Orange-headed, black-bodied bug inhabiting the yard - PIC

spaghetina(SF Bay Area)April 16, 2011

I've done numerous searches, and since I have yet to come up with anything, I thought it was time to ask the GW population.

These bugs are around my yard in pretty decent numbers, and seem to prefer the Santa Rosa plum tree in the backyard, although I've seen them on everything from the roses to my peppers. I can't tell whether or not they're doing any damage to other crops, the the plum tree looks absolutely pitiful.

It was difficult to get a good, close, full body shot, and you can't tell very well from the photo, but they're about a 1/2" long, with a slender black body, and an orange head. They're winged, and almost seem as though they're making noises as they fly. Super creepy.

Any idea what they could be?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

It's a lightning bug.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 11:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

Not in San Francisco, it's not :) No lightning bugs there. I remember seeing those bugs, too, but I can't remember what they are. Sorry, I'm not much help.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

The name "blister beetle" just came back to me and when I looked it up on google images, it does match your discription. Hope this is your beetle!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Well that's what I get for not looking at the local (o0)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Hehe, taz, definitely not a lightning bug, though I wish we had them out here. It's been a long, long time since I've seen one in person.

Bellatrix, the body shape definitely looks like that of a blister beetle, but I'll have to do some more looking around through the 7,500 species to see if something matches up. Thanks!

I tried to zap one with an electric tennis-racket bug zapper thingy earlier so that I could have a dead one to photograph, but either I have no idea how to use the zapper, it doesn't actually work, or the bug has superhero powers and survived the shock, so I couldn't get any more detailed, close-up shots. I'll try again tomorrow!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Probably those buggs are not responsible for teh misery of your plum tree.The one in the picture looks diseased, as I can tell from thr curling leaves...PROBABLY!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 3:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe posting this on the fruits forum would help. There are really knowledgable people over there.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is it a Tanbark Beetle?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rnewste(8b NorCal)

I've squashed 2 of them down here in Campbell last week when emptying a couple of EarthTainers. They contained tan bark in them so maybe the previous poster has them correctly identified. They moved pretty fast, so I didn't have a chance to really look at them, other than the bright orange and black markings.

This Season, I've got the Take Down Garden Spray at the ready for the Psyllids and Tomato Russet Mites. I am using silver reflective plastic much in the 'Tainers this Season to bring some brightness to the underside of the leaves. We will see if this has any deterrent on the critters....

Plants are about 18 inches tall now and some are flowering.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

Soldier beetle? If so, it's beneficial -- eats other insects.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I also thought soldier beetle. Hard to tell from just a side shot, though.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

soldier beetle, you probably have aphids on that tree. if you don't like the aphids don't kill the beetle :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd say Soldier Beetle, too.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 6:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
cutworms and diatomaceous earth
I had regular problems with cutworms and seedlings....
Looking for Artichoke Plant Enthusiasts
I have eight years experience growing artichoke plants...
Pond Plant Girl
What's up with these basil plants?
I planted these into my garden bed a week ago. I’ve...
Kim Kimura
Placement of soaker hoses
Hi everyone :) I just started a new veg patch. I made...
Garden Huckleberry
Hey folks, I thought Id mention a new crop which we...
Sponsored Products
Colocasia Elephant Ear Bulb - Set of Three
$14.99 | zulily
Meditating Frog Statue
$129.50 | FRONTGATE
Green Apple Fruit Fly Trap
$14.99 | zulily
Cast Aluminum Adjustable Surface Mount Landscape Light
$99.91 | Lamps Plus
Best Quality Lighting Path & Landscape Lights LV33AB Landscape Lighting Path
$86.00 | Home Depot
Ladybug Garden Statue - 354
$29.99 | Hayneedle
Montana Woodworks Chairs Patio Deck Chair with Exterior Finish MWDCV
Home Depot
Red Carpet Studios Rustic Element Cyclone - 31971
$24.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™