US border officials intercepted an unwanted visitor at the border—a bug never before seen in this country. Customs inspectors spotted the insect corimelaena palmeri in a shipment of cut flowers from Mexico, reports CNN. A news release from US Customs and Border Protection says inspectors at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility in San Diego spotted an "unusual insect" in a tractor-trailer's cargo in October and sent it along for further testing. It took a few months, but the CBP finally identified the bug—"a member of the family Thyreocoridae, more commonly known as a family of shield bugs," per Homeland Preparedness News.
"Discovering a first-in-nation pest at one of our ports of entry is an extraordinary achievement," says CBP official Sidney Aki. No details were provided on the potential impact in the US should the bug establish a home here. The discovery came only after the truck was subjected to an "intensive agriculture inspection," suggesting some of the critter's cousins might already have slipped through in less intensive inspections. In this case, the truck and its flowers were sent back to Mexico after the discovery of the bug. (Read more insects stories.)