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Insect and Spider Identification: SOLVED: Bug ID?? (sorry no picture)

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Forum: Insect and Spider IdentificationReplies: 15, Views: 82
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pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 23, 2006
6:32 PM

Post #2538413

Our backyard has these little bright red bugs (like fire engine red) crawling all over he place. They are very small (like round pin top size) and aren't really gathering anywhere specific but they are busy getting and going somewhere. I have noticed them on the gorund in my shade garden, on the patio table walking arouns the rim and a ton on the cover of the kids sandbox. They don't seem to be damaging or eating anything but with the volume of them I have seen I worry that if/when they do get hungry what will they go for?? We did just have 3-4 days of pretty solid rain, too. Any thoughts?
crystalspin
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 23, 2006
9:37 PM

Post #2538955

Are they insects or spiders? (6 legs or 8?)

If insects, any black (or other color) markings?

~'spin!~
paalexan
Las Cruces, NM

July 23, 2006
9:37 PM

Post #2538956

Perhaps velvet mites? See: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2419

I don't think they harm anything. I remember seeing a lot of these tiny little guys in southern Indiana.

Patrick Alexander
pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 23, 2006
10:06 PM

Post #2539043

They have 6 legs and 2 antennae. The body is almost round on the little ones and on the bigger ones is more elongated or oval. Also the littler they are the more red they appear. On the big ones (adults I assume they are still only red but the shape allows for what appears to be a shadow on the back. If you look quick it might look like a black or charcoal gray area but look more closely and you see it is the height of the body making a shadow.

I don;t thikn they are the velvet mite but that did lead me to mite as a possibility - maybe a running mite? Thanks!!
DonnaA2Z
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2006
10:12 PM

Post #2539065

How 'bout a red bug? Seriously. We have them here.
paalexan
Las Cruces, NM

July 23, 2006
10:19 PM

Post #2539096

6 legs would rule out the mites. A couple of other possibilities occur to me. If these guys are clumped on the stems of new plant growth, you might have one of the red aphids, like this one:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/66097

There are also several species of true bugs (Hemiptera) with bright red nymphs. One of them is the burrower bug, Sehirus cinctus: http://bugguide.net/node/view/6981/bgimage Most of the true bugs with red nymphs have black heads, but there are at least a couple that don't. Most of them aren't identifiable as nymphs, and may be any color as adults.

Patrick Alexander
DonnaA2Z
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2006
10:22 PM

Post #2539110

Check this out:

http://beaufortusa.com/chigger.htm

pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 23, 2006
10:23 PM

Post #2539114

Hmmm - they don't look like either of those 2. I have to find my camera and take a picture I think.
DonnaA2Z
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2006
10:23 PM

Post #2539119

Maybe here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tgjorgoski/167290826/

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_bug

This message was edited Jul 23, 2006 6:26 PM
TxTurqoize
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 23, 2006
10:32 PM

Post #2539147

That was my first thought too...red velvet mites...neat little critters!
pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 23, 2006
10:35 PM

Post #2539156

Goodness - they don't look like any of these links. The kids keep screaming TICKS! Red ticks!

My husband has the camera somewhere and it is driving me nuts. I will bet as soon as I get a picture someone will know
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2006
10:36 PM

Post #2539159

If they are mites like the ones I've seen (red colored, not sure if they're the red velvet ones or not), they are so small there's no way you'd be able to accurately count the legs without a magnifying glass, so I wouldn't necessarily rule out mites just because you only saw 6 legs. Or if they're big enough that you can count legs easily then they're probably something else.
pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 23, 2006
10:38 PM

Post #2539163

They are definitely big enough to count legs. Stll tiny litttle bugs but you can accurately see what's what. I would sompare them in size to the top side of a pin
wallaby1
Lincoln
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

July 23, 2006
11:33 PM

Post #2539367

How about the Red Spider Mite? It has 8 legs but you may not have counted the front ones as pairs.

http://aolsearch.aol.co.uk/image?query='red spider mite'

pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 24, 2006
1:22 AM

Post #2539758

Dang it - that isn't them either. I tried to take pictures but have to figure out the Macro mode on my camera - everything came out blurred too much
pegzhere
Bettendorf, IA

July 26, 2006
2:35 AM

Post #2548622

Found out what they are!! Box elder nymphs. Unfortunately we have several box elders on our property, too (as do the neighbors - the farm that was originally this subdivision must have been abundant with them). Found this on an IA State entemology site (copied a picture, too - mine were WAY too blurry to see anything). The picture shown is of one that is bigger and older than what I have been seeing. The ones in my yard are still solid red. Have to make sure to seal everything up well this fall!:

"Boxelder bugs have a simple life cycle of three stages: egg, nymph and adult. The adults are well-known; the nymphs look very similar but are smaller and bright red because they don't yet have the black wings to cover their abdomen. The picture above is of an older nymph with the black wing buds showing. Younger and smaller nymphs are more red with little if any discernable black markings where the wings will someday be.

These bright red, soft insects are very abundant and present in unlikely places, and not just on trees like we expect."

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