Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Monsters on the terrace

This is a picture of Graptocoris aulicus, from the Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - thanks to Lyn McCallum for the reference and I found the entire book online. This looks a lot like the babies on the terrace. Yesterday.

Cue ominous music.

The empty nest.

Today, however:

German girl, in Arlington, said, Harlequin Bugs. I Googled. Troilus luridus (indeed). I went out to see the nursery. And I must say the little buggers are up and moving today and they look very active and harlequin buggy. Which is BAD! They eat plants.

They have jacked-up legs like those crazy trucks driven by men with manhood issues, and long feelers and it seems I have carefully nurtured a plague on my terrace!

And now they are gone, all gone.

Should've stomped them when I had the chance.


  1. We had them one summer. Drove home late from the beach and in the darkness said, What's up with the limelight hydrangea, does it need a drink?

    Cue music indeed. The next morning clearly showed us the damage, to the hydrangea, the cleome, the brussel sprouts I could go on and on. And them my neighbor's garden. Ay.

    I was so angry I used chemicals. Never before or since but I was possessed.
    Stomp em good.

  2. Anything you could do about those "buggers" right now?

  3. Wow, those aren't the harlequin bugs I'm familiar with-which are longer, red/orange and black.

    But then a quick check-and fascinating variety of similar patterns:

    Murgantia histrionica

  4. I suppose its their over the top patterning that serves up the histrionica

  5. Marie--I asked my "Go-to Girl" Rene, at the Agriculture Dept. where I work and I think she found the exact bug. Check out this link to see if she is right:

    She says that it is a stink bug without a doubt.

  6. Susan, yes, it was. I laughed at how cute I thought they were and then how voracious...

    Jane - grrrrr

    Frank, thank you. I am a member of that bug forum and hadn't thought to post! I have now, and one person says they are too small to ID "without rearing"...I'm with the Murgantia histrionica (should I check to see whether they are throwing little fits?)version of the harlequin bugs

    Halfpint - their mommy? Whoever it was laid her eggs on the fig tree.

  7. Teri - missed you as I was comenting.

    FIGS!!!!!!! They "threaten" FIGS!!!!!!

    That's who ate the leaf. MOMMY!


  8. Ewwww, and ewww. Hope these bugs don't do more damage! Yuk, maybe some birds will swoop by and eat them all. Hopefully.

  9. Nou ja toe - ek het dieselfde eiertjies gehad onder 'n stokroosblaar, ek't op my knieë geteeter en miskrofoto's geneem wat ek aan 'n entomoloog by die Landbounavorsingsraad gestuur het, twee maal, maar nooit kon hy my sê wat daar uitbroei nie... En nou kry ek uiteindelik die antwoord van jou af: baie dankie. Jy's beter as 'n staatsentomoloog.

  10. (Hmm - ek't nie bedoel om dit naamloos te stuur nie.)

  11. 'n Entomoloog hier se dis wel onmoontlik om die 'nymphs' te identifiseer...hy's miskien reg.


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