Seed Bug

vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)October 20, 2006

We have a new invasive European seed bug (Raglius albocuminatus)in our area. According to research they prefer the seed of Mullien and Mints. Anyhoo, we never seen them in our area before this year. They were gathering under mulch, wood piles, and in the home....just everywhere. They behave just like the common Boxelder bug...their close relatives.

Well, I came across an article at WSU. It was put out by our chief Entomologist in WA State who described them as a nuisance in certain counties of western WA. I contacted him and then sent him several specimens for a positive ID. He replied again yesterday with a positve ID for the same species with the exception of a slightly different coloring. He said the specimes will contributed to the state collection with my name as collector :D

He said I was the first to report and collect from this side of the mountains. My former pest ID instructor would be proud of me LOL!

Vera

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wrichard(z5 NH)

wow. That's very interesting. Can we see a picture of it?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 6:40PM
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vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)

Sorry couldn't take pics with a camara phone....just too dang small to focus! You can see the article that Eric LaGassa (WA Chief Entomologist) wrote about the pest. There are some pics there.
Here is the email thread between him and I.........

-----Original Message-----
From: vera [mailto:la_raspberry@webband.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:12 PM
To: LaGasa, Eric (AGR)
Subject: Raglius spp. or Rhyparochromus spp.

Hello,

I live in Rosalia, WA; Whitman County (Eastern Wa).
We seem to be having a problem with a very simular species and perhaps may
be of the genera Raglius or Rhyparochromus. This is the first year we have
seen them and they have become a nuisance since mid August all through the
month of September. I have been looking for information for over a month and
came across a WSU article on these two species.
They are very fast runners hardly stopping long enough in one spot; are
black with white markings with a black triangle over a dark brown band.
There are 3 distictive white dots in the formation of a triangle at the
posterior end. The head is small compared to the body; they are between
1/8" to 1/4" long, narrow and oblong. They have that 'stink' when crushed
but not very powerful as the stink bugs.
They are invading both the outside and inside of our homes and will find
them in the mulch, potted plants, wood piles, ect. I have not noticed them
eating seed heads, in fact I can't say I've seen them stop very long to do
anything!! I vaccum them up in the morning and evening inside the house and
it is never ending. I am more concerned about my garden and the seeds I
harvest. Can you tell me about their life-cycle? Is there any plant
damage/disease I should be concerned with?

Thanks,

Vera Moore
===========================================================
From: LaGasa, Eric (AGR) [mailto:ELaGasa@agr.wa.gov]
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:01 AM
To: vera
Cc: Todd Murray
Subject: RE: Raglius spp. or Rhyparochromus spp.

Hi Vera,

Very interesting! It may be you have one of the exotic species we're
watching over here in Western Washington - or another new exotic. I would
be more than happy to diagnose the insect involved, but would need either
specimens or closeup digital images of the critter to sort it out. You can
send me (dead) specimens by mail, to the address below, by freezing some
specimens (the more the better) to kill them, and then send them in some
sort of rigid container (like a pill bottle or plastic box). You can even
put the rigid container in an envelope and send it regular mail. The key to
getting good (identifiable) specimens to me is keeping them from getting
smashed or broken-up, so you also need to put some cotton or other soft
material in the container with the specimens, or loosely wrap them in tissue
or cotton, so they don't bounce around inside the container in the mail.

If you have access to a digital camera and can get some closeup pictures,
send me some pictures via email, and we might be able to determine the
species that way. If it is one of the new exotic species we have in Western
Wa, you will have the first record of occurence east of the Cascades.

I look forward to seeing what insect you have, and really appreciate the
contact. The nuisance these fall-aggregating bugs create in and around
homes can be very dramatic, although they don't seem to be causing any
appreciable damage to crops or home gardens (seeds or plants). This time of
year they are aggregating (collecting in groups) in search of protected
over-wintering locations, as the adult bugs spend the winter hibernating,
and in the spring they come out of hiding to begin feeding and reproducing
again. The larger species only produce one generation a year.

If you want, feel free to call me at the number below, or send me your phone
# if you'd like me to call you back.

Eric LaGasa
===========================================================
I cut off some of the chit chat conversations to make it short....
===========================================================
Hi Vera,

Your bugs arrived today, in great condition (nice job ;-).
The specimens are definately Raglius alboacuminatus, but a different color form than the Raglius I've seen over here in the Puget Sound area. Ours (the one pictured in Figure 2 on the web page; http://whatcom.wsu.edu/pestsurvey/158-RhyparochromisAndRagliusAlertAndUpdate06.pdf) have a distinctly reddish-brown cast to the wing covers, while yours have no color at all, being mostly black and white. I think yours are the same color as ones I've seen pictures of from Utah . . . so yours may be from a different introduction (from Europe) than we have over here.

Thanks alot for the specimens and the report on these new nuisance pests in your area. The specimens are in excellent condition and will be a valuable contribution to the state collection (w/ your name on them as collector!).

Regards,

Eric

Eric H. LaGasa
Chief Entomologist
Pest Program / Plant Protection Division
Washington State Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 42560
Olympia, Washington 98504

===========================================================

So if you are in the west somewhere....look out!! They may be a nuicence for you too next fall!! Another research site suggested that the bugs preferred the seed of Mints and Mulliens. Could be why I'm not finding any seed in my creeping thyme this year....hmmm? I'm gonna have to take a drive and check the roadside Mullien.

Vera

Here is a link that might be useful: Raglius

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 8:41AM
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