Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A beetle and a deformed tomato

Shield beetle on a tomato 

A shield beetle has caused this New Zealand tomato to become deformed.  

My uneducated guess is that its full name is the Australasian green shield bug which according to a website devoted to New Zealand arthropods is native and widespread in North Island, where Albert took this photo in February.

In southern Britain, the Southern Green Shieldbug attacks various food plants including tomato. It arrived there in 2003 (not sure about Ireland). Native to Africa, but frequently imported in food produce.

Southern Green Shieldbug
I think the two bugs are one and same species, and it's the same bug known in the USA as a Southern Green Stink Bug.  Latin names aren’t as helpful as they should be because the same bug seems to have at least three different ones.  Can't be sure, and I've given up researching, don't actually know why I've even gone this far!  I wonder if this beetle has been spread around the world by human trade? That's something that would be worth knowing ...


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