Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Subject: wingless love bugs?
Location: Fresno, California
February 11, 2014 2:34 am
For years there’s been a love bug population at the elementary school near my house, and yet most of them dont have wings. Many have black markings similar or very deformed wings. Before I knew what they we’re I assumed that the females were the ones with wings (like ants). Many smaller ones look like little red tear drops with legs, which as kids we assumed where the babies. Are we right on any of this, and why would the majority of them lack wings.
Signature: confused kindergartners

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs
Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear confused kindergartners,
These are mating Red Shouldered Bugs,
Jadera haematoloma, and the female is the larger of the two.  The smaller wingless individuals are immature nymphs.  Red Shouldered Bugs often gather together in large aggregations that include adults as well as nymphs.  See BugGuide for additional information on Red Shouldered Bugs.  For the record, most female ants are wingless.  The worker ants in a colony are all sterile, wingless females.  Flying Ants or Alates are winged reproductive adults of both sexes.

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