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Giant Mesquite Bug (Thasus spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Giant Mesquite Bug.


 Updated: 8/1/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Giant Mesquite Bug  
Picture of Giant-Mesquite-Bug


Giant Mesquite Bugs are at home in the Southwest, where their favorite plant grows in the Sonoran desert chapparal.





The Giant Mesquite Bug is very large and conspicuous. This gives it an advantage over possible insect predators, but it also makes it easier for birds and lizards to find and eat them. They are usually found hanging around on Mesquite trees, whose wood is often used by people to smoke meats or barbecue. This native plant is a food source for the insect.

Young, larval Giant Mesquite Bugs from the species neocalifornicus differ greatly in their appearance compared to the more mature form. This species is found mostly in the U.S.. They are usually found in large groups, clustered on a mesquite. They feed on the juices pulled out of its softer plant parts like new leaves, seed pods and young stems. Their coloration is quite bold. They are bright red with many vivid white horizontal lines along their backs. Along the 'spine' is a series of white dots with a few black rings in between them. Their legs have red and black bands. Females have flattened discs near the tips of their antennae. They emit a chemical that smells and is meant to deter predators from eating them.

Adults look darker, longer and have a triangular block of yellowish white lines crossing over their elytra. They may look dark brown or olive green with bright red bands on their black legs. Their sides are also red. They, too, can emit a chemical deterrent that has a noxious odor, but the make-up of it changes once they mature. It is thought that the chemical secretion morphs in order to be more beneficial against the different predators the bug encounters at particular life stages.
Basic Information
Common Name: Giant Mesquite Bug
Scientific Name: Thasus spp.
Category: True Bug


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 40mm (0.59in to 1.56in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: brown, white, black, orange, red, green
Additional Descriptors: flying, large, lines, long




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Coreidae
Genus: Thasus
Species: spp.




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Giant Mesquite Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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