Please help identify
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
March 21, 2011 6:10 am
I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and as I was walking around my garden this morning I came upon a Gardenia bush full of these beetles. There seems to be 2 varieties, whether male and female, or whether different types I don’t know. Please help identify these.
These are Big Legged Bugs in the family Coreidae, and in South Africa and Australia, they are commonly called Twig Wilters. We have received images of this species before from South Africa, and we tentatively identified them as Carlisis wahlbergi, though the link we provided appears to be broken. Now a web search produces some similar looking insects, but not an exact match, including the images on www.insecta.co.za, especially this image. One of your photos shows both immature and mature specimens. The wingless nymphs will eventually grow into winged adults. The common name Twig Wilter refers to the insect’s feeding habits. A mouth designed for piercing and sucking enables the Twig Wilter to suck the fluids from young stems, causing them to wilt. Though we have not had any luck finding a reference we can link to, there appears to be some information on Carlisis wahlbergi feeding on gardenias.