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3639 Views 1 Reply Last post: Mar 8, 2010 10:13 AM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Mar 5, 2010 5:52 PM

Firebugs and Cotton Stainer



Anyone knows how to distinguish between Firebugs and Cotton Stainer? (They're insects, by the way.)

Or are they the same thing?


Thanks in advance!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2010 10:13 AM (in response to siangolee)
    Re: Firebugs and Cotton Stainer
    It’s somewhat a question of names; ‘science names’ (latinised) are used to pin a single name to a species that is the accepted and consistent name for that species (in theory) throughout the world and across languages. These names are guided by the code of zoological nomenclature. Common names are often applied to groups of species or are used for different species locally, regionally or in some cases globally. The species in the family Pyrrhocoridae are generally known as ‘Fire Bugs’ and these belong to a group of insects known as Hemiptera or True Bugs. However, the common name ‘the Fire Bug’ is most commonly used for the species within the genus Pyrrhocoris and the common name ‘the Cotton Stainer Bug’ is most commonly used for species within the genus Dysdercus. Both do however belong in the family Pyrrhocoridae, but I guess the paradox of common names in this example is that in principle ‘Fire Bugs’ and ‘Cotton Stainer Bugs’ are broadly the same things but specifically are distinctly separate groups of species. Does this help?? NHM Identification & Advisory Service
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