What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moved Into House in Arizona, these bugs are everywhere outside
Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 9:41 PM
I moved into a house in Peoria, Arizona. Its consider farm land out here, there are houses all around and a farm across our street. I have noticed these bugs everywhere outside. We have a shrub in the back and on the side of the house and they seem to be coming from there.
Thank You! Sara
Peoria, Az

Bordered Plant Bug

Bordered Plant Bug

Long, black with red perimeter on abdomen
Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM
Around my house I see this insect all the time, but have no idea what it is. They are usually about 1 inch long, 1/4 inch wide, and black. But on their backs there is a perimeter (circumference?) of bright red-orange, in a thin, sharp line, all the way around. They look very similar to the one in the image provided, except that the red-orange coloration is only around the perimeter of its back, not toward the middle, and it extends all the way around the end.
Thanks,
Kelli Welch
Vernon Parish, Louisiana, USA

Dear Sara and Kelli,
Sara has provided an image of a Bordered Plant Bug in the genus Largus. The photo is blurry, and there are many similar looking species in the genus. We believe the most likely candidate is Largus succinctus. According to BugGuide: “Identification A large, dark bug, black or dark yellow-brown. Orange-red to orange-yellow border to abdomen margins of corium. Base fo femora also this same color. Largus cinctus is a closely-related species of the western United States. Taxonomy, and thus range, of these species not quite clear. (1)
Range Eastern, central, and southwestern United States: New York south to Florida, west to Colorado, Arizona.” Kelli provided an image of a Box Elder Bug and the two are similar in appearance, but the Bordered Plant Bug fits Kelli’s verbal description. Since we got both of your letters in rapid succession, and it is time to select a Bug of the Month for February, we have chosen the Bordered Plant Bug. According to Charles Hogue, who writes about the Largus cinctus californicus in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “This bug is conspicuous at times because of its habit of congregating in very large numbers on certain plants, especially herbaceous weedy shrubs.” We are also including a better focused image of a Bordered Plant Bug sent in by Beatrix in March 2007.

Bordered Plant Bug

Bordered Plant Bug

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One Response to BUG OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY 2009: Bordered Plant Bug

  1. Larry Jacobs says:

    Found Largus cinctus in a field of Del Cabo cherry tomatoes March 2013. In May 2013 observed large number of what appears to be the same species, Largus cinctus, in our garden in Pescadero, California (south of San Francisco).

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