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  • Harlequin Bug - (Murgantia histrionica)

    Harlequin Bug - (Murgantia histrionica)

    The many colors and varied patterns on the Harlequin Bug are attractive to observers, but their appetites are really destructive.

    Staff Writer (10/10/2017): The bodies of nymphs and adults of the Harlequin Bug are bursting with color and intricate patterns. This makes them easy to spot on green plants. Some have more orange than red, but all have a hallmark shield-like pattern on them. The nymphs look different from adults; the pattern and coloring on the body changes as they mature.

    Harlequin Bugs are native to North America, originally found in Mexico. The range now includes most of the continent. Adults overwinter and become active when warmer weather arrives in spring. Northern populations produce one generation a year, while Southern populations can produce up to three. The colorful nymphs actively feed all summer.

    Both adults and nymphs can be found in orchards, citrus groves, farms, gardens, meadows and fields. They are a major agricultural pest and damage a variety of food crops. The insect pierces the soft spots of plants and then drinks its juices. Some popular food choices for this insect include: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, potatoes, beets, beans, grapes, summer squash, zucchini, horseradish, sunflowers, ragweed and citrus leaves.

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    Details of the:
    Harlequin Bug

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Harlequin Bug
    Scientific Name: Murgantia histrionica
    Other Names: Calico Bug, Fire Bug

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Pentatomidae
           Genus: Murgantia
            Species: histrionica

    Identifying Colors: black, orange, red, white

    Additional Descriptors: stripes, spots, multicolored, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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