Please could you ID this bug for me? They appear on my gardenia bush every year in their hundreds then they just disappear leaving only a few and lots of eggs. They have a pungent smell so I’m sure they are some kind of stink bug. I have a lot of trees and birds in my garden but the birds don’t seem to bother them,is that because of their smell? Can you tell me if they do any harm to my Gardenia shrub as I try to avoid using insecticides if possible but it’s such a lovely plant I don’t want it eaten!!! Regards
Margaret Brislen [Johannesburg South Africa]
In January 2007, we received a request for the identification of this True Bug, and the best we could do was to narrow it to the family Coreidae. You supplied us with a host plant, the gardenia, but we still cannot come up with a species. Sadly, there is an anemic database posted online to assist in the identification of South African insects. Coreid Bugs, also known as Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs, feed on plant juices, and are not considered beneficial. Your specimen is immature as it has no wings.
Update: Moments after posting this letter, we were researching the Millipede Assassin Bug, also from South Africa, and we believe we correctly identified this nymph as a Giant Twig Wilter, Carlisis wahlbergi.