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Giant Mesquite Bug

Thasus neocalifornicus

Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus neocalifornicus, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed along the Sta Cruz River near Rio Rico, Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. 29 July 2010.

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These large, intimidating insects are true bugs with piercing-sucking mouthparts and wings that are half hardened and half membraneous. Their principal food are developing mesquite beans. Along lower sycamore canyons and in mesquite bosques they are a frequent sight wherever mesquites grow, but mostly in the southern half of Arizona. The immature nymphs are also conspicuous with a vivid red and white pattern. These bugs can spray out a noxious liquid if disturbed and the bright colors are thought to be a warning to would-be insectivores.

Coreidae -- Leaf-footed Bug Family

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Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 22 December 2013