Currently viewing the category: "Plant Bugs"
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Subject: tan bettle with yellow edges
Location: Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
April 25, 2015 11:18 pm
We spotted this beetle in Griffith Park, California. Can you tell us what it is?
Signature: Catherine Rhodes

Bordered Plant Bug

Bordered Plant Bug

Dear Catherine,
You have submitted an image of a Bordered Plant Bug,
Largus californicus, a true bug, not a beetle.  According to BugGuide, they feed on:  “Mostly plants (flowers, leaves, fruit) from a range of families, with a preference for Lupines. L. californicus is not considered a “pest species” of economic importance.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for identifying this little guy.  That is so interesting.  I shared with my fellow bug hiking mates too.  Terrific that you do this!  Catherine

You are most welcome.  Though we have an international following, we are a local resource for you in Los Angeles.  We can see the Griffith Observatory from our offices in quaint Mount Washington in the hills of Northeast Los Angeles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Santa Barbara California
March 27, 2015 6:42 pm
My backyard has been completely over run by thousands of these bugs over last 6 months. What are they?
Signature: Jeff

Red Shouldered Bug

Red Shouldered Bug

Dear Jeff,
This is a Red Shouldered Bug,
Jadera haematoloma, and according to BugGuide, the habitat is:  “Yards, gardens, riparian areas, and other areas in association with hostplants. Often found in large aggregations feeding on leaking tree sap, dead insects, or seeds that have fallen from trees overhead. Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.”  BugGuide has a list of host plants, and eliminating the food source should help to control the numbers of Red Shouldered Bugs in your yard.

Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty liked this post
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Subject: What are these
Location: Byron bay australia
November 12, 2014 11:24 pm
These guys are absolutely everywhere in my garden. What are they?
Signature: Rob

Immature Red Eyes Bugs

Immature Red Eyes Bugs

Dear Rob,
We believe we have identified this aggregation as a group of immature Red Eyes Bugs,
Leptocoris tagalicus, that includes one winged adult, the lowest individual in the image.  We matched your image to images posted on the Brisbane Insect website where it states:  “The bug can be found on different type of plants. From the reference information, bugs in genus Leptocoris are seed predators of plants in family Sapindaceae. They are also known as Soapberry Bugs. This bug is common in Brisbane garden and backyards. They feed on plant seeds. Usually they do not do noticeable harm to the host plant. “

Thanks Daniel, I think that’s the one.
Rob

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Subject: Is this an assassin bug?
Location: Big Bend of Texas, Chihuahuan Desert
July 27, 2014 6:08 am
Thanks for all you folks do! I’m hoping you can help me identify what bug has been invading my house for the past couple weeks. We live in the Chihuahuan Desert, on the southwest edge of Texas. We have lots of interesting bugs, including the kissing bug called the conenose which can carry the parasite T. cruzi (causes Chagas disease).
The small bug that has been “blooming” lately resembles the conenose, but the body shape isn’t quite right and the sides are solid red, instead of striped. I’m hoping you will be able to identify this bug — and I’m also hoping it isn’t an assassin bug! We have been sweeping them up and tossing them outside daily, but it feels like bailing out the ocean!
Signature: Sara

Red Shouldered Bug

Red Shouldered Bug

Hi Sara,
The Red Shouldered Bug,
Jadera haematoloma, is a Scentless Plant Bug in the family Rhopalidae, not an Assassin Bug, so you do not have to worry about bites.  Though they are benign, they do have the habit of entering homes, sometimes in great numbers.  According to BugGuide, they are also called Goldenrain Tree Bugs, and perhaps you have a tree in your garden that is attracting them.  BugGuide states:  “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.”

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Subject: What is this thing?
Location: Little Rock, AR
July 22, 2014 7:19 am
I found this in my back yard on a hollyhock while taking macro shots of bugs, and no one I know seems to know what it is. Legs of a cricket, body of a fly, wings of a wasp, head (and even mouth part) of any number of true bugs…we’re stumped.
Thanks so much! :)
Sincerely,
L.J.
Signature: L.J.

Scentless Plant Bug:  Niesthrea louisianica

Scentless Plant Bug: Niesthrea louisianica

Dear L.J.,
This is probably the finest image we have ever received of the Scentless Plant Bug,
Niesthrea louisianica, which does not have a common name.  According to BugGuide, it:  “Feeds on flower buds and seeds of plants in the Mallow family (Malvaceae), such as Hibiscus and Rose of Sharon.”

Daniel,
Thanks again!  We’re glad to have the mystery solved. :)
I have other bugs from all over my back yard I can’t identify, either, and some that I just can’t figure out the variety, if it’s okay to share them. Not because I want to show off the pictures, of course (though I certainly appreciate the compliment on the last one), but to see if y’all can tell me what they are.  I understand if you’re short on time, though. :)
Sincerely,
L.J.

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Subject: bug party
Location: grand rapids michigan
June 24, 2014 3:54 pm
Found several piles like this today, sitting right out in the open. Any idea what they are? At the least they make for interesting photos.
Signature: dave

Aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Hi Dave,
This is an aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs, also known as Democrat Bugs.  Your image depicts various instars or stages of growth in immature nymphs.  Adults and nymphs will congregate together in very large masses.  Eastern Boxelder Bugs are considered benign, though they have been know to enter homes to hibernate, making pests of themselves.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination