Cactus Joint Bugs

Cactus Bugs
This picture was taken in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Can you identify these cactus bugs?
Thomas Park
Blue Bell, PA

Hi Thomas,
These are Cactus Joint Bugs or Prickly Pear Bugs, Chelinidea tabulata, which is a robust species, varying in color from yellow tho reddish brown, dark olive green or nearly blackish. the length is12 – 15 mm. The nymphs are brownish or dusky with pale green or reddish abdomen. The bugs are nocturnal, often congregating in large numbers on the joints of cactus and causing yellowing, withering, and gradual death of the plants. The species occurs in the arid regions of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Southern California. C. vittiger is a similar closely related species.

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