eastern boxelder bug

(Boisea trivittata)

Conservation Status
eastern boxelder bug
Photo by Margot Avey
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

7 16 to 9 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous and mixed forests and meadows

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring and fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Juices in the seeds of host plants. In Minnesota the only host plants are silver maple (Acer saccharinum) and boxelder (Acer negundo).

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Leaves, flowers, twigs, and bark of host plants; fruits; other boxelder bugs and eggs.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.

 
  6/22/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hemiptera (true bugs, hoppers, aphids, and allies)  
 

Suborder

Heteroptera (true bugs)  
 

Infraorder

Pentatomomorpha (pentatomomorph bugs)  
 

Superfamily

Coreoidea (leaf-footed bugs and allies)  
 

Family

Rhopalidae (scentless plant bugs)  
 

Subfamily

Serinethinae (soapberry bugs)  
 

Genus

Boisea (boxelder bugs)  
       
 

This species was previously known as Leptocoris trivittatus.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Leptocoris trivittatus

Lygaeus trivittatus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

boxelder bug

eastern boxelder bug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Molly and Robert Power

 
   

eastern boxelder bug

 

 

 

 

 
 

Margot Avey

 
    eastern boxelder bug   eastern boxelder bug  
 

Luciearl

 
 

Box elder bugs found on Box Elder tree

 
    eastern boxelder bug      
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Boxelder Bugs, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
Pietro Pecco
 
   
 
About

Published on May 30, 2011

The boxelder bug (Boisea trivittata) is a North American species of true bug. It is found primarily on boxelder trees, as well as maple and ash trees. The adults are about 12.5 millimetres (0.49 in) long with a dark brown or black coloration, relieved by red wing veins and markings on the abdomen; nymphs are bright red. These highly specialized insects feed almost exclusively on the seeds of Acer species. The boxelder bug is sometimes known as a garage beetle or may be confused with other Jadera spp., especially Boisea rubrolineata. The name "stink bug," which is more regularly applied to the family Pentatomidae, is sometimes erroneously used to refer to Boisea trivittata. Instead, these insects belong to the family Rhopalidae, the so-called "scentless plant bugs". However, boxelder bugs are redolent and will release a pungent and bad-tasting compound upon being disturbed to discourage predation; this allows them to form conspicuous aggregations without being preyed on. Although they specialize on Acer seeds, they may pierce plant tissues while feeding. They are not known to cause significant damage and are not considered to be agricultural pests. Removal of boxelder and other Acer species can help in control of bug populations. They may form large aggregations while sunning themselves in areas near their host plant (e.g. on rocks, shrubs, trees, and man-made structures). However, their congregation habits and excreta can annoy people; thus, they are considered nuisance pests. This is especially a problem during the cooler months, when they sometimes invade houses and other man-made structures seeking warmth or a place to overwinter. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool. When the heating systems revive them, some may falsely perceive it to be springtime and enter inhabited parts of the building in search of food, water, and conspecifics. In the spring, the bugs leave their winter hibernation locations to feed and lay eggs on maple or ash trees; aggregations may be seen during this time and well into summer and early fall, depending on the temperature.

 
  Box Elder Bug (Rhopalidae: Boisea trivittata)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 18, 2012

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (18 February 2012). According to the NWS at Grand Forks, today's high temperature was an unseasonably warm 38oF.

 
  Boxelder Bug (Rhopalidae: Boisea trivittata) on Wall
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 9, 2010

Photographed near Fisher, Minnesota (09 October 2010).

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Mel Hendrickson
8/10/2022

Location: Wall Street, North Mankato, MN

first time we have spotted them  In with my Hosta’s

 
  Molly and Robert Power
6/21/2022

Location: Albany, MN

eastern boxelder bug  
  Margot Avey
9/17/2021

Location: Westwood Nature Center in St. Louis Park

eastern boxelder bug

 
  Margot Avey
9/13/2021

Location: Westwood Nature Center in St. Louis Park

eastern boxelder bug

 
  Luciearl
9/17/2018

Location: Ramsey County (Taylor Park)

Box elder bugs found on Box Elder tree

eastern boxelder bug  
           
 
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