Orange and black bug with white spots
Location: Perth, Western Australia
November 7, 2010 3:57 am
I’ve been seeing these bugs around for the last several years but neither I nor anybody I know has any idea what they are. I remember back before around 2000 I’d never seen one, then I started seeing them everywhere. Nowadays they’re pretty rare, again.
In any case, the photos are the best description I can give. They’re skittish little things, that act a bit like ants.
I live in Perth, in Western Australia. That’s really all the information I can give on them. Any ideas? And thanks.
Signature: Tom L.
This appears to be a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae and it bears an uncanny resemblance to insects in the genus Lygaeus that are found in North America and that are pictured on BugGuide. Since the members of the genus Lygaeus are known as Milkweed Bugs, we tried to search the Brisbane Insect Website for matching images of Milkweed Bugs, and though there are several, they are not your insect. We hope we are eventually able to provide you with a definite identification.
Identification Courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Tom:
It looks like a Red-banded Seed-eating Bug, Melanerythrus mactans (Lygaeidae: Lygaeinae). As far as I can tell there are four other Melanerythrus species in Australia, but M. mactans is the only one that occurs in the Perth area. It ranges throughout Australia, except Tasmania, as well as parts of Indonesia, Fiji and Western Samoa. I suspect that at least some of the distribution outside of Australia can be attributed to accidental introductions. According to the Australian Faunal Directory the species is arboreal, gregarious and partial to pecans. Regards.