Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bug identification


unkown bug
unkown bug  
QUESTION: hi. i am currently in a colombian vineyard in the area of boyaca. my employer is wanting  to identify a particular bug that is plaguing his vines. any help would be greatly appreciated. the pic is attached. what we have realised is that they nest with another bug maybe male or female though. the other thing to mention is they seem to disperse when they smell us.

any help would be greatly appreciated.


ANSWER: Dear Robbie - These appear to be nymphs of a bug in the family Pyrrhocoridae (red bugs) - see http://tinyurl.com/k4je9mg for an example. The other insects you saw associated with them likely were adults of the same species - see http://tinyurl.com/llckuq6 for an example of adult bugs (these may not be the same species you have).
 Are these bugs causing damage to the vines? I can find no reports of these insects being serious pests of grape vines.

Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks so much ed, they don't appear to be damaging the vines as such. recently the vineyard was accidentally sprayed with glyphosate fertilizer which was very damaging to the vines and we are a little unsure what is damage from the fertilizer and what is not. any ideas this could be the reason for the sudden interest in the plants?
also my boss asked where we could find literature on this type of insect.
thanks again for your help I will insure to give good feedback.


Dear Robbie - The primary crop affected by these bugs is cotton, with bugs in the genus Dysdercus (to which yours appear to belong) often being referred to as 'cotton stainers.' They will feed on other plants as well, but again, I can find no reference to them being damaging to grapes. See http://tinyurl.com/lo6ar88 for a representative fact sheet on these insects; you can find many others simply by searching on the terms 'Dysdercus' and 'cotton stainers.'


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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