Rhopalidae

These insects are usually less than 10 mm long, and distinguished by many veins on the membranous portion of the forewings. They differ from coreids and other hemipterans in lacking functional scent glands. They are usually found on weeds and grasses, but one species, the boxelder bug, feeds on trees. All are plant-feeders, usually on green ripe seeds. In Japan, several species overwinter in small to large numbers around the perimeter ofbuildings, including Coriomeri scabrio-cornis, Rhophalus maculatus, and Stictoplerus punctatonervosus.

Brown grass bug, Arhyssus crassus Adults are about 9 mm long, and uniformly brown. The brown grass bug is known to be abundant on plants growing in uncultivated land adjacent to residential housing, and to move from these sites and invade structures in summer. This bug produces an objectionable odor, and when it occurs indoors it can stain fabric with excrement. It occurs in western USA. A closely related species, A. scultatus, has also been reported to occur in houses in California.

Boxelder bug, Boisea trivittata (= Leptochoris) (Fig. 8.1f)

Adults are 10-14 mm long, and somewhatflatand elongate. The body is gray-brown to black with three red lines on the prono-tum and forewing; the abdomen is usually red. The young bugs are brightred and become marked with blackwhenabouthalf-grown. Early-stage nymphs are red, and become marked with black in instar 4 and 5. Eggs are laid singly or in batches of about 11 eggs on the bark and leaves of the host tree; eggs may be laid on the ground in grass and leaf litter. Hatching occurs in 11-14 days and the eggs turn from yellow to dark red; fecundity is 200-300 eggs. Development from egg to adult takes about 60 days, and there are 1-3 generations per year. Adults and large nymphs of the last generation seek an overwintering site in late fall. They are frequently found in large numbers around building foundations and ground-floor windows. They gather on the south and west sides of buildings where the sun heats exposed surfaces; they are sensitive to small temperature differences and select the warmest. Adults are capable of flying 3-4 km in search of suitable overwintering sites. Usually only adults survive winter. Adults of the first generation feed on fallen boxelder seeds on the ground or on low vegetation. They feed on female trees once the seeds begin to form.

B. trivittata is native to western and southwestern USA, where itdevelopsonboxelder trees, Acernegundo.Ini88o,itwasknown from Mexico and the western USA; by the 1930s it spread to midwestern states, and now the range includes southern Canada and eastern USA. This species spread eastward as its primary host the boxelder was planted as an urban ornamental and shade tree. Adults and nymphs on B. trivittata feed on seeds, leaves, and twigs ofboxelder and other maples, including silver maple (Acersaccharium), sycamore maple (A. pseudoplatanus), and ash (Fraxinus). It will also feed on young fruits such as apple, pear, peach, plum, and grape. These bugs will feed on each other during molting, and they will bite people.

Western boxelder bug, Boisea rubrolineata (= Leptochoris)

Adults are i0-i4 mm long, and somewhat flat and elongate. The body is gray-brown to black with red lines on the prono-tum and forewing; the abdomen is usually red. Adults have three longitudinal red stripes. This boxelder bug has been reported from bigleafmaple (Acer macrophyllum) and is known to damage almonds and pistachios. The biology of this species is similar to B. trivittata.

Grass bug, Corizus validus Adults are about 8 mm long, and yellow to light brown. Itis common in grassy areas and gardens in summer. Adults overwinter under the bark of trees, but they are known to enter houses in fall. It has been reported to bite people when indoors.

Soapberry bug, Jadera haematoloma This Neotropical species feeds primarily on the seeds of sapindaceous plants, including the soapberry tree and the goldenrain tree. The adults may damage trees and, like Boisea trivittata, they often cluster in large numbers on houses during cool weather.

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