Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"
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Subject: Thousands of beetles!
Location: Southern California (Thousand Oaks)
April 17, 2015 3:17 pm
Hi,
My property is covered with these tiny beetles running around – and I would like to know what they are. They vary in size from not much bigger than a flea, to about 1/4″ long. They run in sort of like “fits and spurts”, and if I gently pick one up with a tissue to bring it back outside (some are getting in the house) they leave a brownish/reddish spot on the tissue (looks like blood, but I’m pretty sure I’m not smooshing them so it is probably more of an excretion). A couple of larger ones appeared to have an “X” design on their backs. I would appreciate any help in identifying them! Sorry I can’t get a better picture.
Signature: Thanks, Eve-Marier

Seed Bug Nymph

Seed Bug Nymph

Hi Eve,
This is not a beetle, but a True Bug, but there is not enough detail in your image to provide a more specific identification.

Daniel,
Thank you for your reply.  Here is a picture of a larger one where the design on its back is visible.  Can you ID it?  Thanks so much!
Eve-Marie

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

That is a big help Eve-Marie,
We believe you are being troubled by Mediterranean Seed Bugs,
Xanthochilus saturnius, a species well represented on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant … earliest NA record: CA 1994 can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”  According to the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook:  “The Mediterranean seed bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, is very small with even more distinctive markings of black-on-tan. Behind the head is the thorax with a jet black band followed by a band of stippled brown. The large triangle between the wings (scutellum) is also jet black. A light stripe outlines the scutellum, and the posterior edge of the leathery portion of the wing, forming a distinct X. There are also three other jet black blotch markings on the wings. Oregon reports “It can be very abundant in grass seed fields in southern Oregon, indicating that it does feed on grass seed.” For that reason, it continues to be “regulated in foreign trade”. Even though they do no damage to house, humans, or pets, these seed bugs become a huge annoyance and costly to exterminate when they migrate into households.”

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Subject: Boring insect larvae in SoCal Mimosa tree
Location: Escondido, California
March 22, 2015 4:13 pm
We planted a Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin, a.k.a. Silk Tree) 6 weeks ago, and it just started budding out during the recent warm weather. Unfortunately, we are also now seeing insect larvae coming out of some of the small branches. Now that we know what to look for, we see dried up wounds in other parts of the tree, presumably from a previous season’s larval activity. The attached photo, showing active larvae, is of a branch about 1/2 inch in diameter. Can you identify this insect, and do you know of any treatment?
We are in Escondido, CA, which is 20 miles north of San Diego and 10 miles inland.
Thanks!
Signature: Joe Rowley

Mealybug Nymphs and Argentine Ant in attendance.

Mealybug Nymphs and Argentine Ant in attendance.

Dear Joe,
These are not wood boring insects.  They are nymphs of plant parasitic Hemipterans, most probably Mealybugs in the family Pseudococcidae.
  You can use BugGuide for comparison.  It appears that is a vile Argentine Ant in attendance.  The invasive, exotic Argentine Ant will move plant parasitic Hemipterans from plant to plant, and they tend to them and protect them.  We believe the plant was damaged, and the wound provided a food source for the nutrient sucking Mealybugs.

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Subject: Can you plZ help me ?
Location: Southern California
March 18, 2015 12:06 am
Hi there, my name is Sonia and I’m really interested in knowing what’s this beetle … I have two big Palm trees and they are being affected my something, the Palm treas are more than 40 years of and we had to cut one of them , the leaves are falling and it seems to be like rotten in the base of the leaf , I saw this guy’s the other day wondering in the garden near the head of the Palm that got cut, and he died 2 days after, I also saw another death one yesterday and I was “attacked” by something that was black and make noise while in my garden ( I think it was another one of these )
Can you plz help me figure out that is making my trees ill ???
Signature: Sonia Villerias

Possibly Red Palm Weevil

Possibly Red Palm Weevil

Dear Sonia,
But for the dark coloration, all indications are that this is a Red Palm Weevil or Asian Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, a species that according to BugGuide is:  “native to so. Asia and Melanesia, since the 1980s spread into many warm coastal areas around the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean(2); in our area, CA (Orange Co.; first reported in 2010).”  The damage to your trees is consistent with the damage caused by the Red Palm Weevil, though the solid dark coloration is unusual.  According to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside:  “Economic Damage: Red Palm Weevil is widely considered to be the most damaging insect pest of palms in the world. RPW’s are usually attracted to unhealthy palm trees, but they will often attack healthy palms too. Red Palm Weevil larvae feed within the apical growing point of the palms creating extensive damage to palm tissues and weakening the structure of the palm trunk. Palms damaged by RPW may exhibit the following symptoms: (1) presence of tunnels on the trunk or base of fronds. (2) Infested palms may emit “gnawing” sounds caused by larvae feeding inside. (3) Oozing of viscous fluids from tunnels. (4) Appearane of chewed plant material (frass) at the external entrances of feeding tunnels and a highly distinctive “fermented” odor. (5) Empty pupal cases and the bodies of dead adult RPW in and around heavily infested palms, and (6) breaking of the trunk, or toppling of the palm crown.  Feeding damage leading to the death of infested palms is widely reported in areas invaded by this pest. The primary hosts of the Red Palm Weevil include 24 species of palms in 14 genera, including most of the common landscape palms found in California. The Canary Island date palm, one of the most conspicuous and prominent palms in California, is especially susceptible to attack. The Red Palm Weevil poses a very serious threat to California’s landscape plantings of ornamental palms if it were to become established here. Commercial date production is impacted in areas where RPW is established, resulting in tree death or reduced vigor in infested date palms. Red Palm Weevil represents a potential threat to California’s $30 million dollar date crop should it become established in date-growing areas of California. Ornamental palm tree sales are estimated at $70 million per year in California, and $127 million in Florida.”  The CISR also states:  “Adult Red Palm Weevils are very large beetles, attaining body lengths, including the rostrum of 35 to 40mm (1.4-1.6 inches). The weevils have a long, slender rostrum or “snout” which the female uses to penetrate palm tissue and create access wounds in which eggs are deposited. Coloration in Rhyncophorus ferrugineus is extremely variable and has historically led to the erroneous classification of color-defined polymorphs (variants) as distinct species. Coloration in the adult weevils is predominately reddish-brown in the most typical form. The Red Palm Weevil’s collected in Laguna Beach have displayed a distinct “red striped” coloration which consists of the dorsal surfaces appearing uniformly dark brown to black, with a single, contrasting red stripe running the length of the pronotum. Consequently, there are two different color types or color morphs for RPW, adults that are predominantly reddish in color, and the others that are dark with a red streak, like the Laguna Beach specimens.”  Your dark individual may represent yet another color variant.  We strongly urge you to collect a specimen and have it identified at your local Natural History Museum.

Possibly Red Palm Weevil

Possibly Red Palm Weevil

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Subject: Bug
Location: Fairhope, AL
March 17, 2015 2:37 pm
This bug looks like the same size of a lady bug but blackish until you zoom in, has a blotchy tent? Any help would be great with if.
Thanks
Signature: Nick

Lablab Bug

Lablab Bug

Hi Nick,
This Lablab Bug or Bean Plataspid,
Megacopta cribraria, is an invasive species introduced from Asia.  According to BugGuide, its common name is Kudzu Bug as it feeds on that invasive plant.  Lablab Bugs can get very plentiful, becoming a nuisance around homes.

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Subject: mystery pink and white bug
Location: North Shore of Maui, Hawaii
February 28, 2015 11:38 pm
Aloha, I found this little guy on some herb/greens cuttings from the garden. I’m not sure of the exact species he was on… either parsley, kale, or young leaf lettuce. He was in the bottom of my tray when I removed the greens. I took this photo with a 200x usb microscope, but I can’t swear to the magnification as it was kind of cheap. Temps have been in the mid 70’s and on the humid side (70-80%) if that helps.
Signature: Aloha, Greg Hansen

Immature Torpedo Bug

Immature Torpedo Bug

Dear Greg,
This looks like an immature Torpedo Bug,
Siphanta acuta, one of the Flatid Leafhoppers.  You can read more about it on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Australia, adventive elsewhere (New Zealand, Hawaii, S. Africa); established in CA.”

Wow!  That was so fast!  Thank you so much for your help!  I love your website!
Greg Hansen

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Subject: can you identyfy this large beetle
Location: hythe, kent
February 28, 2015 2:08 pm
Dear all
We found this bug in our bathroom , running down the door.
Can you help with his identity
Thanks Grant
Signature: G West

Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach

Dear Grant,
At first we were going to send a brief response that this is a Cockroach, but we decided the thoracic markings are so striking that we would attempt to identify the species of Cockroach you encountered.  After finding several similar looking images that only identified it as a Cockroach, we found the Suffolk Pest Control Company that identified it as an Australian Cockroach,
Periplaneta australasia., and that provided this information:  “Inspite of their exotic origins Australian cockroaches are making a home for themselves in the UK, where they can found in most major cities.”  Not confident that the Australian Cockroach is actually native to Australia, we found this information on BugGuide:  “Adult has thorax outlined in yellow with black/brown center marking somewhat like a sideways number eight. Differentiating Australian cockroaches from other species of Periplaneta requires identification of the narrow yellow mark along front outside edge of wings”, but nothing was written about the country of origin.  The garden is calling us from additional research at this time.

Hi Daniel
Thanks for your help. Am guessing we need to contact some form of pest control company as they seem quite dangerous.
Because we d found one , I suppose there are more so will get onto it straight away.
Thanks again
Grant

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