University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #19

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


You may be wondering to yourself, "Where is the insect in this mystery picture?". Look closely and you will see a true bug, the Arboreal Stinkbug, right in the middle of the picture.

This insect uses camouflage to disguise itself so it can hide from predators (like birds) who might try to eat it. It looks just like the tree bark where it spends most of its time (usually high up in the tree). This species is fairly common in Kentucky, although we don't notice it because it is so good at hiding!

The arboreal stinkbug feeds on plants and is known for its ability to produce a disagreeable odor (this also helps protect it against predators).


The Black Widow Spider is found in warm climates around the world. It displays sexual dimorphism, meaning that the male and female look very different. "I thought the black widow spider had a red hourglass marking on its abdomen!", you say. And you would be right--the FEMALE often has a red hourglass, but the MALE does not! This is a male Black Widow Spider. The male is usually smaller, has longer legs and has different markings than the female. These spiders are probably the most venomous spiders in the United States. Their bites can cause symptoms similar to appendicitis. Females are more dangerous than males because males do not bite. Whew!

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