Western Box-elder Bug

Western Box-elder Bug Photo, Picture
  • Common Name: Western Box-elder Bug
  • Order Name: Hemiptera
  • Family Name: Rhopalidae

Many Hemiptera suck plant juices although some have evolved to suck blood and body fluids. Hemiptera groups include water scorpions, water boatman, backswimmers, water striders, plant bugs, bed bugs, assassin bugs, flat bugs, seed bugs, red bugs and stink bugs.

Widespread across the US, the Box-elder Bug belongs to the family of scentless plant bugs. This nymph was found in the San Francisco area where it appears in great numbers during the first warm days of spring after emerging from their winter hibernation. Their bright red coloration sometimes causes concern in the autumn when they find their way into houses looking for a suitable place to over winter. They feed on box-elder, maple and ash trees although sometimes the adults eat fruit. Notice the long beak for piercing plants and sucking sap.