Yesterday at the Orma J. Smith Museum workday, I was questioned about the identification of
Boisea trivittata (Box Elder Bug) in a previous posting entitled: Backyard Safari. In moving 120 miles west from Twin Falls to Boise, ID a lot of things change – one of them being the species of Boisea that inhabits the region. In Boise, B. trivittata is not found. This person had never seen B. trivittata in Idaho, so their question was a reasonable one.
After the work day, Kelly and I were at a winery in Canyon County, ID and we saw Boisea bugs in the parking lot. These bugs were Boisea rubrolineata (Western Box Elder Bug). When I
got home I looked at my previous photos, specimens in Kelly and my insect collection, books, and the internet. The way I was separating the species (the general impression of red on the pronotum), would have eventually failed. The best feature is the veins on the corium are red in B. rubrolineata and not red in B. trivittata – hence the specific epithet RUBROLINEATA (red lines).
Boise and Twin Falls are very different places, but very few people know how or why.
I am really grateful to the person who brought up the potential misidentification. I wish it had been brought up earlier rather than waiting until we met – I would like the opportunity to correct my errors as soon as possible (or in the unlikely event I got it right offer an explanation). Comments about the subject matter at hand are always welcome, one of the nice things about a blog is the discussions they can create.