CLOSED: Please identify this insect.

Pretoria, South Africa

Hi all.

I have the following tree in my garden:

It is indigenous to South Africa and have now seen these insects on it. The insects started at about 8mm in size and all are now about 3cm - 5cm in size and the complete bush/tree is full of them.

Can anyone tell me what they are?
Are they good or bad for the tree?
Are they indigenous to South Africa?
Should I get rid of them?


Thumbnail by Qbutler Thumbnail by Qbutler Thumbnail by Qbutler
brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

quite possibly Giant Twig Wilter, Carlisis wahlbergi

Rockcreek, OR


This message was edited Jan 3, 2013 4:14 PM

Pretoria, South Africa

Sorry for the late reply, had no power at home.

At minnesippi - YES, that is correct. Thank you. From reading your link and following a few others, it seems as if this specific species are found mostly on the Gardenia Volkensii tree and up to 9000 have been spotted on a single tree.

So they make the plant not flower at all from what I understand. I also don't see any birds eating them and with around 200 already on my tree, I think I will get rid of them using fire, Just joking, but thanks Sivion for the idea.

Any specific method I can use to get rid of them not damaging the tree?

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

aside from squishing them, I have no idea. I just did a google search to find it and didnt do any reading on it after. Maybe as the question on the website link I sent - see if they have any suggestions?

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I did a little researching and it seems that Carlisis wahlbergii is in the same family as the leaf footed bugs (sap sucking). I found out that there are a few species found in So Africa, one of them currently presenting a major problem for macadamia growers. The only insecticide noted was one that could be detrimental to workers....some info stated that they were easier to control in their early stages of growth. Since I don't use a lot of pesticides, when we get Coreidae insects here, I fill a small bucket with hot water and soap and knock as many as possible off into the bucket. You could check around and see if any stores sell a product for leaf footed "squash" bugs.

Best of luck to you.

Pretoria, South Africa

Thanks all.

I bought this: (Complete 350 SC)

A lady at our local farm shop suggested I use this. After soaking the roots with it and spraying the tree, the buggers started dropping like dead flies. I checked this morning and not a single one found on the tree. The ground beneath however will need a good cleaning of dead insects.

It seemed to work good, hopefully they stay away.

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 11:51 PM

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Thats great! :)

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Bravo! Glad you found something that works.

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