|from the October 11, 2009 Newsletter, an On-the-Road
Having left Oregon on Monday afternoon, finally I crossed the Mississippi River into Mississippi on Thursday afternoon. At the Vicksburg Greyhound station I had a 3-½ hour wait for the daily southbound bus. The wait was OK, though. It was in the lower 90s, the air was silky-humid, and after a rainless summer dry- season in Oregon, Vicksburg's green lushness was wonderful.
The station was a small one and several bugs of a certain kind were clustering around its trash barrel and door. You can see one above.
I'd been thinking of Mexico and this bug was vaguely similar to the Chagas-Disease-spreading Chinche Hocicona bug I've run into in the Yucatan, so I wondered if this might be an interesting find.
When later I had internet connection, Bea, my bug expert in Ontario, quickly dispelled that notion. It was a "Largus Bug," a member of the genus LARGUS, probably Largus succinctus, in the "True Bug" insect order, the Hemiptera, so this was one time it was perfectly accurate to refer to an insect as "a bug."
Largus Bugs are general feeders, never inserting their strawlike proboscises into human skin, but rather sucking juices from a variety of plants such as oak, wax myrtle and other woodland foliage or even "weeds." In general they cause little injury to the plants upon which they feed.
So, why were they so abundant that day around the Vicksburg Greyhound Station? I read that "... in the fall nymphs and adults leave their host plants and seek cracks and crevices in which to spend the winter. They can be common around the home during the fall, crawling randomly around the ground."
So, last Thursday up at Vicksburg, despite the hot, summery afternoon, the Largus Bugs were sensing fall in the air, were looking for nooks and crannies in which to overwinter, and the Vicksburg Greyhound Station apparently showed some possibilities for a lot of them!