Redcrossed stink bug

  • Latin name: Leptocorus trivittatus (Say)
  • French name: Punaise de l'érable négondo
  • Order: Hemiptera
  • Family: Corizidae


British Columbia

The insect is primarily a pest of interior British Columbia.


Leaf, Fruit

Damage, symptoms and biology

Although this species causes little damage, it is a nuisance. Eggs are visible in April in bark crevices of boxelder trees, on the soil surfaces near the bases of these trees or on leaf litter. Late in spring, groups of bright red nymphs and adults congregate on the boles of host trees or, on cooler days, under the leaf litter. The nymphs attack the leaves and tender growth of the host. When extremely numerous, they may damage fruit. In the fall, the adults congregate in masses and sometimes invade houses in search of shelter. They have been known to enter beds and bite humans.

There are three stages of development: egg, nymph and adult. Nymphs and adults are conspicuous, fast-moving red and black bugs.

Egg: rusty red, ovoid, about 1.5 mm long by 1 mm diameter.

Nymph: bright red, darker toward head; antennae in four segments; mouthparts composed of a long, slender beak hidden below the body when not feeding; three pairs of long, jointed legs.

Adult: similar to nymph, but with wings; about 13 mm long and about 8 mm in breadth; thorax brownish black with three longitudinal, narrow red lines; basal half of forewings brownish black with red lines, outer half opaque; hind wings transparent and veined with a red margin for half the length of the leading edge; abdomen bright red.

Adults become active with the advent of warm weather, and mate in late March or early April. Eggs are laid singly or in groups of up to 12 on the bark of the host tree, on leaf litter, on the soil surface, and on grass, fences, sides of buildings and miscellaneous objects. The eggs hatch in 11 to 14 days. The nymphs suck the juice from the leaves or soft seeds. They develop into adults by fall and overwinter in debris or in the shelter of buildings. In some areas, nymphs may become adults by mid-summer and produce a second generation that matures in the fall. Dispersal is primarily by flight, but eggs laid on automobiles, boxes, debris and other moveable objects also serve to spread an infestation.

Other information

The boxelder bug, Leptocorus trivittatus, (Say) (Hemiptera: Corizidae), a native of North America, is present throughout most of Canada and the United States. Although not an economically important insect, it is of concern to householders and supervisors of outdoor recreation areas and park sites.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Redcrossed stink bug

Diet and feeding behaviour

  • Phyllophagous : Feeds on the leaves of plants.
    • Piercing-sucking: Has specialized mouthparts for sucking the fluids from plants, thereby causing deformities or killing the affected plant sections.
  • Seed-feeding : Feeds on seeds.
    • Piercing-sucking: Has specialized mouthparts for sucking the fluids from plants, thereby causing deformities or killing the affected plant sections.
Information on host(s)

The main host is the female Manitoba maple (Acer negundo L.), but it has been reported feeding on other maples, ash, miscellaneous young plants and, occasionally, on strawberries and ripening orchard fruit.

Main host(s)

Ashes, bigleaf maple, black ash, black maple, blue ash, Douglas maple, European ash, green ash, Manitoba maple, mountain maple, northern red ash, Norway maple, Oregon ash, pumpkin ash, red ash, red maple, silver maple, strawberry, striped maple, sugar maple, vine maple, white ash

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