CLOSED: What invaded my hibiscus?

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

I found an army of these on my hibiscus. I sprayed them with my homemade safe soap and they were dead within a minute. I hope I didn't kill a beneficial insect. The photo is a little blurry, but the body was orange and tear shaped with black legs. Can you identify?

Thumbnail by Sharkey
Sinks Grove, WV

The image is indeed too fuzzy to make a determination; I just hope that they were not newly hatched nymphs of wheel bugs (Arilus cristatus; Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae) - see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/EDISImagePage?imageID=1367091770&dlNumber=IN243&tag=FIGURE%207&credits=Lyle%20J.%20Buss,%20University%20of%20Florida
These are beneficial.

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

I looked at the insect in the link you provided and they did not look like the same one. Your photo showed a bug with a black body and orange head. These I observed had an orange body with black legs.

Also, I've noticed on several occasions that there are some tiny orange eggs on the stems of a few of my dipladenia and mandevilla. They are actually too tiny to photograph with my camera. Could these eggs have been the source of these bugs?

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Have another look, Suunto's link showed bugs with orange bodies and black heads. These are the same bug, maybe at a different level of development:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/118336/bgimage

http://bugguide.net/node/view/50322/bgimage

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

This still doesn't look exactly like the bugs I saw, but I will mark this as solved since you are sure. If I find any more, I'll try to get a better photograph and refrain from killing them. How are they suppose to be beneficial? By the way, thank you both.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

I'm not sure what your bugs are, it's just a possibility. Wheel bugs don't eat plants, they eat other bugs, including bugs that eat plants.

McKinney, TX

They could possibly be the nymph stage of the red shouldered bug. Here is a pic.

Thumbnail by bmorte
McKinney, TX

Also look at this link: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Pests/red.htm

The scientific name is: Jadera haematoloma

This message was edited Jun 21, 2008 10:02 PM

Brandon, MS(Zone 8a)

I'll bet its a nymph of the assasin bug. Look at the second row, second photo.

http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=assasin+bug

Washington, DC(Zone 6b)

Yes; it looks like the Wheel Bug Nymph to me as well. Can't say I blame you Sharky, its a visceral response and they will bite. http://www.whatsthatbug.com/assassin.html

Fayetteville, AR(Zone 7b)

If you don't want your Wheel Bugs I'll take them, I have 3 and need about 20 more! LOL

They eat the bugs that are eating your plants! You're learning the hard way just like I did. Remember, just because a bug is on your plant doesn't mean it's eating your plant. If there's enough food on the plant they will stay there. I feed my wheel bugs to keep them where they are (yes I know I'm a nerd!)

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

They're back! Here is a photo that my granddaughter took of them today. It's not as blurry as the one I took, so maybe this will help make a positive ID.

Thumbnail by Sharkey
West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Leaf-footed bug nymphs, genus Leptoglossus of some kind, that's my final answer. But I can't be sure...I bet ceejaytown will know one way or the other

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Claypa is correct. And those are bad guys!

mwperry - It was the second row, fifth photo.

This message was edited Aug 4, 2008 11:43 PM

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

Thank you, again. I'm glad this if finally settled. I just found some more on one of my marble pepper plants. I now know what I have to do.

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