my leg.

Well, this would kind of make sense - it was obviously after Phil. God knows I've thought of it once or twice myself. So I was wrong about the Alien Invasion? This was a PERSONAL affront? I'd have never thought of that. I have tried to tell Phil many times that dragging his dog to the groomers and getting all those bows and crap on her once a month was going to end up badly. Poodle or no, humiliation is humiliation. . A dog would probably know where to hire an assassin bug - perhaps there's a "Mantid Mercenary Magazine" we don't know about?

From Chris:
I have a vague idea of what that bug is: ever heard of a stick bug? Those insects in the forests that look for all the world like twigs on a tree if they're standing still? I think this evolved along the same concept of imitative camouflage, but for dead leaves on the forest floor or some other such environment. Sure, it looks all obvious and freaky on a pane of glass, but if that was sitting in a pile of leaves next to the trail walk or in the crook of some tree branches, you probably wouldn't think twice unless it decided to make a break for it. I believe it might be a certain kind of praying mantis which resembles a pile of leaves, or maybe something related to this -- http://www.rictus.com/viz/photos/seattle-2001/2969-leaf-bug.html Sorry I don't have any hard data, but I don't know many etymologists here at school.

Well, now I'm thinking these bugs have a Hit Squad...it'd make sense etymologists would be the first to go.

From Evan:

I got to thinking about that grasshopper, and what it looks like, and if I looked like that, I would live in and around, lichen. Since people tend to name things after what they resemble or live in, I started Google-searching for "lichen grasshopper," and came up with some pretty close, but not exact, stuff. But if you can convince Phil to go lurking through some moss, scan some tree-trunks by slowly moving his hand over them in an attempt to spook them into slight movement, and smack some lichen-coated branches over a sheet at the same time of year the first one showed up, I'm pretty sure there'll be more out there. The other thing, if that WAS an April pic, is that lichen, mosses, bark, etc, are EXCELLENT places for an insect to escape the cell-shattering frost that kills them. It's not the cold, so much, but the FREEZING that does an insect in, in colder climates.

From Factor X: Looks like a javanese leaf insect to me...
From Lessa K: I think you're right - it's an Alien invasion, and their UFO ran out of gas. Since the price of gas goes up hourly here, my guess is they're not going anywhere any time soon, so we're safe.
From Chris: The strangeness of it is from it being reflected. If you look at the second picture, it is much more obvious.
The "real" bug is to the left and the distorted reflection is to the right.

From Kurt: It's two bugs mating. Really. Hasn't anyone see this before. They're oriented "butt to butt." No kidding.

I'm sure people have seen bugs mating but Phil took the picture and since he is of past retirement age, I don't think he's seen mating anything for quite a long time, so possibly forgot what it looks like . Don't tell him I said that tho...he has threatened me twice now with a beating from his cane if I don't hush up making cracks at him, so I told him I wouldn't anymore.

From David: It's almost certainly a variety of leaffooted bug. Here's a picture of one type, but there are kinds that are more "ornamental." http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/orn/leaffooted_bug_fig3.htm
from Mike F.- It's a mantid. They come in all kinds of wondrous shapes and sizes.It's related to your garden variety praying mantis.
From Punky: If you want to buy some of these things
http://centralpets.com/pages/critterpages/insects/stick_insects/STK4318.shtml
http://www.easyexotics.co.uk/shop/en-gb/dept_6.html

From Domino: If I'm not mistaken, the bug you have pictures of is called a 'Walking Leaf', relative of the oh so interesting 'Walking Stick'.
.. Don't laugh, I'm serious here.

(I never laugh at anything scientific I hear, Dom...honest)

From Paul: Attached is a picture of a Spiny Leaf Insect (AKA MacCleays Spectre) which is found in Australia. Bearing in mind that the one on your site is from underneath, this bears a strong resemblance. They are kept as pets and in zoos, etc so if there isn't an American version, it might have escaped.

From Gothrame: I have almost shocked myself laughing (tears shorting out computer) from reading that page Sorry, I don't know what it is ... but it must be TWO of whatever it is MATING. They are mating, I think, yes ... and perhaps one is partially digesting the other AS they mate ... Seriously, it looks like it would make more sense if it were not an "individual" ...

(That's what I've said about all my Jackson Hate mail people, too...)

From ZeldaG: There are two bugs mating, and not all legs are visible. They may have been lost for some reason. Bugs do lose their legs, especially if, while mating, they are vulnerable to predators and only manage a partial escape. Also, one bug may have lost its head. It looks as if the bug on the left is badly mutilated in one pose.

From Annette:
Looks like one of the leaf insects.

Those are some ugly bugs. I'd be willing to defer to a real, live entomologist, but these look strange enough to all be related, so it's probably the right track. Apparently there are people in this world who like to have these stick/leaf guys as pets. Personally, that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Well, you didn't have to wait long.....

From Charity: Greetings, I have a degree in entomology and would like to offer my "expert" opinion. Anyhoo, my opinion is that this is a photo of two moths mating. Clues:
1. It's quite symmetrical, especially in the second photo, which implies it's two animals joined at the butt ~hence the mating idea.
2. Also note that at each end, where the "heads" are, there seem to be long faces. Some moths keep their front pair of legs tucked tightly about their head, and don't use them much.
3. Moths are very often "hairy" which disrupts the normal outline that you'd expect from a moth, and also makes dirt/dust cling to them more ~hence the lumpy/spiky legs.
4. Yes, there should be 8 visible legs, but in the quality of the photo and the colour of the moths, it's hard to distinguish them, but I can make out what I think could be the 8 legs.
5. Moths often have cryptic coloration on their wings to make them look like leaf litter/bird crap as a disquise.

(Note to Mom : See? everyone says "Crap". I bet they don't run for the Pottymouth Soap at MIT when people say "crap" there!)

back to Odd Pics2
Back to Main page