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Mediterranean Seed Bug (Xanthochilus saturnis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mediterranean Seed Bug

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Image Credit: Ray G., taken in Oregon City, OR
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Image Credit: Ray G., taken in Oregon City, OR
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Often seen groups, this harmless, but annoying True Bug may become an expensive house guest to remove.

Updated: 02/02/2022; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The pattern on the Mediterranean Seed Bug is unique. The upper part of the body is black, but the lower part is tan. A bold, black triangle sits on the back just above three black patches by the rear end. It can fly, but is usually seen walking. This species feeds on grass seed, but can be found on lamb's ear, betony, and plants in the mint family, so it is possible to find them in various parts of a yard.

A European True Bug, the Mediterranean Seed Bug has only been in North America since the mid 1990's. It is often found in groups, and sometimes overwinters inside homes or buildings in the Pacific Northwest. Though this species is harmless, large clusters of them indoors make them a nuisance. Professional exterminators can help in controlling them.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Mediterranean-Seed-Bug

grass seed; mint; rosemary; sage; thyme; oregano; figwort; lamb's ear; betony
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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Rhyparochromidae
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          Genus: Xanthochilus
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            Species: saturnis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Xanthochilus saturnis
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 7mm (0.19" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; tan
Descriptors: black triangle on back; clusters; inside house; three black patches; flying; nuisance

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mediterranean Seed Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects 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. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Mediterranean Seed Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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