white-margined burrower bug

(Sehirus cinctus)

Conservation Status
white-margined burrower bug
Photo by Armchair Naturalist
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Sehirinae is a subfamily of burrowing bugs with fifteen genera and many species. They are relatively uncommon. True to their common name, most burrower bugs remain in or on the soil. They are usually found under stones or boards and around the roots of plants. White-margined burrower bug is the only species in the subfamily Sehirinae that occurs in the New World. It occurs in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, across southern Canada, and in Mexico. It is found in fields, woodlands, lawns, and gardens. Unlike other burrower bugs, white-margined burrower bug is often seen on plants, especially plants in the mint (Lamiaceae) and nettle (Urticaceae) families. It eats the developing seeds of these plants. While it may appear in great numbers, it does not damage the host plant since it eats only the seeds.

The body is black, broadly oval, and to ¼ (4.0 to 6.5 mm) long. The upperside is shiny, hairless, and densely covered with small pits (punctures).

The head is small, wider than long, and much narrower than the thorax. It is tucked into a concave groove in the margin of the pronotum. There is no visible “neck” when viewed from above. There are two large, bulging, compound eyes and two small simple eyes (ocelli). There is no crosswise (transverse) groove between the compound eyes. The mouth parts are optimized for piercing and sucking. The antennae are exposed, conspicuous, and long, much longer than the head but not as long as the body. They have five segments.

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) is slightly wider in the rear than the base of the forewings (hemelytra). It is entirely black except for a narrow white border on the lateral margins. The front lateral margins do not have a submarginal row of fine punctures.

There are two pairs of wings, and they are held flat over the body when at rest. The forewings are as long as the abdomen and completely cover the sides of the abdomen. They have a thickened section at the base and a thin membranous section at the tip with a clear dividing line between the two. The thickened basal part is comprised of a triangular section (scutellum) at the base; a narrow area (clavus) behind the scutellum when the wings are closed; and the remaining, broad, marginal area (corium). The scutellum is triangular and large. It covers about half of the abdomen, but is not longer than the corium, and does not reach the tip of the abdomen. The clavi do not meet behind the scutellum. Each corium has a thin white border on the lateral margin. Subspecies albonotatus also has a small white spot near the end of the R+M vein. The membranous portion of each hemelytron also has a thin white border on the margin. The white borders on the pronotum, clavi, and hemelytra are what gives this burrower bug its common name. It is the only burrower bug that has this feature. The hindwings are thin, membranous, and completely concealed beneath the forewings.

The legs are mostly black. The fourth segment of each leg (tibia) is mostly white on the upper side, black just at the base and tip. The tibia on the hind leg is armed with rows of strong spines. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has 3 segments. The third segment is distinctly thinner than the first two segments.




to ¼ (4.0 to 6.5 mm)


Similar Species


Fields, woodlands, lawns, and gardens




March to September




Adults are active at night and will come to lights.


Life Cycle


In spring, the female excavates a shallow burrow in the soil, provisions it with seeds, and deposits 120 to 150 eggs. She guards the burrow until the eggs hatch, then continues to care for the young as they develop.

Adults overwinter under leaf litter.


Nymph Food


Seeds of plants in the mint (Lamiaceae) and nettle (Urticaceae) families


Adult Food


Developing seeds of plants in the mint (Lamiaceae) and nettle (Urticaceae) families


Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30, 82.







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


Heteroptera (true bugs)  


Pentatomomorpha (pentatomomorph bugs)  


Pentatomoidea (stink bugs, shield bugs, and allies)  


Cydnidae (burrowing bugs)  





Subordinate Taxa


white-margined burrower bug (Sehirus cinctus albonotatus)

white-margined burrower bug (Sehirus cinctus cinctus) ?

white-margined burrower bug (Sehirus cinctus texensis)






Common Names


white-margined burrower bug











The thickened basal portion of the front wing that lies between the clavus and the membrane of insects in the family Hemiptera.



The forewing of true bugs (Order Hemiptera), thickened at the base and membranous at the tip. Plural: hemelytra.



Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.



The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.



The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.



On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.






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Armchair Naturalist

    white-margined burrower bug      
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White-margined Burrower Bug (Sehirus cinctus)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  White-margined Burrower Bug (Sehirus cinctus)  



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Other Videos
  lots of little bugs in one leaf/Sehirus cinctus also known as the white-margined burrower bug
L board கத்துக்குட்டி

Sep 29, 2021

Sehirus cinctus also known as the white-margined burrower bug is within the genus of burrowing bugs belonging to the family Cydnidae #lboard #sehiruscinctus #bugs

  घरों में आने वाला बदबूदार किट:NATURE & WILD JOURNEY

Jul 16, 2021


  Sehirus cinctus,/ white-margined burrower bug ?
World via Arun lens


May 23, 2021




Visitor Sightings

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  Armchair Naturalist

Location: Southeastern Pine County [Pine City Township]

white-margined burrower bug  
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Created: 10/13/2021

Last Updated:

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