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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help with bug ID
Location: San Diego county
November 4, 2014 7:28 am
Hi, I was wondering if you could help me ID these guys. I’m in San Diego county. They have been around for a couple of months but are starting to clump up like this now. They don’t seem to eat any plants that I care about, so I’m just curious.
Thanks!
Signature: Iris

Mediterranean Red Bug Aggregation

Mediterranean Red Bug Aggregation

Hi Iris,
This is an exotic, invasive, Mediterranean Red Bug,
Scantius aegyptius, aggregation.  According to The Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside:  “The literature contains very little information regarding the biology of S. aegyptius and Scantius species in general are not considered to be economically important species.  In California, Scantius has been observed feeding on the developing seeds and stems of Knotweed (Polygonum spp.) and Malva (Malva parviflora).  It is likely that S. aegyptius will feed on the seeds of several species of annual herbaceous plants.  The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas.  These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations.”

Mediterranean Red Bug Aggregation

Mediterranean Red Bug Aggregation

Great to know. Thanks so much for your help. They haven’t caused any trouble, unlike the dreaded Bagrada bug that has been gobbling up all my crops.
Have a good night.
Iris

Those African Painted Bugs, Bagrada hilaris, are a big problem to California crops.

I have been covering all my fall brassicas with row cover and burying the edges completely with dirt to seal the tunnels. This seems to work to keep the Bagrada bugs away until the weather gets cold. A lot more work, but without doing that they devour everything.
Thanks again for your help. Glad the Mediterranean Red Bug isn’t interested in eating my crops too.
Iris

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Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Ohio
November 3, 2014 11:14 pm
Yesterday, November 3rd on a sunny day around 54 degrees in Englewood Ohio, we saw this large flying bug crawling up the side of my parents shed. Never seen one like it before.
Signature: Scott Stewart

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Hi Scott,
This is a predatory, beneficial Wheel Bug.  They mature in the autumn and they often attract attention as they are the largest Assassin Bugs in North America.

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Subject: What is this?
Location: California, Torrance
November 2, 2014 1:02 pm
These came out of nowhere. They have wings but don’t fly. They were found in the park next door and have migrated toward our house, but don’t seem to know where to go or what to do. They just mill about. They seem to avoid plants and keep to open areas.
Signature: Dan

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Dear Dan,
Your insect is
Scantius aegyptius, a non-native Red Bug in the family Red Bugs Pyrrhocoridae that was first detected in Southern California in 2009, according to BugGuide.  It is native to the Mediterranean, so even though it does not have an official common name, we have been referring to it as a Mediterranean Red Bug.  According to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research:  “Damage: The literature contains very little information regarding the biology of S. aegyptius and Scantius species in general are not considered to be economically important species.  In California, Scantius has been observed feeding on the developing seeds and stems of Knotweed (Polygonum spp.) and Malva (Malva parviflora).  It is likely that S. aegyptius will feed on the seeds of several species of annual herbaceous plants.  The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas.  These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a bee assassin?
Location: Tallahassee, FL
November 1, 2014 7:13 pm
Found a large group of these strange black/orange/yellow bugs with white spots on their backs. They are ranging in size from mickle to quarter. The large one in top right is around a quarter.
Please help.
Signature: Drew

Giant Milkweed Bugs

Giant Milkweed Bugs

Dear Drew,
This looks to us like an aggregation of Giant Milkweed Bugs,
Sephina gundlachi, which according to BugGuide is:  “Confined to climbing milkweed, Cynanchum scoparium.”  Do you have climbing milkweed planted nearby? 

Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response! Yes, there actually is some not too far from where this picture was taken. Great info.
I have lived in FL all my life and have never seen even one Milkweed Bug, so it comes as no surprise I had to find out what was going on in this case.
Thank you for your help. I will try and make a donation to your site next paycheck. Can’t promise it will be much, but I do appreciate what you all are doing.
Regards,
Drew H.

Hi Drew,
Thanks for your kind intentions.

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Don’t Lose Your Head on Halloween
Subject: Wheel bugs mating
Location: Charlottesville VA
October 29, 2014 1:34 pm
Hi – my daughter found these two (very slowly) making their way across the sidewalk. I checked your site right away and was expecting to spend some time trying to narrow down what they could be. I was happy to find that this was one of the featured bugs on the front page of the website. Thank you for that! Not sure if you needed any more pictures of them mating, but here are a few my daughter took with my phone.
Signature: Hendersons

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

Dear Hendersons,
Your study of mating Wheel Bugs is a tangle of limbs that would make a novice bug watcher suspect a sighting of some prehistoric, mutated creature.  This is a Perfect Halloween Feature, so we are making it the Bug of the Month for November 2014 and posting it early.  We wish you had a camera angle that could distinguish actual mating with mere coupling.

Mating Wheel Bugs

Mating Wheel Bugs

That’s terrific! My daughter will be ecstatic. Here’s another picture, but I’m not sure it gives you anything more to see. We were afraid to get too close, not knowing anything about them!
Thank you so much for your response. There will be a happy kid here after school today when she hears about the Bug of the Month.
Take care and keep up the good work!
Jennifer Henderson

Hi Jennifer,
We try to keep a kid friendly site, though we do write for adults.  We like making kids happy.

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Subject: what kind of bug is this?
Location: Boonsboro Maryland
October 25, 2014 6:05 pm
I’m just wondering what kind of bug this is and if you can help that would be wonderful thank you.
Signature: Kyle Kwiatkowski

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

Dear Kyle,
Wheel Bugs like your individual attract attention throughout their lives, from young hatchlings, to brightly colored nymphs, to transitionary molts, to mating adults.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination