Wednesday, August 18, 2010

seed bug ~ 08/18/10 ~ at home

Mediterranean seed bug
Xanthochilus saturnius

I thought this was a handsome bug. I'm making a quick guess that this is some kind of seed bug, a true bug. My husband asked how I knew it was a true bug. I look for the 'X' pattern the wings make as they cross each other, flat over the abdomen. Most adult true bugs have half membrane and half leathery outer wings, which emphasizes the 'X.'

I'm an old school entomologist, long out of practice, and I still think of Hemiptera (true bugs) and Homoptera (hoppers, cicadas, and aphids) as being in separate orders. Now, they've been combined in the order Hemiptera and separated out to the suborders Heteroptera and Homoptera. Confused, yet? Yeah, me, too. I kind of liked the classification the way it was. I'm not sure what the current description is to describe the now larger encompassing order. Maybe the piercing sucking mouth parts along with gradual metamorphosis?

I posted this now to show I don't just do plants, especially orchids, on this blog. If you know the ID to species, I'd greatly appreciate it. Otherwise I'll look into it later, but right now I need to get my butt over to a bocce tournament... CiĆ o!

ps 08/23/10 - I posted this yesterday in a rush. I've edited and added the common and scientific names below the photo above with embedded links to UCI and BugGuide, respectively. I can't believe this is my first true bug posting. The Mediterranean seed bug hails from Italy... it's kind of coincidental since I was off to meet the Sons of Italy yesterday.

ps 04/22/12 - Once again, I've been "put in my place" by a popular blogging entomologist who has insisted on correcting me for years on other people's blog postings for topics I consider are matters of opinion. There are now sometimes considered 5 suborders within Hemiptera: of course Heteroptera, then there's also Fulgoromorpha and Cicadomorpha (both are sometimes considered as infraorders, suborders, or superfamilies of Auchenorrhyncha), Sternorrhyncha, and Coleorrhyncha (sometimes treated as an infraorder of Prosorrhyncha). No one seems to agree. I'm sure there will be more changes. I feel sorry for those newbie entomology students out there.


Luz Maria said...

Yep, it's a Mediterranean seed bug. They seem to like porches, our apartment is a 2nd floor apartment where the porch is a thoroughfare with just enough space for a few potted plants and an outdoor chair. The porch gets an over abundance of sunlight, toasty during autumn and spring however scortching in the summer. These seed bugs like to sun along the walkway of the porch then scatter and fly off in full flight (not glide) when disturbed which is fairly easy since the porch is basically a walkway. Indoors, is a different matter. As long as I vacuum the rug, these critters are outdoors which means if I'm off on vacation these seed bugs think its a welcome mat to the apartment via of gaps under the door. Just a hunch though, I think that these critters are the next house pests (like roaches) if not already.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hi Luz Maria. Thanks for the confirmation. Funny, I haven't seen another on our porch in the 3 years since this one. I found online that its close relative M. ditimoides can become quite a pest:

Luz Maria said...

Thanks, Katie. I really like sites like yours, it's informative about the living things around us plus we can blog our experiences. I forgot to mention that we live in Corvallis, Oregon. I can't say why these Mediterranean seed bugs roost on the porch, but I'm grateful that its not in swarms like that in districts of Marin/Sonoma counties I figure comparing notes like this might get a few folks thinking more about seed bug habitat preferences (as invasive species) within semi-urban settings.