Is this bug friend or foe?
Location: San Diego, CA
April 6, 2012 10:34 am
Would you please tell me what this is and do I want it in my garden. I found them yesterday mating on one of the succulents in my front yard.
Signature: Granny Geek
Dear Granny Geek,
These are Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae and the genus Leptoglossus. The closest species match we can find on BugGuide is a single photo of Leptoglossus brevirostris, and we cannot say for certain that is the species. Your individuals appear to be on a cactus. Can you confirm? This family and genus are plant feeders and some members of the genus Leptoglossus can damage fruits like pomegranates and tomatoes. The insects have piercing mouthparts that they use to suck fluids from plants and if they secrete an enzyme while feeding, it will damage the fruit.
Thank you for the bug ID. Guess I will treat them as pests and try to kill them.
Yes, it is on a type of cactus. I don’t know what the cactus is called. It seems to have a thinner skin than most of my cacti, but it has some impressive needles. It’s red flowers are bee magnets. It’s like bee crack – the bees crawl all over each other to get inside the flowers.
If they are not really plentiful, and they are not attacking fruit you are eating, you might not need to worry about them.
Thanks – though the front yard is cactus, the back yard has all kinds of fruit trees. I would like to stop them before they infest the fruit.