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Which plant bug is this? - Heterogaster urticae

Which plant bug is this? - Heterogaster urticae
Escondido, San Diego County, California, USA
February 12, 2014
Population explosion today on our Mock orange plant. None were there yesterday. I like the smiley face on the wings :)

Images of this individual: tag all
Which plant bug is this? - Heterogaster urticae Which plant bug is this? - Heterogaster urticae

Tom Henry says, "It probably is H. urticae (Fabricius),
"...a Palearctic species newly established in southern California. The true hosts of these bugs are species of Urtica (nettles). It is very similar to the native species H. behrensii (Uhler), which also feeds on Urtica spp. The former most easily can be distinguished from the latter by the presence of a short spine on the underside of each fore femur, a character I cannot see on these images."

Moved from Heterogaster.

Thank you both!
Great information as always :)

would you mind my flipping the pic into the bug-head-to-the-top position, to facilitate expert recognition?

Hi v belov
Of course I don't mind. Thank you for sending around for the ID! In the future, I'll try and orientate the image that way.

thanks much
i'm aware that the artistic aspects (as well as those documenting organisms' behavior in the wild) may suffer from such tricks, but as a guide we should do our best best both to facilitate specialists' job and to maintain some uniformity to make comparison easier for our users --so turning guide pages into plates of passport photos has its perks, however offensive that may look from artistic perspective

looks like H. urticae to me; nice pics... will ask around
Moved from ID Request.

the flat hemelytra & the shape of apical antennomeres rule out the mirid option

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