What is this bug?
Location: Encinitas, CA 92024
October 11, 2011 10:01 pm
I took a photo of this insect in Encinitas, CA. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet. Is it a new species (hopefully 🙂 ).
Nymphs of the Harlequin Bug, Murgantia histrionica, are quite colorful. This distinctive Stink Bug is not rare and it ranges across North America from coast to coast, especially in the south, though it is also found in along the eastern seaboard. BugGuide does not contain any reports from the Pacific Northwest, New England or Canada. According to BugGuide, it is “Native to Mexico and C. America, invasive in our area (first detected in TX, 1864) and now widely established across the US (ME-SD to FL-CA) bur rarely found north of PA-CO(1)(2); the northern limits of the established range fluctuate markedly depending on winter severity; migrates northward during spring and summer.” We are surprised to learn that it is not considered a native species. Though this is a very pretty insect, it is considered to be a significant pest of crops in the cabbage family.