Large Milkweed Bug from Australia

Subject: Bug identity, please?
Location: Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia
February 23, 2013 1:27 pm
The attached bug was about 10mm long, and on a handrail of an overlook. I have failed to identify it with Google images. It may be a nymph, I suppose. Any ideas will be really appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
Signature: Colin

Large Milkweed Bug
Large Milkweed Bug

Hi Colin,
We quickly identified this as a Large Milkweed Bug,
Spilostethus hospes , on the Brisbane Insect website where it is classified as a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae.  The webmaster gives it the creative Star Wars reference name of Darth Maul Bug.  Save Our Waterways Now is in agreement with that identification, but does not refer to the name Darth Maul Bug.  Bold Systems Taxonomy Browser is also in agreement as is Australian Nature PHotographyEncyclopedia of Life pictures other members in the genus.  The Entomology at Department of Agriculture Western Australia provides a better match with Spilostethus pacificus, though there is also a photo of a specimen of Spilostethus hospes that appears to be a narrower insect.   We then encountered a discrepancy on the Light Creations site where it is called a Hong Kong Stink Bug in the family Coreidae.

Thank you so much for such a quick identification, and I’m sorry I’ve not had a chance before now to write back to you.
If you would like more details of the photograph of the Large Milkweed Bug (Spilostethus hospes), it was taken at 10.13am on the 3rd February 2013 at the coastal area of Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia.  The exact position was on the northern safety handrail of the Grandstand Lookout.
Colin Butterworth

2 thoughts on “Large Milkweed Bug from Australia”

  1. I have found a similar looking bug in Albany, congregating on a Lavender bush. I decided it was a False Milkweed Bug (which made sense since there was no milkweed where the bug was). The two species seem indistinguishable! A mass of the bugs on a sunny day June 2016


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