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Shot in Brasil. Anybody know what it is called!!?

  • $\begingroup$ Hazarding a guess here: you've got a true bug that's about to take flight. Given that event, I don't think the evidence at hand is enough to go deeper. $\endgroup$
    – user32396
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


From this photo (beautiful shot, btw!) you can see that it must be a true bug - admittedly, the diagnostic characteristics are hard to spot, but I will try to walk you there.

Most apparently, we see an insect (six legs) with sucking mouthparts. Admittedly, the rostrum is hidden behind the bucculae (for an explanation of the bucculae compare this graphics here and here). But besides the bucculae, the absence of chewing/biting mouthparts is apparent. We further see long, segmented antenna, sclerotized forewings, a considerable pronotum and a dorso-ventrally flattened abdomen. From the entirety of these characteristics, we can conclude it must be a true bug.

Pentatomomorphan true bug

True bugs are divided into seven infraorders, of which three are (semi)aquatic (Gerromorpha, Leptopodomorpha and Nepomorpha), one comprises only miniature species (Dipsocoromorpha) and one comprises only ground-dwelling, cryptic species (Enicocephalomorpha). The two remaing infraorders are ideally distinguished by microscopic dissection (compare the detailed Wikipedia articles in German for Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha), but from experience, I think it must be a Pentatomomorpha.

With this knowledge, I run an inverse Google search on the photo - caution: this is not best practice in species identification - what to my surprise already correctly identified the specimen as a true bug. Among the images (whereof several were arbitrary red-colored insects) was an image of Sphictyrtus chrysis on iNaturalist, that looks very similar to the photographed specimen. Besides the habitus, this would be the:

  • black forewings
  • black pronotum with red margins
  • black antenna with a club-shaped last segment
  • black legs
  • red head with black eyes
  • dorsal segments red with black margins with a thin, white line

According to GBIF, S. chrysis seems to be common in eastern South America, including Brazil. There is the possibility that similar species (maybe even from the same genus Sphictyrtus) exist in Brazil, but this is the best I could infer from this photo as someone unfamiliar with the South American true bug fauna.


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