Same colours as the German flag!
Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:41 AM
My backyard has heaps of these bugs. They tend to hide behind bark. I have never seen them fly. I always have a seed bell hanging from a tree to attract mostly rainbow lorrikeets. The bugs swarm over the bell when the birds have gone. What are they and most importantly are they a danger to plant and tree life ?
Regards Henry Janten
Deer Park Victoria Australia
We didn’t have any luck identifying your True Bug in the order Hemiptera on the Brisbane Insect website. The behavior you describe is similar to North American Boxelder Bugs in the family Rhopalidae, the Scentless Plant Bugs. Other good candidates are the family Lygaeidae, the Seed Bugs or Largidae, the Bordered Plant Bugs. Hopefully one of our readers will write in with an identification.
Update: Unidentified True Bug from Australia
Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 9:20 AM
I believe this beautiful true bug is in the genus Dindymus (Pyrrhocoridae), probably D. versicolour . The common name in Australia is Harlequin Bug (sometimes Fire Bug), although that name also seems to be applied to several related species. They are considered a plant pest, particularly on fruit trees. As the species name suggests, they show considerable variation on color. Another possibility might be D. ventralis. Regards.
Seems we overlooked the Fire Bug on the Brisbane Insect Website because of the coloration not matching the photo we received.