Remains of a Cotton Harlequin Bug from Australia

Subject: Of the Strangest Appearance
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
May 24, 2016 5:27 am
Dear Bugman,
I was meditating on the porch today when I noticed a small orange object. It turned out to be the (exoskeleton?) of a strange little creature. I had simply never seen anything that alien looking in the insect kingdom so I thought it definitely necessary to send in a photo.
I’m on the Gold Coast, QLD Australia and it’s Autumn here at the moment.
Thank you very much, appreciate the site immensely.
Signature: Christopher Royce

Remains of a Cotton Harlequin Bug
Remains of a Cotton Harlequin Bug

Dear Christoper,
We can’t tell by the remains what killed this Hibiscus Harlequin Bug or Cotton Harlequin Bug,
Tectocoris diophthalmus, but we believe it was eaten by something.  The Cotton Harlequin Bug is a highly variable species, and your remains, like this individual on Flicker, are mostly orange while other individuals have a preponderance of metallic blue-green markings.  According to the Museum of Tropical Queensland:  “The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug sucks sap from hibiscus plants, bottle trees and related species. Its main foodplant is the native Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus). It is also a minor pest of cultivated cotton, a member of the hibiscus family Malvaceae, leading to its other common name, the Cotton Harlequin Bug.”

Thanks so much for getting back to me, you guys run an awesome service!

Leave a Comment