Plant Bugs, Possibly Red Spotted Aster Mirid

Subject: Bugs on a dandelion
Location: Austin, TX
December 12, 2016 7:41 am
I’m trying to learn to identify some of the bugs I keep getting pictures of, but I’ve failed with this one so I need help. I keep seeing them on dandelions. The crawl underneath the blossom then back up in the light.
Signature: Rusty

Plant Bugs
Red Spotted Aster Mirid

Dear Rusty,
Because of the unusual angle on the tips of the wings (see this BugGuide image), we believe these are Plant Bugs in the family Miridae, and possibly in the genus Lygus which is pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “Adult: body either mottled or solid color varying from pale green to reddish-brown or black with pale Y or V shape on scutellum; antennae and legs relatively long.”  We also located these images of
Polymerus basalis on the Flowering Plants and Insects of Goodwell and Texhoma, OK site that looks rather similar to your individuals.  According to BugGuide, the Red Spotted Aster Mirid is:  “most abundant in the fall” and “Feeds mostly on Asteraceae” and since the flower on which you found them is in the family Asteraceae, we suspect that might be a species identification.  This BugGuide image looks like a very close match to the individuals in your image.

Plant Bugs
Red Spotted Aster Mirid

Thank you very much.  I believe that’s my bug.  It was something totally new to me.  I was using a macro lens to get a picture of the dandelion and saw them on it.  So I focused on them instead.
Again, thank you very much.


Leave a Comment