Brown Senna Bug
On a Senna pod
Long Broad-headed Bug
Brown Senna Bug (Melanacanthus cf scutellaris)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: True Bugs (Hemiptera)
Family: Broad-headed Bug (Coreoidea, Alydidae)
Species: Brown Senna Bug (Melanacanthus cf scutellaris)
This Photo:     Ventral
Other name: Brown Bean Bug

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
There are 5 families that look similar
1. Broad-headed Bug (Alydidae; tend to be longer & thinner),
2. Jumping Tree Bug (Miridae),
3. Seed Bug (Lygaeidae),
4. Damsel Bug (Nabidae) &
5. Assassin Bug (Reduviidae; highly variable family, but have curved rostrum/proboscis tucked underneath. Easy to see in a side shot - but you have to photograph the side of it to be sure).
Sometimes we take photo's that look nothing like the bug we see with our eyes. This is one case, so we've published both "naked eye" looking shots and others with more detail that we still want to share.

An interesting species this, apart from the talk above, it's usual venacular name is "Brown Bean Bug" .... now it annoys us to find common names of natives that have nothing to do with natives. Here, eg, there is no native bean that we are aware of. BUT these guys love senna (and probably acacia), in fact probably any legume ... guess what! Beans are legumes. So how about we name them after a native species of plant that they love, rather some agricultural pest term.

There is another species that is very similar to this one also found in SA; M. margineguttatus. According to the original description, it "Differs from M. scutellaris, Walk., by the prominently spotted connexivum, differently coloured markings through-out, posterior area of the pronotum more distinctly raised and wrinkled, &c.".
When Danilo Lüdke id'ed one on iNat he said "see the spotted connexivum, the lateral line only distinct along head and prothorax and the darker scutellum". Danilo also highlighted a 3rd, M. funebris, but this isn't recognised by Atlas (or the AFD) as yet.

Similar Species: Pacific Damsel Bug (Nabis kinbergii) : Fury Assassin Bug (Coranus sp) : Green Seed Bug (Lygaeidae sp)

Copyright © 2015-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 09-Oct-2015
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.