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Species Megacopta cribraria - Kudzu Bug

Bean Plataspid - Megacopta cribraria Bean Plataspid - Megacopta cribraria Beetle? Bug? - Megacopta cribraria kudzu bug - Megacopta cribraria Kudzu Bug - Megacopta cribraria Larva - Megacopta cribraria Hemiptera - Megacopta cribraria Megacopta cribraria
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)
Explanation of Names
Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius 1798)
3.5-6.0 mm(1)
Readily distinguished among nearctic Pentatomoidea by the two-segmented tarsi and enlarged scutellum that widens towards apex(1)

females have all the abdomen lightly colored ventrally; males, only basal segments(1)

The genitalia visibly differ as well.

Forewing venation:

Fifth instar nymphs have wingbuds:

Mid-instar nymph:
native to e./se. Asia, adventive in the US & Australia(1); US range (2018): DE-FL to seMO-LA (map)
Kudzu stands

Particularly within the vegetation along the vines.
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.
earliest record in our area: GA 2009
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.
may 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." (Ted Day, 28.viii.2011)
Internet References
Fact sheets: Poplin & Hodges (2012)(2) | Suiter et al. (2010) | Gardner (2012) |