Firebug - "Red Bug"
Pyrrhocoris apterus

red bug
Now, I have lived in Utah almost all my life and I knew instantly that this was not the "firebug" I was used to seeing
so I was quite excited about it.  I did an extensive Google search for a two-spotted red beetle and finally found one
that looked just like this one. I also submitted my photo to Bugguide.net to see if they knew what it was.  I was pretty
convinced it was
Scantius aegyptius, which is in the same family as this bug but is invasive and pretty much
contained to California right now, after traveling all the way from Egypt.  © Carol Davis, 4-19-2011

firebug
Well, I was wrong.  This is a close relative, and although rare in the area, it is not Scantius aegyptius, the
invasive bug from Egypt, but
Pyrrhocoris apterus, the invasive bug from Europe.  There was indeed a difference
in the abdomen of the bug, especially toward the tail end (you can see a comparison of the two here.)  Regardless,
 it's a new bug for me and it's a  beautiful one, although it is not beneficial.  In fact, it feeds on fruit and seeds.

My spiders had better get busy this summer and do something about the invaders. © Carol Davis, 4-19-2011


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