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Jewel Bugs

Jewel Bugs

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 20, 2011
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07/25/2014

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www.qm.qld.gov.au © The State of Queensland, (Queensland Museum) 2011
Jewel Bugs
Fact Sheet
Mallotus Harlequin Bug,
Cantao parentum.
Image: QM, Jeff Wright.Female HibiscusHarlequin Bugsguard their eggs.Image: QM, Jeff Wright.Hibiscus Harlequin Bug nymphs are often a different colour to the adult.Image: QM, Bruce Cowell.
Jewel Bugs have broad rounded bodies with anundivided shield covering the entire abdomen. Theirbright colours led to their common name. Many suckingbugs have a triangular scutellum in the middle of back.In Jewel Bugs the scutellum is expanded to coverthe entire abdomen and enclose both pairs of wings,leading to their other common name, Shield-backedBugs. Australian Jewel Bugs feed on a broad range ofseeds; on the plant and also on the ground followingdispersal. In Australia, some Jewel Bugs are referredto as Harlequin Bugs, a name that is applied to severalother groups. There are 25 known species of AustralianJewel Bugs in the Family Scutelleridae, part of the largeSuperfamily Pentatomoidea.
Hibiscus Harlequin Bug,
 
Tectocoris diophthalmus 
The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug sucks sap from hibiscusplants, bottle trees and related species, especially thenative Beach Hibiscus (
Hibiscus tiliaceus 
). Because
Tectocoris diophthalmus 
also feeds on species relatedto hibiscus especially in the Malvaceae, it has becomea minor pest of cultivated cotton leading to its othercommon name, the Cotton Harlequin Bug.
Biology
Female Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs lay clusters of eggsaround twigs and guard them until they hatch. Thenymphs are often a different colour to the adults. TheHibiscus Harlequin Bug is found in coastal dunes,rainforest, open forest and gardens in northern and
eastern Australia, New Guinea and some Pacic islands.
Identifcation
Length 15 mm. Rounded, convex shape. Colour varies, frompale orange to heavily patterned metallic green, blue and red.The back of the insect is covered with an enlarged, shield-likescutellum.
Mallotus Harlequin Bug,
 
Cantao parentum 
The Mallotus Harlequin Bug sucks the sap of
Mallotus 
trees(Green or Red Kamala) in dry rainforest areas in south-eastQueensland and northern New South Wales. During winter, largenumbers of adults form clusters that may remain inactive fortwo to three months.
Cantao parentum 
was named because thefemales demonstrate parental care by guarding the eggs andyoung nymphs from predators.
Identifcation
Length 20 mm. Elongated body. Orange with two black spots onthe thorax and eight spots on the enlarged, shield-like scutellum.
Jewel Bug,
Cantao parentum 
. Image: QM, Jeff Wright.

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