6 legged orange butt black leggs
Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 9:05 AM
Hi, My name is Sonya and I noticed these bugs on my October Maple tree about 2-3 weeks ago. I live in the Charleston South Carolina area. There is a grouping of these small 6 black legged bugs with orange butts. They tend to stay grouped together but you can find smaller groups of 2-3 in other areas of the tree. I also noted today that there was 2 larger ones that were different colors, mostly orange and some yellow with little to no black on them, they appeared to be mating with some smaller bugs with no orange on them, just black and smaller butts. When I went out with the camera a couple of hours later, after finding this site, I couldn’t find the different ones. Also since I’ve first noted the bugs their butts have changed slightly and now appear to have small black dots in the center of the rear. They also have a small nest of sorts that is dripping stuff down the tree.
I hope this is descriptive enough. Thank you very much for your help. I’ve lived in SC my whole life and don’t recall ever seeing these bugs before.
Sonya in SC
These are newly hatched Hemipterans, or True Bugs. It is often very difficult to properly identify hatchlings, but we believe these are Wheel Bugs a type of Assassin Bug. Wheel Bugs, Arilus cristatus, are predators. The nest you noticed are the eggs laid in a distinctive cluster by the female Wheel Bug. The hatchlings stay together for a very short time and then they go rogue to hunt alone. You can compare your specimens to this photo on BugGuide. The one thing that would make us suspect these may be some other Hemipteran is that in one of your photos, the hatchlings appear to be feeding off of tree sap. We are uncertain if perhaps immature Wheel Bugs may be attracted to certain plant juices.