This Bug Is Not Welcome
It boasts striking colors, but you don't want this bug anywhere near your garden.
This is a harlequin bug, Murgantia histronica, as identified by Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis.
What it does is suck the juices out of your cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard, Brussels sprouts, turnip, kohlrabi, radish and other crucifers. You might also find it on your tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, okra, beans, asparagus and beets. And on fruit trees, fruit crops and weeds, plant scientists say.
We saw scores of these harlequin bugs last weekend in a weed patch bordering the Benicia Marina.
They belong to the stink bug family (Pentatomidae) and like the sting bugs, these harlequin bugs could be coming to a garden near you.
Harlequin bug, Murgantia histronica, on weeds at the Benicia Marina. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Looking down on a harlequin bug. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Harlequin bugs suck juices out of plants. They prefer the cabbage family but also go for garden vegetables, weeds, field crops and fruit trees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)