Harlequin bug - Murgantia histrionica
Eggs: Tiny white barrels encircled by black bands with a black crescent on top. Laid in small clusters arranged in rows of six on leaf undersides.
|Life Cycle/Habits||Adults overwinter in sheltered locations in or near gardens, including winter crops and organic debris. In spring, adults emerge and deposit eggs on leaf undersides. Nymphs and adults feed by piercing leaves to suck nutrients. Harlequins are a stink bug and adults will produce a smelly odor when disturbed. They love the annual flower, cleome. Two or three generations occur per year.|
|Host Plants||Cole crops (a.k.a. crucifers or brassicas) such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, collards, horseradish, arugula. Many other crops may be affected, including asparagus, bean, cantaloupe, onion, pea, potato, squash, and tomato, as well as fruits such as grape, peach, pear, and raspberry.|
|Signs/Symptoms||White spots, known as stipples, result from the piercing-sucking feeding of nymphs and adults. Leaves brown and look tattered. Plants may wilt, be deformed, or, under severe infestation, die.|
|Monitoring||Turn leaves over to spy egg clutches. Watch leaves for white or yellow blotches, distortion, and browning. The bright colors of nymphs and adults makes them easy to spot, though they will hide under leaves when threatened.|