black beetle with a red spot on back
June 3, 2009
we found this bug on our scrub oak, along with woolly oak aphids. What can you tell me about this beetle and the woolly aphid. Will they damage the oaks? we have hundreds of oaks planted, but only see the beetles on maybe ten, but the aphids are on many more. We just started to see the beetles, and the aphids have been there for about a month.
southern new mexico
First we must apologize for the lengthy delay, but your letter arrived when we were out of town and we really never caught up on unanswered mail. We are trying to randomly select a few unanswered letters a day to address and post. This is some species of immature Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and we believe it is a Predatory Stink Bug in the subfamily Asopinae which is represented on BugGuide. The genus Perillus seems like a good bet, and it contains two black species found in nearby Arizona, but BugGuide does not have images of the immature nymphs of Perillus confluens and Perillus splendidus. Perhaps one of our readers will know this answer.