Harlequin cabbage bug
not to be confused with the Harlequin Bug of Australia
|Harlequin cabbage bug|
|Adult (left) and nymph (right)|
The harlequin cabbage bug (Murgantia histrionica), also known as calico bug, fire bug or harlequin bug, is a black stinkbug of the family Pentatomidae, brilliantly marked with red, orange and yellow. It is destructive to cabbage and related plants in tropical America as well as throughout most of North America, especially the warmer parts of the United States. In addition to cabbage it can be a major pest to crops such as broccoli, radishes and the ornamental flower cleome. Nymphs are active during the summer and in the tropics the bug can achieve three to six generations a year. In the northern range there is only one generation annually and the insects overwinter as adults.
Organic control involves hand-picking the insects off the plants (they can be dropped into soapy water to drown them) and being especially careful to remove and destroy all the eggs, which are black-and-white striped, laid in clutches of twelve. They are non-toxic, despite their "warning coloration" which mimics bagrada bugs, and can be safely fed to poultry or pet reptiles or amphibians.
- National Audubon Society, Rayfield, S., & Milne, L. (1992). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. New York: Knopf (ISBN 9780394507637).
- Canerday, T. (1965). "On the biology of the harlequin bug, Murgantia histrionica (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)". Annals of the Entomological Society of America 58 (6): 931–932.
- Zahn, Deane K. et al. (2008). "Biology and reproductive behavior of Murgantia histrionica (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)". Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101 (1): 215–228. doi:10.1603/0013-8746(2008)101[215:barbom]2.0.co;2. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murgantia histrionica.|
- "Cabbage Bug". MSN Encarta, Online Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Atlas, and Homework. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009.
- harlequin bug - Murgantia histronica (Hahn). IFAS - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
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