Subject: Black Lady Bug-like Bug w Yellow Spots?
Location: Northeast Los Angeles
May 15, 2017 9:20 pm
Found these critters clustering on my Arroyo Azul Sage and Clarkia today, here in northeast Los Angeles. I assumed lady bugs, but upon closer inspection, thought not. Ribbed shell too weird, etc. Harlequin bugs? Help!
Signature: David N
Nymphs can be difficult to identify, but we are confident we have correctly identified these Southern Green Stink Bug nymphs, , thanks to an image that led us to Featured Creatures where we learned: “The southern green stink bug is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. Its distribution now includes the tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. In South America, it is expanding its range to Paraguay, south Argentina and toward the north-east of Brazil, due to expanding soybean production (Panizzi 2008). In North America, it is limited primarily to the southeastern United States, Virginia to Florida in the east, Ohio and Arkansas in the midwest, and to Texas in the southwest. It is also established in Hawaii and California (Capinera 2001).” Based on images posted there, these are third instar nymphs. According to BugGuide: “highly polyphagous (recorded from hundreds of spp. in >30 plant families), attacking a wide variety of crop plants; especially damaging to new shoots and fruits, including those of soybeans, peas, and cotton.” Since sage is often considered a natural insect repellent, we were surprised to learn that this species is not affected by the strong oils found in sage. Since they feed by piercing the plant and sucking fluids, we would recommend hand picking them to remove them. Can you be more specific about your location? Our offices are in Mount Washington.