Friend or foe?
June 23, 2011 1:03 am
I’ve been looking for the culprit that has been nibbling my eggplant leaves for some time now with no luck. Today I saw this bug which almost looks like a lady beetle. I took these photos, then watched it for a while to see if it left any holes (lol I know that seems silly but my plant is healthy overall). Either it was full or scouting because it didn’t appear to be eating. Is this a garden friend or no?
It’s quite lovely looking. I’m usually terrified of bugs 😉 but my garden which I love & this site which keeps me informed, are both making me braver.
Thanks for your awesome site that my kids and I learn from and enjoy.
We tried unsuccessfully to identify your beetle, which we believe to be a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae. BugGuide’s section on Hawaiian Insects did not help, nor did our search for Hawaiian Chrysomelidae. Many insects found on Hawaii are not native. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.
Update with Correction
Hi again Dasi,
While trying to research the new photo you submitted, we stumbled upon this Hawaiian insect page that pictures your Black Stink Bug, Coptosoma xanthogramma. Upon doing additional research, we learned it is not native on the Insects of Hawaii website. Then we found the ScholarSpace of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa website that it is considered “a New Pest of Legumes in Hawaii.” You may also find this excellent paper on the ScholarSpace site, which states: “Since the initial discovery of this bug in Honolulu during September, 1965, very heavy populations
have been observed on several legume hosts on Oahu, and it is considered a potentially serious pest of cultivated beans and certain ornamental vines and trees.” It also indicates the species originates in the Philippines.
That you so much for that great website. I had seen a very blurry photo on the other Hawaii bug id website and thought that might it be the one listed as “stink bug” but was unsure. I lost it shortly after taking the picture and haven’t seen it on my Eggplant since. Thanks for the most excellent info. Hmm, does that mean he emits an odor as protection?
I’m also glad that I found that ladybug–a welcome addition to my garden. I did notice during my research that quite a few lady beetles were introduced to Hawaii. Thanks again for all your effort.