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jemsister
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Location: Western Washington, USA

Friend or foe--some sort of tree beetle?

I found this beetle yesterday. It looks similar to a box elder bug in terms of shape and overall appearance, but the markings are different. It's about 1/4 inch long, and it's brown with a black X across the middle back, and a small white spot (eye spot?) on the tip of each "wing." It didn't fly, but I couldn't get a good picture because it was scurrying around so much.

Image

Beneficial or pest?

JayPoc
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Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Friend or foe--some sort of tree beetle?

Thats not a beetle, its a bug (hemiptera)...same order as the stink bug (different family probably). I doubt its a pest....I think most of that group are predators (think assasin bug or wheel bug)...

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jemsister
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Re: Friend or foe--some sort of tree beetle?

Thanks, Jay! Very helpful. =D

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Friend or foe--some sort of tree beetle?

It is a bug not a beetle. The picture isn't very clear. If it looks similar to a box elder bug, it might be a milkweed bug. Not shaped right for stinkbug or squash bug or assassin bug, which are wider bodied.

But you said it is brown. Milkweed bugs have a lot of bright orange on them.

Here is bugguide.net set on the true bug section, you should be able to key it out.

https://bugguide.net/node/view/94266

Just to be REALLY technical, hemiptera used to be just true bugs. The definition of hemiptera has changed to include true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids (seems like a huge range). The true bugs we are talking about are now considered Suborder Heteroptera under the order hemiptera.
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jemsister
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Re: Friend or foe--some sort of tree beetle?

Thanks, Rainbow. Yeah, I've been scouring bug pages, but haven't seen a pic of one yet. It's weird too, because I remember these from my childhood on up, they are not some rare thing in our region. So it just seems weird that I can't find anything about them.

I haven't seen any bugs chewing on anything other than a few tiny grubs on the lower pea leaves, so I'm thinking that if it is an herbivore, it's not interested in what I have.

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