Orange and Black Beetles
Location: Point Mugu, Ventura County, California
April 15, 2011 12:08 am
Hello! Thanks for the great site. I have a question for you: I often go hiking in the hills around Los Angeles and I love taking photographs of plants and wildlife. I was intrigued by the clusters of orange and black beetles I found I found one day clumped on some sage plants off the side of the trail. All of the plants in that area were covered in these beetles- particularly the sages. I haven’t been able to identify them, but they remind me of beetles I used to hear people call ”Japanese beetles” as a kid- however, searching this term on google revealed a much different result. Any ideas of what these sage-loving beetles could be?
These are Harlequin Bugs, Murgantia histrionica, and we also commonly find them in the Los Angeles area, though in Elyria Canyon Park near our Mt. Washington offices, we notice them feeding on the introduced mustard. In the vegetable patch, they feed upon collard greens and other members of the cabbage family. We have never seen them feeding upon sage, so your excellent photo has us quite intrigued. Harlequin Bugs are Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae, and unlike Beetles which have chewing mouthparts, they have sucking mouthparts. True Bugs also have incomplete metamorphosis while beetles have complete metamorphosis. True Bugs are often confused with beetles.