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Alydid (Broad headed bug)

Mutusca brevicornis


A small creature that seems to be mimicking a seed. 10mm long and very narrow; some stripes full length; plain pale underneath (pic#2);


Long coarse grasses (with seeds)


Today I noticed that all our long grasses have gone to seed. I also noticed 3 new creatures, all tiny, and all seem to be mimicking grass seed. (So surprise me. ) Thanks for ID to Dr Mali Malipatil (Vic DPI) who also commented that these are usually restricted to northern Australia.

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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

ID changed.

MaryEvans2 8 years ago

Another interesting looking bug. Nice spotting

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Ok now I see the proboscis.
I'll be after some closer pics of this one if possible.

MartinL 8 years ago

Good ID Argybee, I'm sure it is correct. Check this side profile pic compared with yours you can see the proboscis a bit more clearly than in your pic.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks LivanEscudero. I found some Aus examples from your direction. Never seen these before. It's great to find something new.

LivanEscudero 8 years ago

This is definitively a True Bug. I think I can see the proboscis in the first pic; as for the division on the underside, I think that is where the proboscis is placed when foldd flat against the body. I believe it is a Broad-headed Bug from the family Alydidae. Furthermore I would not be surprised if it's a Rice Bug (Genus Stenocoris) or some close kin in the subfamily Micrelytrinae.
See some American samples here:

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

I'm getting curious about the structure of this creature. Pic #2 is ventral view head down. What do you think about the apparent division from the mouth parts to the abdomen? On a big blowup it really looks obvious. Think I'll put up that pic...

MartinL 8 years ago

I cannot reconcile those tiny back legs to any orthopteran hopper and the hemipteran hoppers either. Flying short distances is typical of true bugs. I think you'll find it there. Even the antennae belong to a hemipteran .

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Hi martin. The beastie did fly in short but quick bursts to get to the next grass. (like mini locusts) I'm unable to confirm any proboscis. I did think some kind of hopper. Thanks for the comment. Some digging to do.

MartinL 8 years ago

Argybee. The best candidate for tiny phasmid is candovia These always have forelimbs that start thin and thicken as to fit around the head when held forwards. The body shape, legs and head all look wrong. The longer I look the more it seems to be a hemipteran bug. It would have wings and a proboscis. What do you think?

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Feb 13, 2012
Submitted on Feb 13, 2012

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