Bed bugs are a suborder of coleoptera, including 40 thousand species. Insects are ubiquitous; they survive in the Arctic Circle and in the hot tropics. A characteristic feature of the representatives of the suborder is the presence of odorous glands. A special secret is allocated at the moment of danger to scare away enemies. The wingless redlope is one of the species common in Eurasia. It is easily recognizable among insects due to its red and black coloration. In spring and early autumn, a colony of bright insects can be found on the sunny side of trunks or stumps.
Description of the species
The wingless red-bug, the soldier-bug or goat belongs to the order of the hemiptera, the family of the red-bugs. The Latin name for the species is Pyrrhocorisapterus. The body of the imago is 9-11 mm in size. The main color is black. Pronotum, elytra, and ventral rim are red. Elytra leathery, half membranous, punctate surface with small grooves. They do not reach the end of the abdomen. In upper part, triangular black spot with convex middle and dense punctation. Two small spots at the base of the elytra, two large black spots at the ends.
Interesting fact. The English name for the wingless redbug firebug is "arsonist", "fire beetle".
The mouth organs are of the piercing-sucking type, located in the front of the head. The proboscis is segmented, strong and sharp enough to pierce the integument of leaves, seeds, chitinous integuments of dead invertebrates. In the normal state, it is tucked under the body.
Information. Not all soldiers are red, there are orange individuals. The pattern on the pronotum and elytra is variable. The pattern formed at an early age does not change.
At first glance, all wingless red bugs seem to be the same, but they are not. When studying the differences in color of the soldier bug in different habitats, scientists identified from 13 to 23 types of pronotum pattern. It is considered. That the formation of color is influenced by the environment. In places where there is a high level of heavy metals and other pollution of soil and vegetation, an asymmetry of the pattern on the covers of the soldier bug is observed. In favorable living conditions, a solid large black spot forms on the shield. Abnormalities in morphology include the appearance of two non-contiguous stripes. In some cases, the bottom strip is torn in the middle.
The Pyrrhocorisapterus species is distributed throughout the Palaearctic. The western border of habitat runs along the Atlantic coast. Redlope lives in India, in the north of China, in Asia. The insects were introduced to North America. In Russia, the soldier bug is found everywhere, not excluding Siberia.
Redlope is one of the first insects to appear after hibernation. This is a terrestrial member of the family. From March, as soon as the snow melts, the red-black clusters of bedbugs are clearly visible at the base of the lindens. Due to the absence of natural enemies, they lead an open lifestyle. Insects are active until September-October; they hibernate with the onset of the first frost.
The bright color of their covers has a certain biological meaning. The color type of wingless redbird is cautionary. It warns predators about the unpleasant taste and smell of the host. Birds and predatory insects do not consider soldiers as prey. A particularly strong effect is produced by the warning coloring in case of mass accumulations of bedbugs.
Information. The fertility of females and the life span of bedbugs depend on the living conditions. Temperature plays a major role.
The type of food is mixed, insects suck out juice from plants, seeds, fallen fruits. Adults and larvae feed together on organic remains, invertebrate carcasses. The diet often includes dead insects - larvae of grasshoppers, aphids, beetles, wasps. Bed bugs find suitable food on the ground or climb onto plants. They are not dangerous for people. Unlike bed bugs, soldiers do not drink the blood of humans and animals.
A soldier bug from among insects with incomplete transformation, there is no pupal phase in its life cycle. In the spring, the mating period begins for the soldiers. In each colony, there are 2-3 times more males than females. Partners are fastened by their abdomens and in a hitch, with their backs to each other they move for several hours or days.
Information. Long copulation time (12 hours-7 days) is the protection mechanism of the male ejaculate in a highly competitive environment.
The fertilized female makes clutches in the ground or under a layer of dead plants. Depressions in the soil are good places, in which the masonry is more likely to go unnoticed. The eggs of the soldiers are white, transparent, oval in shape. Set aside in piles of 20-30 pieces. Embryonic development takes 7-10 days, at temperatures below 18 ° - 24 days. At the end of the term, the eggs turn yellow-red.
Information. At low air temperatures, the size of the eggs decreases. Small larvae emerge from them, which risk becoming prey to larger relatives. Cases of cannibalism are common among soldier bugs.
The hatched nymphs are light orange with transparent limbs. After leaving the shell of the egg, they immediately begin to explore the surroundings in search of food. Soon, the integument of the larvae darkens, the antennae and legs turn brown. The body takes on an orange-red color. After two or three molts, a black spot and several dots appear on the elytra. The young have long antennae and a thin proboscis. They darken simultaneously with the appearance of a pattern on the pronotum and elytra.
First instar larva
The larvae pass through 5 instars. It takes 17-24 days for them to grow up. When the temperature drops to 14-15 °, the nymphs stop feeding, their development stops. Outwardly, the offspring is similar to adults, but the larvae lack elytra. In the northern regions, one generation is replaced per year, in the southern regions - two. Nymphs that appeared in May become sexually mature by June, mate and lay eggs. In autumn, adults of the second generation leave for wintering.
The soldier bug is not officially classified as a pest of agriculture. In nature, the biological significance of the wingless redbird is similar to the function of other "cleaners". Insects process fallen seeds, fruits, and organic debris. Their actions are beneficial. But having settled on a personal plot, insects gladly switch to feeding on juicy strawberries, cabbage seedlings, beet and carrot tops. They spoil the leaves of seedlings and seedlings in nurseries.
Like all bugs, soldiers pierce the surface of leaves or fruits with their proboscis and suck out the juice. They bring noticeable harm to the vineyards, spoiling the presentation of the berries.
Signs of malicious activity:
- deformation of the tops of carrots, beets, dill,
- yellow spots on cabbage leaves,
- drying berries,
- young seedlings are lagging behind in development.
Pest control methods
If the soldiers spoil carrots and cabbage in the beds, drink juice from strawberries and grapes, then it is necessary to get rid of gluttonous insects. Pest control is carried out by physical and chemical methods. It will not be superfluous to turn to folk recipes.
In early spring, it is easy to spot the entire colony of the redbird in sunny areas. Insects can simply be swept into a bucket or other container. You need to act quickly, the bugs quickly scatter. You cannot catch all the adults, but you can get rid of most of them. An effective way is to install a trapping belt. A sticky cloth is secured around the tree trunk. The Redlope is held at the base, so the belt is placed below. Insects will stick to the trap.
Chemical preparations for insects are used in extreme cases, when the damage from the wingless redbird is really noticeable. An insecticide "Bankol" of contact-intestinal action is recommended. Popular means against pests "Karbofos" and "Aktara" will help.
An infusion of onion peels will help drive the colony of soldiers. Take 200 g of product in 10 liters of water, leave for 5 days. Spray places where bedbugs accumulate. Treatment with mustard solution is no less effective. The powder is dissolved in water (100 g per 8 l), then trees and stumps where pests are seen are treated. Mustard can be replaced with wood ash or laundry soap.
- To uproot old stumps on the site, they are the habitats of the wingless redbird.
- Plant plants that repel pests with a smell - wormwood, black cohosh.
- Remove the remains of boards and other sawn timber, heaps of construction waste, branches.
The redbird is wingless in most cases, a harmless insect. A person can safely live next to them, without fear for their health.