Subject: What is on my woody plant?
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 2, 2017 9:21 pm
I just noticed this green bug on my woody plant, and I didn’t see any other ones, so I left it, but I am getting a sinking feeling that that might have been a mistake. So tell me What’s That Bug on my Woody Plant?
Signature: Constant Gardener
Dear Constant Gardener,
This is an immature True Bug, and nymphs can be very difficult to identify as many publications only provide images of adult specimens. The incredibly long antennae lead us to believe that this is probably a Plant Bug in the family Miridae, and that is supported by the images posted to the Natural History of Orange County website. Your nymph really resembles this BugGuide image identified as being in the genus Neurocolpus. According to BugGuide: “Associated with various plants, including Buttonbush, Basswood; adults visit flowers.” This BugGuide image identified as Cephalanthus occidentalis is another possibility, and according to BugGuide: “Apparently predacious on small arthropods” which would mean it is a beneficial insect on your woody plant. Though you did not intervene in its existence in any way, we are none-the-less tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award because you waited for an identification rather than acting rashly by killing things you don’t know. While we cannot with any certainty provide you with a species name, we are still confident we have the family correct. Perhaps when this little guy matures, you can submit another image and we can provide a more conclusive identification.