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Temporal range: Jurassic–Recent
Box elder bug.jpg
Box Elder Bug (Boisea trivittata )
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily: Coreoidea
Family: Rhopalidae
Amyot and Serville, 1843


Rhopalidae, or scentless plant bugs, are a family of true bugs.[1] In older literature, the family is sometimes called "Corizidae". They differ from the related coreids in lacking well-developed scent glands. They are usually light-colored and smaller than the coreids. Some are very similar to the orsilline lygaeids, but can be distinguished by the numerous veins in the membrane of the hemelytra. They live principally on weeds, but a few (including the box elder bug) are arboreal. All are plant feeders. Currently 18 genera and over 200 species of rhopalids are known.

The box elder bug, Boisea trivittata, is a common and widely distributed North American species in this group. It is blackish with red markings and 11–14 mm long. It often enters houses and other sheltered places in the fall, sometimes in considerable numbers. It feeds on box elder and occasionally other trees.[2]

The oldest fossil rhopalids described are from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, discovered from the Haifanggou Formation.[3]


  1. ^ Henry, Thomas J. (1988). "Family Rhopalidae". In Henry, Thomas J. and Froeschner, Richard C. Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs, of Canada and the Continental United States. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill. pp. 652–664. ISBN 978-0-916846-44-2. 
  2. ^ Triplehorn, C. and Johnson, N.: "Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects, 7th Ed.", page 301. Brooks/Cole, 2005.
  3. ^ Yao, Yunzhi; Wanzhi Cai, Dong Ren (2006). "The first discovery of fossil rhopalids (Heteroptera: Coreoidea) from Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China". Zootaxa 1269: 57–68. 

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Corizus hyoscyami showing beak ready for feeding