White-margined Burrower Bug - Sehirus cinctus [2]
Family Cydnidae - Burrowing Bugs
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Live adult burrowing bugs photographed at West Chicago Prairie, DuPage County, Illinois.

Sehirus cinctus is a very common bug, albeit one that spends the majority of its time underground.
There are 13 genera and 43 species listed in the Family Cydnidae, which in early literature were classified as a subfamily of the Pentatomidae (stink bugs).  One diagnostic feature separating the families is the stout, hardened spines on the tibia of the Cydnidae (clearly visible in the above picture), which the Pentatomids lack (they have hair, but not spines). Another difference is the scutellum, which in the burrowing bugs does not extend to the tip of the abdomen. [1]

Cydnidae scutellum is triangular and does not reach the tip of the abdomen, as it does in the Pentatomidae.
Burrowing bugs feed on roots of many hosts including trees, shrubs, vines, weeds and many cultivated crops. They may also feed on the stems and foliage when seed are not present. Both nymph and adult stink bugs pierce plants with their needle-like mouthparts and suck sap from roots, buds, blossoms and seeds. The degree of damage depends on the developmental stage of the plant when it is attacked. Immature fruit and pods become deformed as they develop. Seeds are often flattened and shriveled.

Later-developing cultivated plants become more attractive when these initial wild hosts dry down, and their proximity allows easy access for stink bug colonization in crops. Shortly after egg deposition and hatching, emerging nymphs are gregarious in habit and remain on or near the egg mass. As they develop, they begin to feed and disperse.

  1. Ryan Smith, Ashley Holmes, University of Florida Entomology and Nematology ENY 4161/6166 Insect Classification,
  2. Bugguide.net, Sehirus cinctus
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Order Hemiptera: True Bugs number almost 5,000 species in North America, and 40,000 worldwide. They have mouthparts formed into a beak, adapted for sucking plant juices or the liquefied insides of their animal prey.
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha - Cicadas & Planthoppers
Suborder Sternorrhyncha - Aphids, scales, mealybugs, jumping plant lice
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