Random Insect: Bouncing baby boxelder bugs

Eggs and first instar nymphs of eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata, Rhopalidae). Photographed 06/05/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

In the past I’ve photographed adults and older nymphs of eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata, Rhopalidae).  Adding to that, yesterday I found some recently-hatched nymphs still hanging out near their empty egg cases.  These individuals were clinging to the front of a translucent greenhouse door in southeast Michigan.

Eggs and first instar nymphs of eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata, Rhopalidae). Photographed 06/05/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Boxelder bugs are hemimetabolous and they don’t pupate.  Instead the young nymphs resemble wingless adults, becoming more adult-like with each molt.  Boxelder nymphs go through five nymphal stages (instars) before reaching the adult stage (imago).  Now that I’ve found eggs and first instar nymphs, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every stage in the life cycle of these insects.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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