Subject: Soapberry bugs
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
August 25, 2014 10:06 am
here’s the pictures of the bugs I found on the trunks of these trees. Some people have them in their gardens too, but I’ve never seen them anywhere else. This picture was taken at the start of the winter.
We disagree with your identification. We do not believe these are Soapberry Bugs in the subfamily Serinethinae, but rather Cotton Stainers or Red Bugs in the family Pyrrhocoridae. There are some similar looking images of Cotton Stainers in the genus Dysdercus on ISpot and there is an image on FlickR identified as Dysdercus nigrofasciatus. This note is also posted on ISpot: “D. nigrofasciatus and D. fasciatus are not synonyms. There are four species of Dysdercus occurring in South Africa: fasciatus, nigrofasciatus, intermedius and superstitiosus. the first three looks superficially similar, but there are clear differences, for example: the head of fasciatus is significantly longer than the head of nigrofasciatus, etc.” We are confident that the genus Dysdercus is correct, but we are uncertain of the species.