Tag Archive | stink bug

Leaf-Footed Bug ~ Leptoglossus oppositus

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Leptoglossus oppositus or the Leaf-Footed Bug, is a common, minor pest of many kinds of crops, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and ornamentals. It is a major pest in the southern states containing citrus, pecan and peach fields, where its feeding on ripening fruit causes fruit drop, among other issues.
These guys are cousins of the stink bug (Perillus) and do emit a smell when threatened. He’s another ‘SBD Dropper’ when nervous.
Ironically, they choose to pick host plants in the conifer family, rather than fruit. Native conifers they tend to decide to live in are:

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Leaf-Footed Bug with parasite

  • Lodgepole Pine ~Pinus contorta
  • White Spruce ~ Pinus glauca
  • Douglas-firs ~ Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Eastern White Pine ~ Pinus strobus
  • Red Pine ~ Pinus resinosa
  • Mountain Pine ~ Pinus mugo
  • Scots Pine ~ Pinus sylvestris

Eggs are laid in small groups on the needles or leaf stems of the pine, and hatch in spring. Nymphs go through 5 instars before reaching adulthood. In the United States, the species only has one generation per season, however in southern Europe, it completes two generations a year and in tropical Mexico, three.

The poor guy to the upper right there has a parasitic egg attached to his right shoulder (thorax). I checked with Bugguide.net (an AWESOME source for insect ID) and they are not 100% on what type of hitch-hiker this is, however lean towards the Tachinid family (true flies) .

In the northern parts of its range (here, the Midwest), September is the time these bugs start to move about to seek crevices for overwintering. This is the fun time of year when all the bugs want to come in and enjoy the warmth… They will have to fight with the Lady bugs and Boxelder bugs to find a good place to sleep!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

 

On a funny note: I will remember this insect as the LEFT-Footed Bug, as that is what my brain first registered when reading the name, along with the Latin name solidifying it by having ‘oppositus’ in the name.

 

Two-Spotted Stink Bug ~ Perillus bioculatus

imageI saw this little guy climbing around my Veronica ‘Purplicious’ and of course he’d be turned into a post!

Folks, I’d like to introduce Mr. Red and Black Two-Spotted Stink Bug or Perillus bioculatus for short. Peri here is a native North America soldier bug, and is a part of the Pentatomidae family with all the other stink bugs.

There are generally 2-3 generations of these guys a season, with the last generation hibernating over winter. Females can lay up to 100 eggs usually grouped in 10-15 on branches.

I won’t make you wait any longer for the obvious answer to the question floating in your head. YES! They do smell if you step on them or threaten them. So, basically, when he gets scared, he farts. I feel his pain….

Peri’s favorite food is the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). He doesn’t care how this beetle is being served up, sweet young larvae or adult.. . He eats them all. Don’t get me wrong. Peri won’t let a meal pass him by. No. He’s not a fussy eater and will plunge his sharp beak into any nearby meal, excrete some digestive fluid, and enjoy a bug juice cocktail.

The shape of the shield makes me think of cops out walking their beats. And these guys do serve and protect… POTATOES! These guys have been mass released near potato crops to help eradicate the potato bugs.

So, if you’re a fan of the spud, don’t give this guy too much flack about dropping SBD’s. He’s your ‘potato savior’!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl