Friday, March 4, 2011


bordered plant bug
Largus californicus

We saw quite a few of these true bugs in the middle of the Juniper Canyon, Tunnel, and High Peaks trails. Usually, we spotted them on or near seedy scat. The second picture above was of two that seemed to be fighting over the remains of a spider. It was fascinating to watch as one would chase the other away and quickly return to its capture.

This didn't make sense to me since they supposedly feed on lupine, hence the name plant bug. I found an online abstract written by Carey L. Booth that mentions they will supplement their diet with feces and carrion. So, a question remains for me, if you have a piercing-sucking mouth part, as all true bugs do, how do you eat dried feces and carrion? In any case, for whatever reason, it's always reassuring when my own observations mesh with what's published.

Click on the common name above and scroll down the page to see some cool pictures of the unusual looking nymphs and last instar molt. While University of California, Irvine is quite a bit south from us in Orange County, I've really enjoyed Dr. Peter Bryant's Arthropod web pages as a reliable resource for this blog.

3 comments:

texwisgirl said...

They're rather pretty with their outlines...

Erica Lea said...

Catching up on my blog reading. Need to get some of my new flower pics up on mine soon! Going to "bug" you here, though, and ask if you'd like to id some creepy crawlies I found recently? Your post just reminded me, thanks to the dried feces, lol! What I found looks like some sort of wasp, and they were all over a fresh cow patty. They were even, ummm... doing the nasty, and yes, I'm so weird, I took photos. Haven't had a chance to look them up, and you're way better than I am at id'ing, so... :-)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Erica, post to your blog or send your pics in an e-mail and I'll try my best.