Tuesday, February 2, 2010

White-Margined Burrowing Bug

 

This tiny black bug is a White-Margined Burrowing Bug (Sehirus cinctus). That is a very large name for such a small bug. They measure up to 1/4 of an inch, and are glossy black, although some specimens may be dark reddish-brown, with a distinctive white border around the body. This is the only species within this genus in North America. Although there are a few sub-species recognized. These are very common bugs found throughout Canada and the United States. Look for them in woodlands, gardens, and yards. They are frequently found on weedy plants like henbit, and dead-nettle. In my own garden I find them on a wide variety of plants, but they seem especially fond of Lambs Ear. They feed on the seeds of plants in the mint family. The adults will overwinter in leaf-litter on the ground and become active again when spring returns. After mating, the female will lay her eggs in a shallow depression that she will provision with the seeds from various plants in the mint family. The females exhibit nurturing and protective tendencies towards the larvae in the early developmental stages. Once the larvae have reached the 3rd molt, this maternal care deminishes. Keep in mind the small size of these bugs when searching for them, close examination of plants within the mint family will surely prove fruitful and you will most likely see numerous individuals.

16 comments:

  1. Don't think I've seen one of these yet. Can't wait until spring.

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  2. I'm with you Lee, I can't wait until spring either. This has been a long, cold, miserable winter. Unfortunately we have several more weeks of it before we get a break here in NW Missouri. These little bugs are easily overlooked, they are very tiny and tend to hide out in the buds of the plants they favor. Good luck, and hope you find some.

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  3. I have never seen these, either. Spring will be great.

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  4. Happy Hunting Moe, and yes spring will be GREAT!!!! I am so ready.

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  5. Oh, my goodness! I didn't realize insects could show maternal instincts. I have an apple mint that is out of control in the garden, even green in winter. I'll have to get right up close and see what I see this year. :)

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  6. Hopefully your apple mint will have these little guys. They are so tiny it is easy to overlook them. I seem to find them in June and July here in NW Missouri. I have peppermint as well as the lambs ear, and they seem to prefer the lambs ear.

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  7. Thank you for this information! I've been trying to figure out what kind of beetles those are that devastate my lamb's ear every year, primarily so I could determine what would be an effective organic control for them. These are the culprits!!! I must not much else in the mint family in my yard because I only see them on the lamb's ear. Regards, Valerie

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  8. You are very welcome. I have these little bugs all over my lamb's ear. I also have found them nectaring at bradford pear blossoms, and on other plants as well.

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  9. "Thank you for this information! I've been trying to figure out what kind of beetles those are that devastate my lamb's ear every year, primarily so I could determine what would be an effective organic control for them. These are the culprits!!! I must not much else in the mint family in my yard because I only see them on the lamb's ear. Regards, Valerie"

    Have you found an effective organic way to get rid of them? They seem to really like to eat my green bean plants. I have an organic garden and have been searching on how to get rid of them.

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  10. The only thing I can think of that would not be harmful to people or pets would be Sevindust. Or maybe some kind of insecticidal soap.

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  11. I found this in my curtain sheet :o And now I know it's not a bed bug, thank you :)

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  12. Anonymous, I am so glad to have eased your concerns....it is funny you mention bedbugs....I am in the process of reading a book about them. The bad thing about loving insects....I can't resist reading anything I find about them :o)

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  13. we found a bug that looks a lot like this one. We found it in our room. It did not have the stripe down the side but had white dotted makes on the sides and right behind head. Is this the same bug?

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  14. I am not sure what bug made it to your room. It is difficult to tell by description. Do you happen to have a picture? If so, send it to MOpiggys@aol.com and I will try to tell you what it is.

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  15. I live in Texas & saw my first EVER White Margined last night????? I have been here 40+ years---what the heck is going on??????

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  16. I also have them all over my lamb's ear, I was concerned they were ticks since this is the first year my indoor cat has had 3 on her

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