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Ant-mimicking Seed Bug - Daerlac nigricans

Family Rhyparochromidae

This page contains pictures and information about Ant-mimicking Seed Bugs that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Nymphs, body length 7, 10mm
Yes, this is a true bug. Its body colour and behaviour is mimicking the black ant. It was found wandering on a large gum tree trunk, where a lot of black ants is running around. 
 
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Wingless adults
 
It did not have the waist, which is the characteristic of all ants, but its body colour pattern mimics just exactly this. From our reference books, ant-mimic bug could be lygaeids, alydids or mirids. From its head and antenna it looks like a lygaeids.
 
  
Winged Adults 
 
Then we found out it is in Rhyparochromidae family.
 
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Adults run fast on gum tree trunk. They usually found alone there. Just hard to understand why they were them. Also they have very strong front legs, may be they were predator.....
 
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The nymphs were found on grass seeds. Adults were always found running on smooth bark gum tree trunks.
 

Reference:
1. Terrestrial Invertebrate Status Review (Brisbane City) - Dr John Stanisic, Queensland Museum, 2005, page 61,63.
2. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 501. 
 

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Last updated: February 16, 2009.