Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Search Challenge (March 3, 2010) - Identifying an insect

This is a true story.

During one of my search-education classes for K12 teachers, I was asked if I could "search for this big brown bug I found in my back yard last week."

I was dubious that this would be easy to search for--insect identification is well-known to be hard under the best of circumstances, and I wasn't at all sure I would be able to find the particular bug she was talking about.

But what the heck... let's give it a try.

"Tell me a little more about the bug," I said.  "How big was it?  What color was it?  Anything else to go on?"

It turned out that the insect was pretty big, very ugly, slow-moving and brown with dark stripes on the abdomen.

With just that amount of information, I was able to do 2 searches and find the answer.  She confirmed that this was in fact the bug she'd seen.

Now... Can YOU figure out what this bug might have been?

A big hint:  The thing that confirmed it for us was the presence of stripes on the abdomen.

Give it a try.  Come back tomorrow for the answer!

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