What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Kissing bugs? And why are they congregating?
Location:  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ
July 29, 2010 3:47 pm
Hi folks! We have been noticing in recent weeks (how could we not?!) that these bugs have been congregating in large numbers on the park offices security gate around sunrise.

Seed Bugs

They somewhat resemble kissing bugs/assassin bugs in appearance but are much smaller than species we are familar with.

Seed Bugs

Questions: Are they in fact kissing bugs, and if so, do they suck vertebrate blood? There were no birds or other wildlife hanging around for a feast, so are they unpalatable to wildlife? And finally, why would they be attracted to the gate’s electronics and lights? Thanks,
Ed Kuklinski, Sarah Howard
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ
Ed Kuklinski, Sarah Howard

Aggregation of Seed Bugs

Hi Ed,
Your documentation of aggregating Seed Bugs is fantastic.  They appear to be
Melacoryphus lateralis, based on images posted to BugGuide, which notes: “Often comes to lights. Reported in large numbers especially in July/August in Arizona, Nevada, other western states. Many insects are attracted to lights, and we have no theory why they are attracted to the electronics.  To the best of our knowledge, Seed Bugs are not unpalatable.  Your photo of the lamp post is especially fascinating.  We just posted a photo of unidentified nymphs from Arizona, and we wonder if they might be immature Seed Bugs.

Seed Bugs attracted to light

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Aggregating Seed Bugs: Melacoryphus lateralis

  1. Karen Mergner says:

    Swarms of love bugs intent to mate, in central Florida, in the spring and summer. They do not bite, they land on you, slow moving, they are attracted to white. Brushing them away agitates a swarm to come at you. Very disgusting insect. Do not think birds are interested in them. A rumor was that they are genetically modified critters.

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