Tag Archives: red eye bug

Spring is on the way!

16 Aug

The best part about this time of year (in Australia) is that Spring is arriving.  Which means all of my beloved buggy friends are returning.  It’s been a lonesome winter here by the beach.  Besides being busy with a new baby, the time that I have been able to go and look for insects has been limited and anticlimactic.

But today I saw new life starting all around me.  The bees were practically swarming the newly blossomed mock orange bush.  (Please pardon the photo quality, I’m still getting used to my new macro and getting these guys to sit still for a darn second.)

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I also got a real treat today when the mock orange was also visited by…Glasswing butterflies!!! So exciting to see in person!

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Then along one leaf on the mock orange, I noticed a mating pair of insects that I couldn’t identify.  And I’ll be darned if I didn’t realize later that they were actually cockroaches.  Now, before you go getting all up in arms and thinking I’m a filthy bugger, cockroaches in Australia aren’t indicative of unhygienic surroundings like the stigma they have in the States.  There are certain species that are native and some that are introduced and known as pests.  But believe me, it’s really common to see different types everywhere you go.  I’m not sure exactly what species these two are, but since we don’t have a problem with them in the house at all, I’ll let them live.

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And last but not least, today I noticed numerous Red eye bug nymphs (both newly winged and pre-winged) underneath the tree in our backyard.  (I’ll figure out the type of tree later).  I tried to get a picture of the younger nymph without its wings fully developed but they were apparently in a hurry somewhere and I couldn’t get them to hold still.  I did manage to get a quick snap of the winged one on my arm.  If you remember, I did a post on the Red eye bug before, which you can read HERE.

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Australian Red Eye Bug

3 Apr

Okay, so sometimes life is stranger than fiction.  I just did the post about the boxelder bugs my friend back in the States found and today on my little tree in the backyard (while stalking a praying mantis) I saw a bug that, by all accounts, was a twin of the boxelder.  The problem? I live in Australia and as far as I know there are no boxelder trees (or ash or maples) here.  So, of course it had to be a completely different bug, right?  Weird.  So my curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out what it was. Here’s a close up of the bug.

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It took me a minute to figure this one out.  I had it pegged as some sort of a Eucalyptus bug and then stumbled across one of my favourite insect pages www.brisbaneinsects.com (not sure why I don’t just go there first) and found out that I had spotted what’s known as the Red Eye Bug.  Well, actually it’s called Leptocoris Tagalicus, but I promised no fancy stuff on this blog…for the most part.

Here’s the clincher: This bug is in the SAME family as the boxelder!  The Rhopalidae family, also known as the scentless plant bugs.

It’s name is fitting considering its eyes are actually red, if you zoom in.  They are found on plants (and trees apparently)  and feed on the flowers and seeds of certain ones.  There are two types of these bugs, the Red Eye Bugs and the Ground Red Eye Bugs.  From my research, they say it is hard to distinguish between the two.  But, as you probably guessed, the Ground Red Eyes can be found (drum roll) on the ground where they feed on ripe, fallen seeds.  Since this guy was on my tree, I’m assuming he is just the Red Eye Bug.  (That it’s a ‘he’ is also an assumption 😉 )

So, there ya go.  Cousins found on two separate continents within a couple of days.  And had it not been for my shy praying mantis, I may have never found it at all.