The kudzu bugs have been spotted this year in Calvert and Prince George’s counties. Numbers are still low (thirty minutes of searching yielded four bugs!) but populations are on the rebound from the cold winter. We have brought back a handful of bugs to the lab to start trying to raise a colony and measure development. Below are pictures of what is going on in the lab.
From Left to Right:
1. Adult bugs mating
The few bugs we have collected have already laid four egg masses in less than two weeks.
2. A typical kudzu bug egg mass
Note the parallel lines and light cream coloring laid on the stem of a kudzu vine.
3. Tiny newly hatched kudzu bugs
They will hang out by the eggs till they have hardened and consumed a small symbiotic packet left by their mother. This packet contains bacteria to help them digest their food.
4. Close up of two newly emerged kudzu bugs
You can see how they easily blend in with kudzu or soybeans with their green color and fuzzy appearance. They are only given away by their red eyes!