silver's picture

Orange Bugs

Observed: 24th June 2009 By: silver
Bugs in Our Shed

These approx 1 cm long bugs are orange when dead (as in photo) and black when alive. Found mostly in shed (usually dead) or under flowerpots outdoors (usually alive and jumping). Would like to know what they are and how to deal with them.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


miked's picture

How close is the house to the

How close is the house to the seashore?

silver's picture

Orange Bugs - a reply to miked

Thank you (and everyone else) for your comments. I'm new to this website, so I hope I'm doing this properly. We are approx. 1.5 miles from the seashore. We have lived in our house for 17 years but have only noticed these creatures for about the last 4 years. Our next door neighbour has them too, around her bungalow, but, unlike us, mostly at the front - around her porch where she has a cat flap. We have a cat too. They are usually dead when we see them and we can post some dead ones to anyone who is interested. My wife would like to know how to get rid of them, especially as we sometimes see them in the kitchen (dead or alive). I'll give some more information in case it's helpful. The shed is where we find most of them. This shed contains my bicycle, gardening equipment, compost, flower pots and my snorkelling equipment (about twice a year I go in the sea locally. The beach is stoney). The back of our semi-detached house faces south and our concrete patio is quite a sun trap (my wife has sunbathed in January!) About 12m from the house is our vegetable patch. It is clay soil. Hope some of this is helpful. Silver.

Kluut's picture


Agreed MIke.
They are so characteristic that they can't possibly be anything else.
If Silver had lived in Birmingham, I'd have wondered how sand-hoppers hat got that far from the sea, not question what they were.

Martin Harvey's picture

sandhopper identification

I believe there are several species of sandhopper in the UK, but I don't know how different they look. Is it possible to be sure that it is Talitrus saltator, or are there similar species?

Entomologist and biological recorder

rob's picture

because it is described as a

because it is described as a jumping type the key i used narrows it down to the family Talitridae the other familys wriggle on their sides


Kluut's picture


There is certainly more than one species in the UK, but I can find no checklist for UK species and in many cases, the species are very difficult to identify.
ID best left as sandhopper, rather than at species level, unless and until an expert comments.

rob's picture

good call john as the

good call john as the location was the sea side i didnt consider land hoppers let alone foreign ones


silver's picture

Doesn't look like quite the Sandhopper in the Image

I've just looked at the image of the sandhopper in the Encyclopedia of Life. It's a bit like our bug but my wife says they look black when alive and when dead more opaque and bronze-looking than this image. But they do look like small prawns/shrimps.

John Bratton's picture

I think their ecology is

I think their ecology is fairly similar to garden woodlice: they eat decaying vegetable matter. At Treborth Botanic Garden they are in the greenhouse soil. So if you don't like them in the house, I should move any plant pots or compost heaps from close to the house.