Subject: What Beetle is this
Location: Cooma NSW Australia
October 11, 2015 5:08 pm
I found these beetles eating on all the buds of a plant in my garden this morning. I live in Cooma NSW (Snowy Mountains region). Hoping you can help.
Signature: Diedre Rees
These are mating Seed Bugs in the family Lygaeidae, but we have not had any luck identifying their species. We did find a matching image on My Australian Insects, but alas, it is unidentified there as well. Perhaps one of our readers can steer us to a link with an identity.
Update: Harlequin Bugs, Dindymus versicolor
Thanks to a comment from Matthew, we are able to provide some links to the Harlequin Bug. According to the Atlas of Living Australia: “Harlequin Bugs usually cluster in large numbers on fences, walls, wood heaps and tree trunks. Mating pairs face opposite directions, joined at the end of the abdomens; the larger female usually dictates the direction of movement. They feed on a variety of weeds and plants, often damaging fruits and vegetables.” According to the blog, A Year in a Gippsland Garden: “For anyone looking at these little bugs in the garden and wondering if they are a potential problem or not the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ The Harlequin bug does not take great big obvious bites out of anything, it hides and sucks the life out tender stems (and fruit). Look for stem damage and wilting flower buds and fruit. In my garden I have observed them in greatest numbers on Callistemon, Australian native hibiscus, nasturtium, tomatoes, and hollyhocks. They have also been in numbers on sweetcorn, sunflowers, sage and roses.”