What was crawling on me?
August 21, 2007 4:10 PM   Subscribe

What the heck was just crawling on my arm and where did it come from?

I felt something crawling on my arm near the elbow, and when I looked down, I saw this snow-white bug crawling on my arm. It was approximately 1cm in length and was crawling pretty slowly.

I killed it before I could take a picture, but I think that its color would be pretty distinct.

Any ideas as to what this might be with the very limited information I provided? And any idea where this thing may have come from?
posted by C17H19NO3 to Science & Nature (17 answers total)
 
Other than "snow white" and "bug," can you give us a bit more of a description?

Also, this is just the teensiest bit eponysterical, don't you think....
posted by dersins at 4:25 PM on August 21, 2007


Other than "snow white" and "bug," can you give us a bit more of a description?

well, it was rounded, not long...I killed it pretty fast, but I'm pretty sure that it had large rear legs, and kinda resembled a crab (the crustacean).

And when I say it was white, I really mean white. Whiter than a pale albino polar bear.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 4:34 PM on August 21, 2007


Sounds like maybe a sowbug. Mostly they're gray, but they can be white.

Just be glad it wasn't one of the giant aquatic ones.
posted by dersins at 4:45 PM on August 21, 2007


No, that's definitely not it.

It kinda looked like a tiny version of this.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 5:00 PM on August 21, 2007


Termite? maggot? some sort of ant?
posted by Jacen at 5:29 PM on August 21, 2007


Termite? maggot? some sort of ant?

No, not those. I'm just really nervous because I'm in law enforcement and I had to deal with some realy disgusting people today. And obviously I have NEVER seen this before in my life.

If it helps any, I live in north-central Vermont.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 5:34 PM on August 21, 2007


Crab spider? Scroll down.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:35 PM on August 21, 2007


Might be the crab spider, but my friend is telling me that it looked kinda hairy/fuzzy. I don't remember that detail, but it's possible. I don't believe it had a large abdomen like the crab spides has.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 5:40 PM on August 21, 2007


I'm guessing it was some sort of wood louse. Termites are a bit more common, but they don't usually leave the ground. Are you sure it wasn't something winged, like a moth, and appeared larger than it actually was?
posted by tehloki at 5:56 PM on August 21, 2007


The thing was the size of a large tick but definitely wasnt and didn't have wings (unless they are built like a lady bug's)
posted by C17H19NO3 at 6:17 PM on August 21, 2007


I think it is a spider. I have seen them while riding my four wheeler. They are small and seem to have a snow white down to them, it almost looks like it had some sort of white fuzz on it. Despite my best efforts I have been unable to locate the name of this spider.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:20 PM on August 21, 2007


I wouldn't dismiss the tick idea immediately. I've seen some middling to large sized white ticks in my day. No idea what type though.......
posted by Womanscientist at 7:33 PM on August 21, 2007


Maybe a mealybug? They can be found in Vermont.

Anyway, I have to say that the mental image of a tough law enforcement officer freaking out about a bug is just fantastic. Dude, just brush it off next time - then you can get a good pic of the (unsquashed) mystery insect.
posted by Liosliath at 7:50 PM on August 21, 2007


Silverfish?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:56 PM on August 21, 2007


Also, mealybugs are teeny tiny.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:57 PM on August 21, 2007


Well, 1cm is teeny-tiny. Mealybugs average around 3mm - maybe he overestimated because of the freak-out factor?
posted by Liosliath at 4:55 PM on August 22, 2007


It looked a little like the meelybug, but the rear legs were easily visible from the rear of its body. I think it had six legs at the most, and it was shaped like a tick, not elongated.

Anyway, I have to say that the mental image of a tough law enforcement officer freaking out about a bug is just fantastic.

I just don't want it to be something that could potentially cause health problems. I'm the same way when dealing with people that have open wounds, are vomiting, urinating, defecating, and even spitting.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 5:02 PM on August 22, 2007


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