The world of bugs is full of fascinating and unique creatures. Several bugs have interesting patterns, including orange diamonds on their backs. In order to identify the specific bug you've found, it's important to gather as much information about it as possible. Note where you found it, what it was doing and any other significant characteristics.
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Count the legs on the bug. If it has six legs, it's an insect. Proceed to Section 2 for help identifying it. If it has eight legs, however, it is an arachnid. Arachnids are a class of animal that has eight legs, an exoskeleton and no antennae. This class includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks.
Look at the location in which you found the arachnid. Ticks are frequently found in wooded areas and buried in the skin or fur of humans and animals. Some species of ticks are rust-coloured with small diamond patterns on their backs. Mites are tiny and are often found in soft bedding, hair and fur. They come in a huge array of colours and patterns and frequently live in groups. Spiders and scorpions live in a diverse variety of locations but are not typically attracted to humans or other animals.
Check for claws or pincers. If the arachnid has claw-like appendages and a curled tail, it is a scorpion. Several species of scorpions have patterns on their backs. Emperor scorpions may have faint diamond-shaped markings, especially as babies.
Look at the colour. A black spider with diamonds on its back may be a black widow. These animals can be identified by the hourglass on the underside of their abdomen and the faint diamonds on their backs. Medium-sized spiders with long legs who do not live in webs are frequently wolf spiders. These harmless hunting spiders come in a variety of colours, and some have bright geometric markings. Jumping spiders may also have diamond-shaped patterns on their bodies. These spiders can be identified by their hairy legs and large eyes.
Look for long legs and a slightly curved body. It may be an assassin bug. Assassin bugs have thin bodies that curve slightly when they stand still. They can deliver a powerful, painful sting but are not venomous. Many species of assassin bugs have brown or black bodies with orange diamonds on their abdomen. Assassin bugs are most common in the southern United States but may periodically be found in northern regions.
Check to see if it's a beetle. Many dark-coloured beetles have orange markings on both their abdomens and legs. Beetles can be identified by their small heads and large antennae. Their bodies are clearly segmented with abdomens that are large relative to the rest of their bodies. They live in all areas in the U.S.
Check for wings and a stinger. Wasps come in a variety of colours and some have orange or yellowish diamond patterns on their abdomens. These flying insects are large, with bodies measuring two to three inches, and are frequently found in gardens. Though they are not venomous, a sting is very painful.
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- "Peterson Field Guide to Insects of North America"; Christopher Leahy, Roger Tory Peterson, Richard E. White; 1998
- "National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders"; National Audubon Society; 1980
- "National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America "; Arthur Evans, Craig Tufts; 2007