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Mountain Laurel Mirid Bug (Lopidea major)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mountain Laurel Mirid Bug



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Image Credit: Manzeal Khanal, taken in San Antonio, TX
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Bright red and black bugs feeding the green leaves of the mountain laurel are hard to miss.



Updated: 06/19/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Texas mountain laurel, also called a Mescal bean plant, is a wild evergreen plant that is native to Mexico and the U.S. states just north of the border. The Mountain Laurel Mirid feeds on the leaves of this plant, disfiguring them. Many of these bugs may be found on the same plant, but their collective feeding efforts are not considered a threat to the plant?s life.

The plant is evergreen but the bug is only active from early to late spring. It is bright red over most of its body. Black wings overlap and are exposed over the lower part of the abdomen. Some individuals may have an upside down black triangle by the head. A black line may run from the tip of the triangle down the center of the body. Legs and antennae are black. Look for this bug in hill country, where its host plant grows.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Miridae
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          Genus: Lopidea
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            Species: major
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lopidea major
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 7mm (0.19" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; black
Descriptors: black triangle on back; red on top; black bottom; flying; boxelder-like
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mountain Laurel Mirid Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Mountain Laurel Mirid Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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