Coreid Bugs
Wingless Coreid

Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug I - Amorbus alternatus

Family Coreidae

This page contains pictures and information about Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bugs that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. The bugs are also known as Gumtree Tip Bugs
Body length 25mm, male
The Eucalyptus Tip Bugs are dark brown in colour with light brown and orange on the legs and antennae. The are the alternated brown and yellow along the edges of the abdomen. Males have shouter hind femora and spiny hind legs. 
DSCN0147.jpg (168028 bytes) DSCN3322.jpg (237077 bytes) DSCN3324.jpg (219157 bytes)
IMG_0001r.jpg (138500 bytes) wpe9.jpg (25852 bytes) wpe15.jpg (15440 bytes)  
Female                                                                 Mating pair                                                           Feeding
Nymphs are more colourful, yellow-pink in colour with bright blue patterns. They feed on gum tree, suck sap on the leaves and young shoots. Above picture shows a mating couple. From the reference information the copulation time last up to 10 hr in an end-to-end position. 
DSC_5246.jpg (186678 bytes) wpe6.jpg (32463 bytes) IMG.jpg (211358 bytes)
Nymph                                                                 Two males
They are are relatively slow moving. Both adults and nymphs will release strong repellent odours when disturbed.
DSCN0148.jpg (172311 bytes) 

Nymph to Adult

wpe4.jpg (38231 bytes) wpeA.jpg (24553 bytes) IMG_0001r.jpg (138500 bytes)
Nymph, length 20mm                                              Few days later
The colourful bug nymph was found on 23 March 2001 in Wishart bushland. We wanted to find out what bug it was so we brought it home. Few days later, after the last moulting, it turned into a Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug.

Ants Attack 

We saw this bug when it was get caught by the Muscleman Tree Ants. The bug had landed in wrong place and gave the ants an easy meal. The bug tried to escape but was held tightly by the ants. A few minutes later, about ten more ants came and each held the legs and antenna of the bug.  
IMG_0003.jpg (217315 bytes) IMGb.jpg (206455 bytes) IMG.jpg (206421 bytes)
More and more ants came to help. Some ants started to climb on the bug's body and bite off its wings. Notice that there was an ant, which was slightly larger in size (in the top left corner of each pictures), standing behind those ants. It seemed it was the commander of this bug-catching operation. It never helped to hold the bug, but its touching the smaller ants in turn, could be giving instructions.
IMG_0002.jpg (227447 bytes) IMG_0001.jpg (226611 bytes) IMG_0001b.jpg (233777 bytes)
After the bug's wings were removed, we can see the top pattern of the bug. It is the eye catching pattern with bright orange and black colours. It is the warning pattern to tell the predators, such as birds, that 'I am a distasteful stink bug'. It obviously did not work on ants.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 439.
2. Specimen Image Index - Insect Reference Collection Database - ICDB, Western Australian Department of Agriculture, 2006.
4. Species Amorbus alternatus Dallas, 1852 - Australian Faunal Directory, Australian Biological Resources Study. 
5. Studies on the biology, immature stages, and relative growth of some Australian bugs of the superfamily Coreoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) - Kumar, R. 1966, Australian Journal of Zoology 14: 895-991 [908].

Back to top

Up ] [ Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug I ] Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug II ] Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug III ] Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug IV ] Eucalyptus Tip-wilter Bug V ]


See us in our Home page. Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page. Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy the CD from us.  
Last updated: September 04, 2010.