Photo by Melody

Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica)

Order: Hemiptera (he-MIP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Rhopalidae (ro-PAL-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Niesthrea
Species: louisianica (loo-ee-see-AN-ih-ka) (Info)


No positives
3 neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Gadsden, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Weaver, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
Greensboro, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Helotes, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Bumpass, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia

By htop
Thumbnail #1 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by htop

By linda_nc

Thumbnail #2 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by linda_nc

By pford1854

Thumbnail #3 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by pford1854

By pford1854

Thumbnail #4 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by pford1854

By melsalz

Thumbnail #5 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by melsalz

By Snug_As_Bug_Rug

Thumbnail #6 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by Snug_As_Bug_Rug

By FauteDeMieux

Thumbnail #7 of Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica) by FauteDeMieux

There are a total of 9 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

Neutral htop On Nov 20, 2006, htop from San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b) wrote:

The scentless plant bug (Niesthrea louisianica) is native from Arizona to Florida north to New York and West to Iowa in the Mississippi Valley. Nymphs and adults feed on seeds of malvaceous plants. Host plants include rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), hibiscus, spurred anoda (Anoda cristata)and abutilon species. I found it feeding on a rock rosemallow (Pavonia lasiopetala) plant seeds. It feeds on flower buds, spent flowers and seeds. Masses of eggs are laid and are deposited on the undersides of leaves. Many times there are more than one generation per year.

Niesthrea louisianica are of great economic impact by reducing the seed viability of the weed velvet leaf, butter print, China jute (Abutilon theophrasti) which is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is is a major exotic weed of sorghum, corn, cotton and soybeans. A laboratory colony of N. louisianica was established in 1984 using imbibed velvetleaf seeds as the food source. In 1985, the colony was expandedt to support field releases in velvetleaf infested fields in the Midwest and New York State. In 5 States, approximately 83,000 adult N. louisianica were released and these reproduced. They were found more than a kilometer from the release point at some release sites mand in areas where they established themselves, a significant reduction in seed viability was recorded. Because of this, they are considered to be a beneficial insect.

Usually they are not damaging enough nor common enough to be considered a real ornamental plant pest due to the fact that they usually do not cause noticeable damage. If Niesthrea louisianica becomes abundant enough to cause concern, a pesticide can be applied for control on flower buds, spent blooms and undersides of leaves (if eggs are noticed). Please avoid spraying open blooms to prevent killing bees. If practical, hand removal is also effective.

Neutral Snug_As_Bug_Rug On Sep 8, 2008, Snug_As_Bug_Rug from Sterling, VA
(Zone 7a) wrote:

Very colorful bug with bright orange accents - looks as if it could be a cloisonne jeweled ornament!

Neutral Desirai On Aug 11, 2014, Desirai from Glencoe, AL
(Zone 8a) wrote:

In Alabama, I find these bugs all summer long in the seed pods of my hibiscuses and mallows. They don't seem to be doing any actual harm to the plant so I don't bother trying to remove them.

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