Creatures – Dominican Republic Bugs
The Dominican Republic has more bugs than humans, as with most countries. Some bugs are beautiful while others are just nasty and evil looking.
Red Bug |
St Andrews Cotton Stainer from Dominican Republic
The Red Bug is the simple name; the real name of this bright red bug is the St. Andrews Cotton Stainer (scientific name is Dysdercus andreae). These bright red mean-looking bugs are frightening looking yet do not bite humans. They are dangerous to cotton and other fruit trees and plants.
St. Andrews Cotton Stainers grow inside the of the Portia tree also known as the large-leaved tulip tree, a member of the mallow family. The red bugs also develop on cotton, where the species can grow much larger than on the portia tree. They feed on the seeds of the Sea Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) plant where they are found in large numbers feeding under the leaves or where the seeds fall to the ground.
These bright red-orange bugs with their distinctive markings are easy to see. The larvae are red and white. The adults have the distinctive white cross, the St. Andrews cross, filled in with black.
Found in South Florida and most of the West Indies islands, the bugs are considered to be agricultural pests. They are named cotton stainer because they stain the cotton bolls that they feed on. The red bugs puncture the boll, enter, feed and leave behind a stain ruining the cotton. They are one of the most destructive cotton pests. They also can damage orange and peach trees, okra and other plants.