I found these insects crowded outside under a low windowsill on an exterior wall of my house, above a flower bed full of gazanias, herbs, and juniper. It sort of resembles a milkweed bug, but the coloring isn't right. The picture was taken on December 20, 2012, and I suspect these insects are hibernating and that some of them are not mature. Nothing in my insect field guide looks like it. The picture was taken in Paso Robles, a city on the central coast of California.
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I think you've hit it on the head. There is a Goldenrain tree very close by where I found these. Thank you.
It more closely resembled that than the other bugs I saw, but the boxelder bugs didn't seem so dark gray all over as these. I'll have to look into it more.
I thought the same thing. Could be they lose their color in winter or as they get older. Perhaps it is a subspecies...not really sure. I didn't see any mention of similar looking bugs though.
I hope they don't come in. I expected they would just stay outside where they are gathered, but most of them aren't there anymore. I hope they didn't find a crack to get inside.