The other day at work Jennifer noticed a curious happening in the parking lot. It turned out to be numerous Red-shouldered Bugs (Jadera haematoloma) - juvenile and adult - feasting on something.
Taking a closer look we noticed the familiar fruit of the Soapberry Tree - it's easy to notice because of its prominent yellowish color (translucent yellow-orange after they dry out):
The Red-shouldered bugs remove the fleshy outer coating of this fruit to get to the seed underneath. The seed itself has yet another coating - in the photo below the bugs have succeeded in final extraction of the seed. Must be very nutritious!:
The soapberry trees in this particular location are numerous and associated with a cut/fill spoil bank. Apparently this tree reproduces well in our "waste" areas and thus we have benefited both the tree and the Red-shouldered bugs that feast on its fruit. It appears an innocuous thing and we hope so. Our actions always matter!