Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"
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Subject: red white & black beetle
Location: Los Angeles, CA
December 19, 2014 9:39 pm
I thought this bug was pretty so I took a photograph of the design on it’s back. Later I couldn’t at all identify it, so I was hoping you would be able to help. It kept leaning away from me when I tried to take a picture. It was about a quarter of an inch long, including legs.
Thanks!
Signature: Caroline

Hello, I’m sorry to have bothered you, since I just identified the bug as Eurydema oleracea, a leaf beetle

African Painted Bug

African Painted Bug

Hi Caroline,
Though you have incorrectly identified the species, you do have the correct family. 
Eurydema oleracea which we located on British Bugs is not a Leaf Beetle.  It is a member of the family Pentatomidae, the Stink Bugs.  Your insect is an African Painted Bug, Bagrada hilaris, an invasive species that is damaging plants in the cabbage family including kale and collard greens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this an elm seed bug? Found in Southern CA
Location: N Los Angeles County, Southern California
December 14, 2014 5:26 pm
Hi! I’ve been trying so hard to identify this bug, which just appeared in my back yard this year, maybe early summertime. I’m in north Los Angeles County (town is Littlerock), Southern CA. They’ve gone from lumbering in sort-of lines along the ground to huddling in large numbers around bushes and under wood or metal, to now huddling en masse in the crevices of one of my large chinese elm trees. I took pictures; they are black and red, similar it looks like in shape etc. to your photos of the elm seed bug, but the markings on my bugs seem a bit different. I have various birds living out back (goose, emu, peahen, guinea hen, and occasionally chickens) and am wondering if these bugs are beneficial to my plants and/or birds, or if they are harmful. So far they’re not in the house, but I’m a little worried that might change! I’d appreciate any help you can give me on identifying these cute little huddlers — hopefully they are the good kind! ( I have several more pictures, by the way – your site only allowed me 3 so I tried to pick out the best 3)
Signature: Heidi Brooks

Mediterranean Red Bug

Mediterranean Red Bug

Dear Heidi,
These are Mediterranean Red Bugs,
Scantius aegyptius, a species that was introduced to Southern California several years ago in about 2009 and it finds our climate to its liking, so it is proliferating.  Here is what the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research states:  “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.”  Though they pose no immediate threat to crops, native plants or animals, the presence of a non-native species in large numbers can have significant effects on native species by displacing them in an ecosystem.

Aggregation of Mediterranean Red Bugs

Aggregation of Mediterranean Red Bugs

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!  I got your email this morning, plus responses on Facebook after I asked about these insects there as well.  I have a British friend who lives in Germany and encounters these red “fire bugs” often in his walks through the woods.  He sent me this link, where I learned more interesting info about them, and I’d like to pass it on to you.  It’s a German site translated into English (thanks, Google), and while parts of the translation are a bit amusing, I did learn more about these little huddle-bugs:
https://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.schaedlingskunde.de%2FSteckbriefe%2Fhtm_Seiten%2FFeuerwanze-Pyrrhocoris-apterus.htm&edit-text&act=url
My friend also said that he notices wasps hang around the red bugs, so not sure if they are tasty to the wasps (or vice-versa).
Thanks again!
Cheers,
Heidi Brooks

Dear Heidi,
The link you provided is for a Firebug, a different species in the same family.  Again, your species is Scantius aegyptius and you can find more information on BugGuide.  When we first posted images of the Mediterranean Red Bug in 2010, we also incorrectly identified it as a very similar looking Firebug.

Wow!  I didn’t notice that – the markings are so specific, with a triangle and 2 dots, I thought they were the same bug.  I’ll have to do a little more research then, I think.  It’s been difficult to find much about these insects, but at least I know that they don’t seem harmful to my plants or people.  Thanks again — your responses mean a lot to me!
Cheers,
Heidi

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Subject: what kind of bug is this?
Location: reno, nv
December 8, 2014 12:18 pm
I just recently moved in to a new apartment and since the first day I’ve been finding these little bugs. I have no idea what they are. I find them mainly in the living room and by the kitchen and upstairs window. Usually they are dead, or playing dead. I think they can fly by I haven’t seen them do it. But I am really tired of finding them. Is there any way to get rid of them naturally?
Signature: bugged out

Elm Leaf Beetle

Elm Leaf Beetle

Dear bugged out,
This is some species of Leaf Beetle, and we believe the Elm Leaf Beetle,
Xanthogaleruca luteola, which is pictured on BugGuide is a close match and distinct possibility.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to w. Palaearctic(4), adventive and now widespread in N. America (more common in sw US).”

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Subject: Dead bugs outside door?

Location: Huntington Beach, ca
December 7, 2014 8:56 am
We woke up today with a bunch of small brown bugs with pincars. Just by back door outside all dead. Can you let me know if they are something we should be concerned about?
Signature: Liz

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Liz,
The presence of Lawn Shrimp,
Arcitalitrus sylvaticus, in the landscaping generally goes unnoticed until we have a good rain that soaks the ground, at which time they often emerge in alarming numbers, dying on the concrete or entering homes to die.  Lawn Shrimp are native to Australia and they are also known as House Hoppers.  See BugGuide for additional information on Lawn Shrimp.

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

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Subject: Unidentified bug
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
November 5, 2014 9:03 pm
Can you identify this bug? I spotted it on the wall and I seated it with my hat. I thought it was dead until I picked it up to throw it outside.
Signature: Chris DiLullo

Diaprepes Root Weevil

Diaprepes Root Weevil

Hi Chris,
This is a Diaprepes Root Weevil,
Diaprepes abbreviatus.  It is an introduced species from the Caribbean and according to BugGuide:  “Major pest of citrus crops: larvae often girdle the taproot, which may kill the plant and provide an avenue for Phythophora infections. A single larva can kill young hosts while several larvae can cause serious decline of older, established hosts.  Pest of sugarcane in the Caribbean(2); earliest record in our area: FL 1964.” 

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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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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination