Possibly Dysdercus red bug from Costa Rica
March 31, 2010
Love this site. I just saw a pale red bug shown that bears some resemblance to a bug I’ve been trying to identify here in Costa Rica. I first saw my bug on a hibiscus, but later also on other plants. I couldn’t find it on Bug Guide. Can you help me?
Mary B. Thorman
Highlands of south Pacific area of Costa Rica at edge of forest.
We did a cursory web search before we headed for the desert, and we drew a blank on this lovely Hemipteran. We agree that is is likely a Red Bug in the family Pyrrhocoridae, but we would not discount that it might be a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae. It sure looks like it might be a Cotton Stainer relative in the genus Dysdercus. Hopefully, one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.
Karl contributes some information
April 1, 2010
Well I’m back from Costa Rica and I have quite a few hemipteran images of my own to identify, so I hope that mine are a little easier than this one. According to the Biologia Centrali-Americana this appears to be Hypselonotus atratus (compare to Figure 27). That would make it a Leaffooted Bug (Coreidae) which doesn’t seem quite right to me. Since this is a very old document (late 19th century) it is possible that it was taxonomically misplaced, but I was unable to find any information about a subsequent taxonomic reassignment, or any newer synonyms. The only other image of a similar bug that I could find was on Flickr, and this one too was tagged as H. atratus. So perhaps that’s it. If I find anything else as I go through my own identifications I will send an update. Regards.
Welcome back and thanks for the information, though we cannot believe this bug is in the family Coreidae.
Eric Eaton confirms original identification
Your ID is correct. Family is Pyrrhocoridae.
Karl does more research
May 25, 2010
Re: Follow-up to Possibly Red Bug from Costa Rica – March 31, 2010
I am still working my way through the numerous Hemiptera photos that I collected on my Costa Rica trip and it turns out I do have this very same bug in my own collection (photo attached – taken at Las Cruces Biological Station). Looking closely at my photo and the one that Mary posted I see that both individuals clearly have a pair of ocelli near the posterior margin of the head. Also, the veins in the forewings run parallel rather than being profusely branched as they should be in a Pyrrhocoridae. That means that it can not be a Pyrrhocoridae. Other similar ocelli-bearing families (Berytidae, Lygaeidae and Alydidae) can be eliminated based on other characteristics. Although I can not definitively eliminate Rhopalidae, since key features are not visible in either photo, I have not found any similar looking Rhopalidae. That leaves only Coreidae, and my inclination is to go with Hypselonotus atratus. Regards.