Tectocoris diophthalmus

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Tectocoris diophthalmus
Cotton Harlequin Bugs.jpg
Harlequin Bugs. Adult female and nymph
Scientific classification
T. diopthalmus
Binomial name
Tectocoris diophthalmus
(Thunberg, 1783)
Hibiscus Harlequin Bug nymph, near Cooktown, Australia.

Tectocoris diophthalmus, commonly known as the Hibiscus Harlequin Bug or Cotton Harlequin Bug, is a brightly coloured convex and rounded shield-shaped bug with a metallic sheen that grows to about 20 mm. Adult females are mostly orange and males are both blue and red or orange. The colours are quite variable. It lives in Northern and Eastern Australia, New Guinea and several Pacific Islands in habitats ranging from urban to agricultural and coastal areas.[1]

The Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs feed on many species of the Hibiscus family (Malvaceae), as well as cultivated cotton. They will also eat Illawarra flame tree flowers, grevillea and bottlebrush saplings.

They pierce the stems of young shoots and suck the sap. Females lay clusters of eggs around twigs and then guard them until they hatch.

They are also known as "stink bugs" as they have scent glands which produce a bad smell which, when it is emitted by one bug, triggers others in the group, multiplying the bad smell.


  1. ^ Queensland Museum (2000), p. 89.


  • Queensland Museum (2000). Wildlife of Tropical North Queensland. ISBN 0-7242-9349-3,

External links[edit]

  • OzAnimals.com Australian Wildlife [1]
  • Excellent photos - showing colour variations and mating. [2]