Red body, black wings, found in Central Florida (Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth)

by Wendy
(Winter Park, FL)

This bug was flying around my bedroom. I finally managed to get it outside, and took a good look, because it was really very pretty (although much more so when it was outside, instead of in). The body is bright red, with black towards the bottom, and the wings had an almost lacy black pattern on them. I've never seen anything like it. Any idea what it is?

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Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth
by: Moni

Wendy
You found a Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth. You are right it is very colorful like a piece of artwork. Nature at its best!
This insect is only found in the very southern states and it feeds on a roadside weed, so enjoy the pretty moth for us northern folks!

Bugguide reports - These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as "pyrrolizidine alkaloids" from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.
Not sure how it got inside but several bugs manage to do that. Thanks for sharing with us!

Thanks!
by: Wendy

Thanks so much for letting me know what it was. In Florida it seems like all the bugs manage to get inside once in a while, so that part wasn't a surprise. :)

Scarlet bodied moth
by: Anonymous

I was searching for these because I had never seen one before here in southern Louisiana Saint francisville ( Baton Rouge area ) but all of a sudden here they are and they are beautiful never have seen anything like them before

Nature at its best indeed
by: Brian Q

I had never seen a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth before.
They are truly beautiful in color and design.
They remind me of the Velvet Ant (wasp)in color, but the velvet ant is much more foreboding as their sting is said to hurt so badly it was given the nickname the "Cow Killer". A bit of an exaggeration to be sure, but it's enough to make me keep my distance.
Thank You for sharing !

Huntsville Al
by: Anonymous

I just saw one on my shrubs here in Huntsville Al..

Pretty
by: Jenn

My kids completely freaked when they saw this little guy (I think it's a guy) follow them inside. It took me forever to convince them it was NOT a wasp or "giant flying ant bug." LOL. I kept telling them it had to be a moth.
My son said, "It's too pretty to be a moth." So, we did some research...looks like Mommie can be right every now and then. "But the moth's name having "wasp" in it does loose me a few points I guess.

Thanks for the post!

-found in South Mississippi

Me too
by: Anonymous

i was pulling weeds and saw this fellow, decided to leave the weed since he was so pretty! Good reason not pull weeds :)
Spotted on Dog River in Alabama

Central mississippi
by: Marie

I found one by my laundryroom light last night. I thought it was so pretty. Too pretty to kill. I think it maybe still inside.I live in hinds county mississippi. And I've never seen something so like that

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Orange-Brown Beetle (Soldier Beetle)

by Lindsey
(San Jose, California)

These guys have infested a clematis armandii on my porch, and are dropping ugly smears of black goo everywhere (same result if you smash one). Also hanging out on succulents potted below the clematis, but not sure if they are eating it. Looks like a soldier beetle, but is eating the clematis leaves - if it wanted aphids, seems like it'd be around the corner on my kale instead? Also have seen a few among the old fashioned roses. Sorry the photo is blurry.

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Soldier beetle
by: Moni

Lindsey
Well, what I can tell from the photo it is a soldier beetle.
Soldier beetle adults feed on nectar and pollen...are your clematis blooming? The adults would not be feeding on the foliage nor aphids.

Larvae of these beetles are insect predators feeding on the fluid inside insects such as caterpillars and eggs.

So...I do not think the soldier beetle is the insect leaving the black goo. There has to be something else around. Perhaps a caterpillar feeding on the underside of the leaf? Their droppings might look like black goo.

Try going out at night if you do not see an insect there during the day. Take a flashlight and shine it quickly on the plant to see if you can catch something feeding.

You could send in a photo of the black goo. 4 photos can be submitted for the same insect.

Let us know what else you find. If you find additional insects upload them separately...but put a note that they are from the same clematis with your name and location so we can keep the flow of what you are finding.
Thanks...and great job knowing what you found!

Orange-Brown Beetle (Soldier Beetle)
by: Lindsey

Thanks Moni. I'm uploading a picture of the goo now!

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Small Hairless Orange Larvae (Unicorn caterpillar)

by Mera Pierson
(Ada, Oklahoma)

I found this little guy and about a thousand of his buddies on our apple and plum trees, and they are voracious eaters. They are incredibly small, maybe about a half inch long. I've been searching for anything even remotely similar and have had no luck on identifying this booger. We live in the middle of Oklahoma, if that's any help for identifying.

We're spraying for them now to protect our trees.

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Unicorn caterpillar
by: Moni

Mera
Your caterpillar is a Unicorn caterpillar that turns into as unusual of moth as the caterpillar is with it's coloring and 'horn' on the back. This family of moths are called the Prominent moths as many of the caterpillars and sometimes the moths have a prominent feature about them.
Here are photos of the moth and other stages of the caterpillar. Notice the angle that the moth sits in when not in flight...

These are found all over North America in deciduous woodlands and shrubby areas. The larvae are known to feed on apple as well as alder, aspen, white birch,cherries, roses, elm, hawthorn, hickory and willow. Sorry yours ended up on your apple. It is noted that the caterpillars in this genus can eject a stream of formic acid several inches from the gland in the hump!
They over winter as larva under leaf litter...so do you have lots of leaves under your apple trees or nearby?

Sorry they were on your apple...if it were me I would move them to a tree of one of the other species that they feed on. If you have that many, my guess is some would be eaten by birds and not survived too long...but then again with the ability of ejecting formic acid...maybe the birds leave them alone!!

Thanks for sharing this insect!

Re: Moni
by: Mera

We actually don't have any leaf litter nearby, how strange!

Thanks so much for the fast answer, I really appreciate it!

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red and black bug (Boxelder bug nymph )

by anita
(selkirk, ontario ,canada)

red and black bug .in my garden by the thousands

red and black bug .in my garden by the thousands

this insect in my garden , on a pine tree and a maple tree and also in the mulch around my flowers and I don't know if it is an ok insect or if I should get some pesticide to kill it.

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Box Elder
by: Anonymous

I think that this is a very young box elder bug. A mixture of dish soap and water in a spray bottle sprayed directly on them will kill them. It takes up to a minute or so for them to die. As the weather gets cooler, they will try to get inside your home, sometimes covering screens.

red and black bug
by: anita mcgrath

if this bug is a "box elder" bug , can anyone tell me if I should be killing all of these bugs and are they harmfull or not. My neighbours and I do not have any box woods that I know of if that is their main food source. as I said they are in the maple tree and in the mulch around my japanesse irs's. are they ok bugs????? or bad bugs????????

Box Elder Bug
by: MydMo

You will run out of soap before you run out of box elder bugs. They are a nuisance but not much else, and you do not have to have box elder trees to have box elder bugs. If you have seen these before, it is possible they have been moving farther north with the warmer winters enabling them to overwinter.

Boxelder bug nymph
by: Moni

Anita
You have boxelder bug nymphs, which are the young of the boxelder bug. The nymphs of the boxelder bug have what looks like a yellow spot on the center back of the abdomen. Boxelder bugs do like to congregate together...and they do feed on boxelder or maple trees.

As expected they feed on boxelder trees, rarely causing any economic problem. They are not a pest. They can be observed feeding on ash, maple, plum, cherry, apple, peach, grape and strawberries, where they can damage the fruit.
They are known to be nuisance pests in the fall as they accumulate on the sides of homes. They also seem to manage to come indoors in the fall...which is a nuisance. The time spent in or on our homes, they are not causing a problem.
Since these are outside then you really have no problem. When they become a problem in our homes here in the North we just vacuum them to get rid of them.

They do not bite nor eat anything except maple and boxelder seeds/fruits. No pesticide is needed nor labeled for spraying this insect.

As mentioned by the others you can use soapy water to spray them but a shop-vac is more effective if you have a lot that collect on the side of the house...which will help prevent them from coming in the house.

Boxelder Bug
by: Olivejar

The commentary is confusing...in one paragraph they say they only go after boxelder and maple trees and they are more a nuisance than anything. In another paragraph they list a bunch of fruits they eat....which is more than a nuisance. Which is it?

boxelder bug nymph
by: Moni

Olivejar
As I re-read the paragraph you are refering to I can understand your confusion.

Boxelder bugs are not an economic pest...meaning they will not eat enough to cause a plant to die nor will the tiny bit of feeding they do cause a tree or plant to not produce fruit.
The comment about feeding on trees other than boxelder and maple are listed so you know that they could possibly feed on those trees and plants.
They might suck some juice from the fruits listed but would only cause a slight damage to the larger fruits they actually feed on...they could ruin a few strawberries but that would be rare. You will still have plenty of plums, apples, peaches and strawberries to eat or sell at the local farmers market. The damage is so minor you do not need to spray the fruits to control boxelder bugs.

I have never seen them on those fruits, but in some parts of the country they might feed on fruit if there is a drought and leaves are drying up on the boxelder and maple trees...which would be rare.
As spring is warming things up outside here in the MidWest, boxelder bugs are showing up all over my house...that is quite the nuisance esp when they leave a red dot of excrement on my white curtains!

Hope that helps clear the confusion.

I hate bugs
by: Kenny

The insect at the top of the page I have noticed this year in my garden infesting my banana pepper plants. I didn't want to use a pesticide on them. I try not to use any in my garden. I have also noticed and have had a similar type or a cousin of this type, around the house last fall, with a few invading my house. I live in Indiana, and read last year about these being a problem more in this area, do to produce being ship in from southern regions. I'm going to try the soap thing and see how it works. Thanks.

boxelder bugs
by: Moni

Kenny
Boxelder bugs do not feed on peppers, so perhaps it was another insect. You could take a photo of the insect on your peppers and submit it for identification.
The bugs that looked like that were in your house are boxelder bugs...they come in looking for a place to overwinter...but they do not eat anything...just a nuisance.

Loads of these bugs
by: Anonymous

I have these bugs now on my lirape as well as my lilac bushes. They are just sitting on top of each other and if you touch them they are fast and scurry away. I just put some in a jar. Some of the ones in there are so tiny. It doesn't look like they are eating any of the leaves?
I read someplace else they are mating?
I have never seen them before, and I have lived in this house for almost 11 years.

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Black and red, round crawling insect (Predatory stink bug nymphs)

by Jerri
(Brownwood, TX)

Cropped and enlarged picture

Cropped and enlarged picture

Cropped and enlarged picture

These insects are smaller than the size of a ladybug. The have "stripes" rather than "dots". If you look around the edges of their body they have vertical lines that make them look "sewn together". They also have black "stripes" or "bars" on the top of their bodies. They were found in a park in central Texas and were on the ground. They didn't seem to have any wings.

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Predatory stink bug nymphs
by: Moni

Jerri
Your insect is one of the predatory stink bugs. It is probably the Florida predatory stink bug, but since your photo is only of the nymph or young stage we can not be positive.

Fl predatory stink bugs are also called Halloween bugs.
Predatory means they prey or eat other insects, so they are "good" bugs. They feed on insect pests like caterpillars, leaf beetles and planthoppers. Both nymphs and adults feed on insects.
They are just found in the southern half of eastern US.

The adults look similar.
The nymphs are known to congregate together ...sometimes this is to attack large insect prey together or they sometimes are just found together especially at night.

These insects are not known to bite, but with their piercing-sucking mouth parts that suck the juices out of caterpillars, they could bite if really mishandled.

Thank you
by: Jerri

Thank you for your ID Moni, I appreciate your help and expertise

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Small red and black bug eating my Montauk Daisy (Four-lined plant bug nymphs)

by Sharon Michaels
(Honey Brook, PA)

Small red and black crawling insects

Small red and black crawling insects

Small red and black crawling insects Damage to Montauk Daisy leaves 2 small red bugs with black wings (?) Close up of small red black & yellow bug

Hi,
In advance, thank you so much for helping me to ID this insect. When I first caught one, I wondered if it might be a very large, red aphid, as it squished very easily. But looking at them closer, they remind me of stink bug nymphs, although I couldn't find a picture online of any that were quite like these. I think these may be true bugs though.

These insects were found in Chester County, PA - (southeastern PA) in mid-May (after a very brutal winter and Very Late spring) on a Montauk Daisy that has damage to some of its leaves that I suspect was caused by these insects.

The insect is very small, about 3-4mm and bright red with what might be wings that are black. To the naked eye, just the red and black are apparent, but looking closely, there may be a white stripe down the center of each wing - or black patch - and in-between and right above the two black wings (or patches), it is yellow. I have only observed these insects crawling - so if the black patches are wings, either they are not fully developed or they do not use them very often.

The insects also vary in size, and accordingly, color. The smaller ones (2-3mm) are more red with just a little black, while the larger ones (3-4nm) are still mostly red but just with more black. I have included a picture of a smaller and larger one. You can see on the larger one that the abdomen (?) appears to be segmented, with black dots on either side of the center.

I hope I have provided enough detail - if you have any questions, though, please just let me know.

Thank you!
~Sharon

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Four-lined plant bug nymphs
by: Moni

Sharon
Your insect is the nymph or young stage of the four-lined plant bug. The damage on your daisies is exactly what happens when plant bugs suck the juices out of the tender shoots of the plants they feed on.
The lines that you can kind of see turn into distinct black and bright green stripes on the adult. The black smallish looking wings are indeed wing pads. They can not fly in the nymph stage, but when the insect becomes an adult the wings are fully developed and it can fly.

This insect overwinters as eggs inside the stems of the host plant and emerge in the spring. The nymphs go thru 5 stages before becoming an adult.

Both nymphs and adults prefer to feed on plants in the mint family (catnip, spearmint, peppermint, hyssop, oregano), but will also feed on a wide variety of plants including but not limited to thistle, dandelion, burdock, loosestrife, carnations, geranium, mums, snapdragons, daisies, phlox, lettuce, peas, cucumbers, etc.
They feed by sucking juices out of the plants leaving toxic saliva which distorts growing tips and leaves.

You can control this pest by spraying insecticidal soap following label directions. Then, this fall clear out all the dead foliage of the plants that were damaged, so if eggs are laid they are no longer in your garden.

This insect is found over most of North America esp the eastern and southern areas.

Thanks for all the great information and photos! Having photos of the insect and the damage is always beneficial.

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Gray flying insect with orange design on back (Western boxelder bug)

by Shirley
(College place Wa. USA)

I am visiting a friend in Colege Place Washington (part of Walla Walla). On a walk around the apartment buildings we have noticed hundreds of these flies around two of the apartments. Most of them are sitting on the screens and wood around the screens of two apartments, not next to each other. The screens are covered in these flies. We are wondering what they might be and what would attract them to these two particular screens. There are a few of them on a couple other apts but not nearly as many. The apts with the flies are on the back side of the apts with less sun.

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Orange design on back
by: Mydlars

Box Elder Bug

Western boxelder bug
by: Moni

Shirley
Yes, it is a boxelder bug, but to be more specific it is the western boxelder bug. As the name suggests they are found west of the Rockies in North America. These are true bugs not flies.

The nymphs and adults feed mostly on boxelder and maple tree flowers, seeds and foliage, but will also feed on ash, rose family trees like apple, almond, pear and plum.

They are not considered a garden pest, but are a nuisance when they come into homes in the fall for hibernation. Adults and nymphs sometimes migrate in large groups, often covering tree trunks, the ground, fences, and the sides of houses. On warm winter days they show up on the south and west sides of buildings resting in the sun.
They do not bite or sting.

When they come indoors, they can be annoying and may spot curtains, furnishings, and clothing with their excrement. When crushed, they give off an bad distinctive odor. They do not breed indoors. If trapped in basements or houses, they will eventually die. Use a vacuum to remove them.

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Flying red insect, looks like a large ant (Short-tailed ichneumon wasp)

by Greg
(Mattituck NY)

six legs, medium to dark red. It looks like it has a stinger and will arch as if to sting if you chase it away. Approximately an inch long. Seeing them in Southold NY, never seen them before this year

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Short-tailed ichneumon wasp
by: Moni

Greg
Your insect is a short-tailed ichneumon wasp. The small stinger is the ovipositor of the female wasp used to lay eggs.

This common wasp is found throughout North America near shrubby fields and woodland edges.

Most of the larvae of this wasp feed on caterpillars. The adult wasp lays eggs on caterpillars, then it emerges to feed inside the caterpillar. The caterpillar dies during the pupa stage of the wasp.

The wasp is attracted to lights at night.

This wasp is not known to sting.

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Florida Predatory Stink Bug nymph - red and black

by TammyK757
(Virginia Beach, VA, USA)

FL Predatory Stink Bug nymph with Monarch Butterfly

FL Predatory Stink Bug nymph with Monarch Butterfly

Sending a picture of a FL Predatory Stink Bug nymph with Monarch Butterfly.

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FL predatory stink bug nymph
by: Moni

Tammy
Thanks for sending such a great photo of the predation these bugs do! Great photo of the piercing-sucking mouthpart poking towards the butterfly!

Sorry it's prey is a monarch! Just hope it did not catch it!

For those who want to know more about this "good" bug for the garden - Fl predatory stink bugs or also called Halloween bugs.
They are "good" bugs as they feed on other insect pests like caterpillars, leaf beetles and planthoppers. Both nymphs and adults feed on insects.
They are just found throughout southeastern US.

They are known for their metallic blue/green thorax with red abdomens. The adults look similar.

The nymphs are known to congregate together...sometimes this is to attack large insect prey together. Otherwise they sometimes are found together at night.

They are not known to bite, but as predatory bugs with piercing-sucking mouthparts...they might if mishandled.

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Red and Black Insect on Macadamia Nut tree (Leaf-footed bug)

by Lydia Monroe
(Malibu, CA)

This group of insects was see August 20, 2015 on the developing fruit of a Macadamia Tree located in Venice, California. Only this group was seen although there were several Macadamia trees.

It appears that the juvenile insects are predominantly bright red while the adults are mostly black with only two triangular red patches on their 'shoulders'.

Long black antennae.

Any help with ID would be appreciated

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Leaf-footed bug
by: Moni

Lydia
Your cluster of insects are leaf-footed bugs. Without an adult it is hard to tell which species, tho the most common is Leptoglossus zonatus... sorry no common name.

This insect starts the spring feeding on weeds, then moves to fruit plants. They feed on a variety of fruits from tomatoes, almonds, pistachios, pomegranates, cotton bolls, etc. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts that probe into leaves, shoots, and fruits to suck juices. This can be a pest if found in high numbers. Good thing you only found one cluster!

The damage on very small developing fruits could cause the fruit to drop. On later larger fruit, there could be discoloration at the feeding site or deformation at that site. On a nut tree the kernels might be killed, so commercial growers would need to be scouting to make sure the population does not get high.

The adult bugs overwinter, so for prevention it is best to look for them under woodpiles, under the bark of trees like juniper, eucalyptus or cypress and to check in outbuildings. Remove any that are found.
For control, remove any weedy areas in the spring. Collect any that you see and drop in warm soapy water. You can use a stick to knock them out of trees...using a sheet under the tree will help you find them. Check every couple of weeks for the insects once you find any.

There are several native parasites and predators of this bug, so rarely is any treatment needed.

This bug is not known to bite.


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Red bug eating on Kapok tree (Cotton stainer nymph)

by Sheena
(Tampa Florida)

Hi,
My kapok tree is infested by these red bugs, about 1/2 inch long when full size (I have all sorts of "juniors" as well). 6 legs plus antennas, two black dots between first and second pairs of legs and about 3 whitish stripes across what I presume is the abdomen. How do I get rid of them? We live about a half hour from Tampa in Florida, very close to water. I didn't see any of these last fall on the tree but it is truly infested now. Thanks

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conenose bug
by: chaindropz

Cotton stainer nymph ?

Cotton stainer nymph
by: Moni

Sheena
Yes, Thanks chaindropz...it is a nymph of a cotton stainer bug. This genus of bugs are called that because their feeding on cotton will produce a stain on the lint!

There are several species of cotton stainers and several do live in FL. Yours is probably the species that is called cotton stainer, but the nymphs can look very similar. A photo of the adult would let us know for sure.

Both the adult and nymphs feed on plants in the Mallow family which includes kapok trees, hibiscus, cotton, and many others.

These bugs are found in southern US.


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