Currently viewing the category: "Red Bugs"

Subject:  Red nymphs clustered? Which bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa
Date: 06/13/2019
Time: 05:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there, we found this insects in our reserve at Lapalala Wilderness and would like to know which species to add it to our newsletter. However, we seem to struggle to find out and receive contradicting answers from different people. Maybe you can help?
How you want your letter signed:  Anne

Probably Immature Cotton Stainers

Dear Anne,
These are immature True Bugs and nymphs can be very difficult to identify with certainty.  We believe these are immature Cotton Stainers in the family Pyrrhocoridae, but since there are no adults present, we cannot be certain.  Members of the family are sometimes called Red Bugs.

Subject:  What bug is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Randburg
Date: 01/18/2019
Time: 02:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there
I have these bugs crawling on and around my front wall, including the electricity meter. Are they Soapberry or Cotton Stainer bugs, or something completely different? Are they hazardous to the garden or pets, and how best would you recommend getting rid of them, or preventing them? Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Gareth, Randburg

Cotton Stainers

Dear Gareth,
Is Randburg in South Africa?  In our opinion, these are Cotton Stainers in the genus 
Dysdercus.  They might be Dysdercus nigrofasciatus which is pictured on FlickR, or possibly Dysdercus fasciatus which is pictured on Project Noah.  There are reported to be several similar looking species in South Africa.  We do not provide extermination advice.

Cotton Stainers

Subject:  What are these bugs?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Florida
Date: 01/12/2019
Time: 12:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I know not what you are, but if you are damaging my althea bushes, I will get rid of you.
How you want your letter signed:  Althea flower lover

Cotton Stainer

Dear Althea flower lover,
Interesting, your digital files are titled “red bug” and these are indeed Red Bugs in the family Pyrrhocoridae.  More specifically, these are Cotton Stainers, and your documentation includes an image of winged adults and an image of a wingless nymph.  According to BugGuide:  “found on many plants, incl. cotton, hibiscus, oranges, etc.” and “a pest of cotton; ‘Feeding on the cotton bolls stains them an indelible yellow as plant sap seeps out of the puncture wound, and microorganisms and fungus grows at the site. The feeding habit also damages the fibres by cutting them, and affects the growth of the cotton boll.'”  The damage to cotton occurs because of the staining that renders the cotton unusable.  We are not certain if their feeding significantly damages other plants, including your Althea or Rose of Sharon, a member of the hibiscus family.

Cotton Stainer Nymph

Subject:  Unknown bug in Africa, Namibia
Geographic location of the bug:  Impalila Island, Namibia  Coordinates: -17.7747615 25.1709266
Date: 09/06/2018
Time: 07:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify this insect.  I have searched for many hours and could not find a match on the web.   See the photo.
It was photographed at this location:°46’29.1″S+25°10’15.3″E/@-17.7745962,25.1703406,19z/
How you want your letter signed:  Robert Zinn

Welwitschia Bugs Mating

Dear Robert,
These are mating Red Bugs in the family Pyrrhocoridae and we identified them as Welwitschia Bugs,
Probergrothius angolensis, thanks to FlickR Hiveminer and Stanford EDU.  The species is also pictured on iNaturalist.

It appears that this bug should really identified as Probergrothius sexpunctatus on your website.  It is commonly misidentified as Probergrothius angolensis.
I base this on the content of the Naturalist site link you provided and the Similar Species tab on that page.  You may want to correct your website entry.
Thank you for your time in identifying the bug.
-Robert Zinn

Thanks for catching that Robert.  We will also link to the iNaturalist page.  We try our best to be as accurate as possible, and with DNA analysis becoming the latest tool for scientists to use in separating species, many changes are occurring in taxonomic classification.  We have no entomological background, so many postings on our site likely contain identification errors.  At least we had the genus correct and we were able to steer you in the direction of the identification you requested.

Subject:  Fun red bug of Togo
Geographic location of the bug:  Sokodé, Togo
Date: 04/22/2018
Time: 10:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this red bug in Togo which fascinates me.  Can you identify it, please?
How you want your letter signed:  Jerry Day

Immature Red Bug

Dear Jerry,
Your image is really great, but we are not going to be able to provide you more than a very general identification.  This is an immature Red Bug in the family Pyrrhocoridae, and we suspect it is probably a Cotton Stainer in the genus

Subject:  Red Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Botswana
Date: 03/28/2018
Time: 05:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I saw this interesting beetle (?) while on safari in the Savute region of Botswana in March, 2018. It is about 2cm long. Is it a variation of an assassin bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Hugh Scarth

African Cotton Stainer

Dear Hugh,
This is not a Beetle.  Taxonomically it is a True Bug in the Red Bug family Pyrrhocoridae, and we believe we properly identified it as an African Cotton Stainer,
Dysdercus fasciatus, on iNaturalist.

Terrific. Thank you for your reply. Hugh