These are red bugs in the planters on the Zhongzheng Road side of the Takashimaya in Shilin
They’re box elder bugs. They come out around this time of year from Chinese flame trees, and you’ll see their festive clumps wherever those trees may be. Totally harmless!
Thank you. They freaked out me and my 6yo.
They’re all over this part of town. Just nosing around a bit, soapberry bugs is a more general name, box elder bugs being one type native to the US.
They provide an interesting example of evolution
It’s funny that the first time I noticed those bugs I was in Guam…
Most, including those suck out seeds. We used to export bulk seeds to a couple universities in the states researching their fast paced evolution of feeding habits. Soap berry probably comes from the family they are in. Most common around Chinese rain trees (thousands around the seeds) and heart seeds/balloon vine.
This year I noticed them hanging around my Roselle farm, their feeding morphology would match becoming a hibiscus pest.