Pod Sucking Bug

Pod sucking bugs are not a good find in the garden

Common Name: Pod sucking bug

Scientific Name: Riptortus serripes 

Order: Hemiptera

Family: Alydidae (Broad headed Bugs)

Host range or situation where pest is usually found: Native seed pods and bean pods in vegetable garden. The image in this post is of a pod sucking bug on the stem of a cucumber plant. I suspect it had something to do with the plant wilting suddenly over the past few days.   

This Pod Sucking Bug was found on a cucumber plant (image above)

Damaging stage (s): Adults feed primarily on pods like native Acacia or bean plants in the home garden. May also suck the stems of soft vegetable plants such as cucumbers. Nymphs can mimic ant behaviour and feed similar to the adults. Not considered a pest in home gardens, especially in small numbers, however, certain species of this bug can become a serious agricultural pest.

Direct feeding damage: Wilt vegetables and damage bean pods or other pod bearing plants in the home garden (or commercial crops).

Life cycle: Gradual metamorphosis – Eggs, nymph, adult.

Spread: By flying, assisted by wind, from plant to plant. Good flyers.

Conditions favouring: Most active in spring.

Distinguishing features for identification: About 250 different species, mostly brown in colour, triangle shaped head, quite large (10 – 12 mils), large rear legs.

Control options available for this situation: Leave them alone as pod sucking bugs don’t usually do much damage to plants. Spraying for control in the home garden would be an overkill. Catching and removal would be difficult and probably not worth the effort.    


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