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Insect and Spider Identification: SOLVED: tiny blue-black beetles, & pink nymphs? in night cluster

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Forum: Insect and Spider IdentificationReplies: 5, Views: 81
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spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 1, 2012
9:51 PM

Post #9226696

Okay, these cute little beetles have been "sleeping" at night in a tidy cluster on a side of a large plastic pot in our garden, western Oregon. At first, there appeared to be lots of tiny pinkish-red ones as well as larger metallic blue-black ones. Now most seem to be the larger blue-black ones, so maybe the pinkish ones were nymphs of the same species? I turned some of the blue-black ones on their backs today, and they have a red mark on the underside, like a curving upside-down Y, with the stem of the Y on their chest and the legs of the Y curving out under their abdomens. Other than that, dark underneath.
The color of the pink ones is visible in the upper left corner of the cluster in the first photo. Dandelion leaf and grass in photo for scale. When touched, the beetles break formation and scatter (2nd & 3rd photos).

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Flapdoodle
Minot, ND

August 2, 2012
8:21 AM

Post #9227004

Could be nymphs of the bordered plant bug (Largidae) - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bugeyed_g/3503146035/

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 2, 2012
12:34 PM

Post #9227278

It sdounds like s bunch of 'bug' nymphs...and I wonder if they mistook your pot for an unripe pumpkin...I did!
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 5, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9230744

That's funny, sallyg!
Oh, silly me, thinking they were blue-black beetles with pink nymphs, when beetles don't have nymphs in their life cycle! Aargh, how embarassing! :-)
Here's a picture of the pink phase that adds further evidence to your suspicion, flapdoodle, that they may be Largidae nymphs: http://bugguide.net/node/view/29655/bgimage
But I've yet to see any pictures of the dark underside with the red Y on the larger nymphs, which I was seeing . . . I'll put some in the fridge and try to take a photo of their bellies . . . if they're still there!
spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 13, 2012
10:13 PM

Post #9240802

Here are two more dorsal photos, one of which shows "dimples" in the black exoskeleton; followed by three photos of their underbellies (ventral view), . The ventral red "Y" seems to be enlarging as the nymphs develop. Some of the larger nymphs (not shown) are still that pink-red color all over. Hmmm.

I haven't seen any adults yet; isn't this unusually slow development?

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spoonlegs
Cottage Grove, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2012
11:36 AM

Post #9242422

I guess it's not slow development; just read it can take up to 30 days for a bug nymph to reach adulthood. One has a red spot on its back now, like a typical Bordered Plant Bug nymph. Just read elsewhere on DG that the nymphs can be black, metallic blue, or reddish, depending on the form. Guess that 'splains it all!

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