Subject: Fire Bug
Location: VUng Tau, VIetnam
January 6, 2013 7:10 am
Is this a firebug, a cotton stainer or a red? It was found in Vung Tau, Vietnam feeding and mating on some rather large red seed pods with large black bean-like seeds inside of them. One strange thing is that the bugs are the exact same color as the seed pods. I’ve searched the Internet and have found similar bugs which are called fire bugs. However, there are some important differences. These bugs have completely red legs and the markings are unique. I attached 2 adult matings and 1 juvenile.
Signature: William Allen
The family Pyrrhocoridae is commonly called the Red Bug family, and the family includes the Cotton Stainers as well as the Firebugs, so Red Bugs is the more general family name that includes the other genera and species. With that said, we are having difficulty identifying your Red Bugs to the species level. We found some family members that are found in Viet Nam, but any with these exact markings are eluding us. Dindymus rubiginosus which we found on Bugs for Amateurs as well as FlickR lacks the spots. Pyrrhopeplus posthumus which we located on BiotaTaiwanica is a close match. The drawing of the wing pattern for Dysdercus cingulatus which we found on http://psybugs.biota.biodiv.tw/book/export/html/385 is pretty accurate, but once we found a photo of the insect on Forestry Images, the spots seem too high on the wings and the black triangular scutellum is missing on your specimens. Project Noah did not provide us with anything conclusive. After spending some time trying in vain to provide a species identification, we have decided to post you images and we hope one of our readers might be able to assist. We feel confident that you can use the general term Red Bug to describe your individuals which are in the family Pyrrhocoridae.
Update: September 27, 2015
We just received a comment today pointing us to a link to Farangs Gone Wild and the Kapok Bug, Probergrothius nigricornis, which appears to be the proper identification for these Red Bugs. Siam Insect Zoo & Museum also has images of the Kapok Bug that match.