red bugs redux

pic posted on a.b.p.g. labeled red bugs
I appreciate your help identifying these little critters
thanks
Joann
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joann wrote:

Looked in alt.binaries.pictures.gardens (assuming that is what you mean for a.b.p.g) and see no such posting.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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joann wrote:

OK. I finally located the red bug picture on another news server. Perhaps a bit of information would help identify your critters. For example: actual size of the largest insect? was it photographed on 8/18 as the exif data would suggest? where, geographically, was the photo taken?
My first wild guess would be that it is some sort of milkweed bug along with nymphs of the same species. The Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) in particular is a possibility given that it is known for bright red nymphs with black legs and antennae. The one thing that throws me off is that the largest insect's pattern doesn't quite match what I'd expect from an adult of the species but they go through changes as they mature with more and more black appearing as they grow from nymph stage.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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They're still box elder bugs, as identified in your previous thread.
http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/05images/627boxelder-bug-nymph.jpg
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cat daddy wrote:

I have to agree with you. I never took in to consideration that the "big" bugs might be nymphs also rather than adult forms but your matchup looks to be absolutely perfect.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/05images/627boxelder-bug-nymph.jpg
Now I'm not so sure, after seeing Lar's photos. I had box elders for the first time this Spring, so that's what I'm familiar with. Maybe just call 'em a buncha red bugs and let it go at that.......
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cat daddy wrote:

I have to admit that the nymphs look nothing like the adults with the exception of being more-or-less red and black but the pattern on the larger nymphs looks to be an exact match. Given that the box elder bugs are common in North America unless the OP comes up with information that the photo was taken in Borneo or someplace similarly exotic I think you nailed it perfectly. The important thing is that, as insects go, these are probably pretty much harmless even if they aren't box elder bugs. The worst I can find that is vaguely similar are only a serious pest on cotton crops.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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John McGaw wrote:

Harmless to the plants they are infesting but can cause definite issues to a home owner when they invade in large numbers. The older the host tree gets the larger the population of the invading bug will be. They stain light colored carpets, draperies, walls with their fecal matter and body juices when crushed and it doesn't go away. When they are in mass in a wall the odor can once again be a long term issue. If the host trees (box elder-maples-Chinese lantern trees-Chinese rain trees-fruitless mulberry trees) for box elder and red shouldered bugs are small enough I would get rid if them within 50 feet of a house though 30 years from now that won't be far enough away.
Lar
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joann wrote:

Here is a link to box elder bug nymphs http://tinyurl.com/2zbc92
Here is a link to large milkweed nymphs http://tinyurl.com/2btx75
And one to red shouldered bug nymphs http://tinyurl.com/2gs4dn
As mentioned earlier, identifying the plants or trees that they are found nearby can also be the key in determining exactly what bug it may be.
Lar
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I had these bugs all over my back yard even though I have no box elder trees. Finally found they were Chinese rain tree bugs, a sub-species of box elder bugs. They feed exclusively on the seed inside the little lanterns. And of course I have a 35yo tree in my back yard. I got rid of them by always catching the grass clippings, getting rid of all brush piles, and lifting up many large river rocks where they breed. Last year the backyard was truly infested. they would be all over the patio mating. This year they are gone. Hope this helps.
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