Currently viewing the category: "Plant Bugs"
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Subject: Stink Bug Nymph … or something else?
Location: Paige, TX
April 21, 2014 1:31 pm
It’s spring in Texas, and that means two things are around the corner: blast furnace temperatures and stink bugs. I noticed some some small black and orange bugs on my onion plants about a week ago. They’re oval, and about 1/8″ wide by about 1/4″ long. They appear to be stink bugs nymphs. However, unlike those I’ve seen before, these are capable of flight. Can anyone help me to identify these critters?
Signature: Pyrrhyuloxia

Plant Bug, we believe

Plant Bug, we believe

Dear Pyrrhyuloxia,
This is not a Stink Bug, but we believe it is a member of the same suborder, Heteroptera, the True Bugs.  We believe this is a Plant Bug in the family Miridae, and a strong contender for the proper identification is
Metriorrhynchomiris dislocatus, though your images are soft and lacking in critical detail, so exact identification might not be possible.  According to BugGuide, this species of Plant Bug:  “has at least 15 color varieties. (Eric Eaton).”

I think you nailed it. Thanks!

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Subject: Indianapolis Beetle
Location: Indianapolis, IN
March 29, 2014 7:08 pm
We saw this bug at a house we are considering buying. Should we be concerned about an infestation? Is it a type of cockroach?
Signature: Corey C.

Red Shouldered Bug

Red Shouldered Bug

Dear Corey,
This is a Red Shouldered Bug,
Jadera haematoloma, and it is basically a benign species, however, when they have a food source and conditions are correct, they can become quite plentiful when they gather in aggregations, and then they might become a nuisance.  Red Shouldered Bugs feed on the seeds of various plants, including the Goldenrain Tree, Koelreuteria sp.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae tend to feed in groups, and favor developing seeds and fruits of their favored hosts, but will also suck sap from foliage, flowers, buds, or oozing stems. They feed on a variety of plants primarily in and related to the family Sapindaceae. Favorites include Balloonvine (Cardiospermum species) and Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria sp.), both in Sapindaceae, and they regularly use Soapberry (Sapindus sp.; Sapindaceae) and Maple/Boxelder (Acer sp.; Aceraceae). Additionally, reported on a variety of other plants, especially feeding on fruit, including Chinaberry (Melia azedarach; Meliaceae), Fig (Ficus spp.; Moraceae), Althaea (Malvaceae), Plum, Cherry, & Peach (Prunus sp.; Rosaceae), Apple (Malus sp.; Rosaceae), Grape (Vitis sp.; Vitaceae), Ash (Fraxinus sp.; Oleaceae), etc. Adults sometimes gather around human food leftovers and other smashed insects to feed as well.”  BugGuide also notes that the Red Shouldered Bug:  “Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Florida insect
Location: Orlando, FL
February 20, 2014 11:07 am
Hi, bugman. I’ve noticed these critters around my house in Orlando for a while now. I hate to kill anything unless I have to, so I left them alone. This morning, though, I noticed that there were dozens of them, and that they were hanging around the birdhouse the previous tenant had left (I’ve lived here about a year). The birdhouse is on a pole attached to the deck and is not in use right now, which I’m grateful for, since I have a cat. There’s an old nest in the birdhouse, and I think the bugs were living in it. I’m planning to take the birdhouse apart and remove the next soon, then put the birdhouse somewhere cats can’t get it. Anyway, there were so many bugs that I was horrified and sprayed them all with bug spray. I took this photo a week or so ago. Obviously, the bugs are mating. So what are they, and what do they do?
Signature: Karen in Orlando

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear Karen,
These mating Red-Shouldered Bugs are actually quite benign, however they may become a nuisance if they are plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wingless love bugs?
Location: Fresno, California
February 11, 2014 2:34 am
For years there’s been a love bug population at the elementary school near my house, and yet most of them dont have wings. Many have black markings similar or very deformed wings. Before I knew what they we’re I assumed that the females were the ones with wings (like ants). Many smaller ones look like little red tear drops with legs, which as kids we assumed where the babies. Are we right on any of this, and why would the majority of them lack wings.
Signature: confused kindergartners

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear confused kindergartners,
These are mating Red Shouldered Bugs,
Jadera haematoloma, and the female is the larger of the two.  The smaller wingless individuals are immature nymphs.  Red Shouldered Bugs often gather together in large aggregations that include adults as well as nymphs.  See BugGuide for additional information on Red Shouldered Bugs.  For the record, most female ants are wingless.  The worker ants in a colony are all sterile, wingless females.  Flying Ants or Alates are winged reproductive adults of both sexes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: colorful swarm
Location: Kissimmee, Florida
January 13, 2014 3:00 pm
I went walking in my neighborhood. These bugs covered one corner of a six foot fence and spread out more sparely farther down.
Signature: deewally

Red Shouldered Bug Aggregation

Red Shouldered Bug Aggregation

Hi deewally,
This aggregation of immature nymphs and winged adult Red Shouldered Bugs,
Jadera haematoloma, is soaking up the winter sun.  They are often found in association with goldenrain trees, and they are sometimes called Goldenrain Tree Bugs.

Goldenrain Tree Bugs

Goldenrain Tree Bugs

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Subject: Unknown true bug
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
December 7, 2013 8:28 am
These guys have been very common around and occasionally in my house especially in the fall. We live in a subdivision but our backyard is surrounded by forest. This guy and another were dead on my front windowsill by December 6. I feel like I saw live ones during a recent warm snap. Today the temperature was as low as one degree F. This may be why they are dead now.
Signature: Adam Schaffer

Boxelder Bug

Boxelder Bug

Dear Adam,
We often get reports of Eastern Boxelder Bugs,
Boisea trivittata, like the one in your photograph entering homes to hibernate when the weather cools down.  Boxelder Bugs are benign creatures, but they can make a nuisance of themselves if they are plentiful.  See BugGuide for additional information on Eastern Boxelder Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination