Pyrrhocoridae (Cotton Stainers)

Cotton Stainers are so called as their squashed bodies would stain cotton red when they were processed with the bolls that they fed on.  In Tasmania they are represented by the Harlequin bug (Dindymus versicolor), which is usually remembered for wandering around back-to-back mating.  They are commonly found in gardens, usually nesting in large numbers around dead wood. 

Harlequin Bugs,  Dindymus versicolor
Early October 2011
Hobart

Early January 2011
Hobart

Early February 2010
Hobart
Nymphs
 

Early March 2011
Hobart



Early October 2011
Hobart
They can be opportunistic protein feeders.  One bug is cannibalising a nymph
 

Early March 2011
Knocklofty Reserve
Feeding on a Jack Jumper Ant
Image by Theo Ellingsen, used with permission.


References

Wikipedia 2012, 'Pyrrhocoridae', wiki article, 1 June, accessed 03 June 2012, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhocoridae>.