Identifying kudzu bug


 

 Kudzu bug adults are small (3.5 to 6 mm long) and strongly convex dorsally with a square shape in outline. Their bodies are roughly as wide as long, giving them a globular appearance like lady beetles. The posterior end is rather truncated, and will be broadly rounded, but not narrowly rounded or pointed. A hardened plate (the scutellum) covers the abdomen completely, hiding the wings and giving adults a resemblance to small beetles. The tarsi on each leg are 2-segmented. Coloration is a yellowish brown or greenish brown with many, small, darker brown spots. The eyes are red in color, and antennae appear to be four segmented. When disturbed, adults will give off a mildly offensive odor, which is similar to the odor released by stink bugs. For more images of the kudzu bug, visit www.kudzubug.org.

 

Adult kudzu bug

Photo by: Russ Ottens,   University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Eggs and newly hatched nymphs

Photo by: Joe Eger, Dow   AgroSciences, Bugwood.org

 

Females lay eggs on the undersides of leaves in two parallel rows. Usually about 20 eggs are laid together but this number can vary greatly. Newly hatched bugs remain around the eggs and feed on symbiotic gut bacteria deposited by the female.

 

 

Immature stages (nymphs) of the kudzu bug resemble smaller versions of the adult in overall body form, but lack wings. The immature kudzu bugs will go through several molts before reaching the final, reproductive adult stage. Bodies of the immature stages are also covered in long hairs, and have slightly different coloration than the adult. Because the nymphs lack wings, they are less mobile, and tend to remain on the same plant on which they hatched.

 

Kudzu bug nymph

Photo by: Joe Eger, Dow   AgroSciences, Bugwood.org