African Painted Bugs

Not the fig beetle
Location:  Western AZ
July 31, 2010 12:38 pm
I was looking up beetles that are found on figs, and kept coming up with the larger fig beetle that looks like a Japanese beetle. These are much smaller and seem to be in a mating frenzy. Location western AZ, elevation approx. 1800 ft.
Judi V. Cugat

African Painted Bugs

Hi Judy,
These tiny Stink Bugs are called African Painted Bugs,
Bagrada hilaris, and they are one of the most recent agricultural scourges to hit the western states.  They are an invasive exotic species that was first reported in Los Angeles in 2008 according to a very comprehensive report from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture.  We encountered them in our Los Angeles vegetable patch last summer where they proliferated on collard greens and kale, and your photos are the first indication we have received that they will also infest figs.  That is significant information.   BugGuide remarks:  “Not native to North America, and a potential pest, especially of cruciferous crops (Brassicaceae, i.e. cabbage, kale, mustard), but also other crops (incl., at least in Africa, cotton, millet, potato).

Mating African Painted Bugs

Thank you for your prompt response.  My father (in Florida) sent me identification  just a few minutes before you did.  I am glad to help and will report any unusual things I come across. I’m a Master Gardener, La Paz County, AZ.

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