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Species Megacopta cribraria - Kudzu Bug

Bean Plataspid - Megacopta cribraria Globular Stink Bug Nymph - Megacopta cribraria Small Bug  - Megacopta cribraria Megacopta cribraria Beetle? Bug? - Megacopta cribraria Beetle? Bug? - Megacopta cribraria Megacepta cribaria - Kudzu Bug - Megacopta cribraria Megacepta cribaria - Kudzu Bug - Megacopta cribraria
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily Pentatomoidea
Family Plataspidae
Genus Megacopta
Species cribraria (Kudzu Bug)
Other Common Names
Bean Plataspid, Lablab Bug, Globular Stink Bug (1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Cimex cribraria Fabricius 1798
Numbers
the only member of its family reported from the Western Hemisphere (1)
Size
3.5-6.0 mm (1)
Identification
Readily distinguished among N. Amer. Pentatomoidea by the two-segmented tarsi and enlarged scutellum that is widest and relatively truncate posteriorly (1)

Males and females can be distinguished by their undersides. Only the first few abdominal segments are lightly colored underneath on the males, whereas all are on the females (1).

The genitalia visibly differ as well.

Forewing venation:

Fifth instar nymphs have wingbuds:

Mid-instar nymph:
Range
US range (as of July 2013): LA-FL-DE-WV - map
native to e./se. Asia, adventive in the US & Australia (1). First reported in Georgia in 2009.
Habitat
Kudzu stands,

Particularly within the vegetation along the vines.
Food
hosts: in the US, reported to develop only on soybean and kudzu - Univ. FL, 2012
Primary hosts are Fabaceae. It has also been reported on plants from other families, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn and cotton.
Life Cycle
Eggs are often laid in batches on budding kudzu leaves. The mother deposits packets of host specific symbiotic gut bacteria at the base of the eggs. After hatching, the nymphs consume the bacteria which allows them to start digesting the host plant. (1)

Nymphs congregate and feed together along the vines, preferring leaf buds.

Mating observed in mid-summer in ne. GA

Two generations and a partial third generation a year in Georgia.
Remarks
may invade homes in large numbers and become a household pest(1); highly invasive species of mixed impact: it seems to prefer kudzu (a highly invasive and damaging plant), but can also become a serious pest of leguminous crops.
They may also bite humans: "...on a couple of occasions they bit my neck. The resulting bite caused skin to die in a dime-sized patch which took 2 weeks to go away." (Posted by Ted Day, Aug 28, 2011)
Internet References
KudzuBug (dedicated resource; U. of Georgia)
Fact sheets: Poplin & Hodges (2012)[Cite:185010] | Suiter et al. (2010) | Gardner (2012) |