Megacopta cribraria, Bean Plataspid

Invasive Species February 13, 2012|Print

Invasive Species: Megacopta cribraria, Bean Plataspid

Megacopta cribraria, a recently introduced insect, quickly demonstrated its invasive potential. From its discovery in October 2009 in nine Georgia counties, it had spread to four Southern U.S. states by the end of 2011. Its potential range in the United States still is not known. M. cribraria is a type of bean plataspid that feeds mainly on plants in the legume family, including invasive plants such as kudzu, Chinese wisteria, and Japanese wisteria. M. cribraria already has been shown to cause significant damage to soybeans and other bean crops in the legume family. The species also becomes a nuisance to homeowners when winter approaches and high numbers of the insect look for places to overwinter. The species' presence in Georgia was first noticed because large numbers were found on the warm, sunlit walls of homes in the original nine Georgia counties. Calls from distressed homeowners to pest control and Cooperative Extension Service agents prompted further investigation of the unusual insect. The vast areas covered with kudzu across the Southeastern United States ensure that this insect has a place to breed and overwinter, making its control and eradication by using traditional pest control practices difficult.

M. cribraria adults are 0.16 to 0.24 in. (4 to 6 mm) long, oblong, and brown to olive-green, with small darker-colored speckles. They are nearly hemispherically shaped, with the posterior end flattened. This flattened end can be used as a characteristic to help differentiate them from similar-looking native insect species (most of the similar native insects have a rounded posterior end). M. cribraria can exude a chemical that not only smells bad but also can stain surfaces and cause skin irritations in susceptible individuals. Use caution when handling these insects, and avoid crushing them to reduce the risk of their releasing the chemical.

What are invasive species, and why should we be concerned about them?


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Heteroptera > Plataspidae > Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius)

Synonyms: kudzu bug, lablab bug, globular stink bug

Distribution Maps

Megacopta cribraria - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: EDDMapS)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way to report the occurrence of an invasive species?

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS.

County Extension Offices - Find your county Extension office on this map provided by USDA.

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Adults

The M. cribraria adults are 0.16 to 0.24 in. (4 to 6 mm) long, oblong, and brown to olive-green, with darker colored speckles. They are nearly hemispherically shaped, with the posterior end flattened. This flattened end is the main feature that can be used to help differentiate them from similar native insect species. (Similar native insects have a rounded posterior end.)

Daniel R. Suiter, University of Georgia, bugwood.org Daniel R. Suiter, University of Georgia, bugwood.org
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University, bugwood.org Jeremy Greene, Clemson University, bugwood.org

Nymphs

John Ruberson, University of Georgia, bugwood.org John Ruberson, University of Georgia, bugwood.org

Eggs

Jeremy Greene, Clemson University, bugwood.org Paul Smith, University of Georgia, bugwood.org

Native Insect Species That Resemble M. cribraria

Charidotella sexpunctata, golden tortoise beetle - Images at invasive.org

Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, bugwood.org Johnny N. Dell, bugwood.org

Calligrapha spp., calligrapha beetles - Images at invasive.org

David Cappaert, Michigan State University, bugwood.org Susan Ellis, bugwood.org

Cryptocephalus irroratus, leaf beetle - Images at invasive.org

Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, bugwood.org

Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, bugwood.org

Additional Images for Megacopta cribraria

Megacopta cribraria - Images at invasive.org

Learning Resources for Megacopta cribraria

Video: Kudzu Bug Spreads Across the Southeast - University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land Grant University System - Find your Land Grant University's College of Agriculture, University Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Discovery and distribution of Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Plataspidae) in Northeast Georgia - Journal of Integrated Pest Management

Kudzu Bug Alert - University of Georgia (UGA) Center for Urban Agriculture

Invasives Database - TexasInvasives.org

Pest Alert - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Occurrence of the Old World bug Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius) (Heteroptera: Plataspidae) in Georgia - INSECTA MUNDI

Kudzu Bug - A Nuisance and an Agricultural Pest - North Carolina State University

Megacopta cribraria as a nuisance pest - UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Fact Sheet - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)


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