Location: Chico, CA
May 31, 2014 10:56 am
I was checking out this elderberry when I noticed these critters. Excited, I rushed to the interwebs to see if they were in fact the elusive VELB. The coloring is that of the female VELB; but the shape is that of a stinkbug. Would it be possible for the two spp. to mingle such that this “stinkVELB” was the product of such a union? And, if not, what bug is this?
Signature: J. Murphy
Dear J. Murphy,
We are amused at your suspicion that this might be a species mingling, and we agree that the coloration and markings of the Stink Bugs in your image resemble the color and markings of the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle as well as some other related subspecies of Desmocerus aureipennis, including the Golden Winged Elder Borer. We identified your Stink Bug as the Conchuela Stink Bug, Chlorochroa ligata, thanks to the New Mexico State University website. According to BugGuide, the Conchuela Stink Bug: “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants)” and it seems, based on your image, the fruit of Elderberry as well.
Thank you so much for your expertise and time, and for your enchanting website.