red but bug
Location: North florida
August 15, 2011 5:41 pm
These are absolutely everywhere around my home. in this pic they are swarming an acorn. My question is are they detrimental? I cant say ive noticed any damage they’ve caused, but I sure would lile to know the correct common name instead of what my son has named them…red butts
Your son has the correct name, just the wrong body part. Though they do have red butts, the shoulders are considered to be the diagnostic red feature on these Red Shouldered Bugs, Jadera haematoloma. There are Scentless Plant Bugs and they are considered to be benign, though something of a nuisance if they are very plentiful. BugGuide indicates that they are found in: “Yards, gardens, riparian areas, and other areas in association with hostplants. Often found in large aggregations feeding on leaking tree sap, dead insects, or seeds that have fallen from trees overhead. Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.” Regarding food, BugGuide indicates: “Feeds on a variety of plants but prefers balloonvine (Cardiospermum spp.; Sapindaceae) in southern FL and other Sapindaceae, Acer spp. (Aceraceae), Ficus spp. (Moraceae), and Althaea spp. (Malvaceae). In some areas the bugs are often observed feeding on goldenrain tree seeds (Koelreuteria, Sapindaceae) Nymphs and adults suck juices primarily from seeds of boxelder trees, but also suck juices from fruits of other trees (e.g., plum, cherry, apple, peach, grape, chinaberry, western soapberry, ash and maple).” Seems we can add acorns to the list thanks to your observations. Because of their association with the tree, they are sometimes called Goldenrain Tree Bugs.