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Harlequin Bug

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The Harlequin Bug (Murgantia histrionica) is a true bug from the USA and Mexico. It is a pest of cabbage and other agricultural plants.

Anatomy: Like all insects, the Harlequin Bug has a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed legs, and two antennae. It has a black, shield-shaped body with orange markings; it ranges from 7 to 10 mm long.

Life Cycle:The Harlequin Bug hatches from a tiny, barrel-shaped egg about 1 mm long. The egg is yellow to gray with black bands and a black spot. Eggs are laid in clusters of about 12 (on crucifer leaves, plants like cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and watercress). The newly-hatched nymph looks like a tiny version of the adult, but without wings. After 5 instars (molting stages), the nymph is an adult. The entire life cycle takes 50 to 80 days.

Diet: Harlequin Bugs eat plants. They pierce the leaf with their needle-like mouthparts and suck out the sap. This damages or kills the plant.

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