Burrower Bugs in Soybeans

Burrower Bugs in Soybeans

Nebraska Extension faculty have received reports from homeowners and soybean farmers in southeast Nebraska of a small reddish-black bug. These are white-margined Burrower Bugs, Sehirus cinctus.

These have been seen periodically in Nebraska and Kansas in a variety of crops. The Kansas State University Insect Newsletter from July 1, 2011 provides a short summary of their biology. These bugs overwinter as adults, become active in the spring, and lay eggs, which usually hatch in mid-May. Their preferred host plants include henbit, other mints, and nettles. They prefer to feed on seeds of these plants. After henbit or other hosts are terminated by herbicides or cultivation, large numbers of nymphs move to nearby crop plants to feed. Typically they do not cause economic damage to crop plants.

The adults are ¾-inch long, shiny black insects with a white margin; they look similar to stink bugs. The nymphs are red with black blotches on the abdomen.

Burrower bug nympths
Figure 1. Burrower bug nymphs (Photos by Jim Kalisch)
Burrower bug adults
Figure 2. Burrower bug adults

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