Key to Bugs

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Key to the Most Common Bugs Found on Flowers and Foliage Plants

1. Thorax with lateral extensions divided into numerous small cells. (Fig. 53a, b) ref. #2
1.' Thorax without lateral extensions and not divided into numerous small cells. ref. # 3

Zoom Figure 53a: Chrysanthemum lace bug.
2. Lateral extensions of thorax with spines (Fig 53a) (Immatures with each segment of abdomen with a multiple-tipped spine on each side); feeds on chrysanthemum, aster, scabiosa, and goldenrod.... Chrysanthemum lace bug.

Zoom Figure 53b:Azalea lace bug.
2.' Lateral extensions of thorax without spines (Figure 53b) (Immatures with each segment of abdomen with a slender, simple spine on each side, Fig. 53c); feeds beneath azalea and rhododendron leaves; Upper surface of leaves stippled with a gray coat, the undersurface often spotted with excrement ("fly specks"). Azalea lace bug.
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Zoom Figure 53c: Azalea lace bug (Immature).

3. Robust bug with black, red or orange, and yellow markings; shield-shaped or oval in top view (Fig. 54); feeds on cleome and flowering cabbage and kale.....Harlequin bug.

3.' Not as above: if bug has conspicuous red markings, then it is slender; not shield-shaped. ref. # 4.

Zoom Figure 54: Harlequin bug.

4. Small (1.6 to 2 mm), black bugs (Fig.55a, b) that jump readily (nymphs 0.7 to 2 mm long and yellow to dark green with a black spot on each side)....Garden Fleahopper.

Zoom Figure 55a: Garden Fleahopper.

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Zoom Figure 55b: Garden Fleahopper.
4.' Bug larger than 2 mm or does not have jumping habit and does not always cause pale spots. ref. # 5

5. Bug relatively slender (about three times longer than wide); rosy red or pink with a black stripe or indistinct band down the back (Fig. 56); found on iris, daylilies.... Lopidea confluenta.
Zoom Figure 56: Lopidea confluenta

5.' Bug oval or variously shaped; not rosy or pink with a single black strip down the back; found on many plants. ref. # 6

6. Oval bug up to 7 mm long; greenish yellow with four black stripes down wings (Fig. 57); (immatures bright red with black dots on thorax; last instar with yellow outer strip on wing pads); damage round, depressed spots that may be almost white to almost black...Fourlined plant bug.

Zoom Figure 57: Fourlined plant bug.
6.' Not with four black stripes down wings, etc. ref. # 7.

7. Oval bug up to 6.4 mm long; white markings form a sort of triangle on thorax; color various hues of brown (Fig. 58) (nymphs are yellow-green to green with small black spots; older nymphs similar to adults); young tender growth (terminal) yellowed or distorted, stunted, or twisted; shiny circular excrement spots on leaf surface...Tarnished plant bug.

Zoom Figure 58: Tarnished plant bug.
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7.' Not quite as above. ref. # 8

8. Oval bug up to 5 mm long; green with indistinct brown markings; widely distributed in the United States but more abundant in the South, especially southern Florida... Tayorilygus pallidulus

8.' Oval bug up to 4 mm long; dark, smokey brown with wine-red marking on outer wing margin; infested chrysanthemum buds later produce misshapened flowers; common in Florida... Polymerus testaceipes.

University of Florida/IFAS Reference to Pest Control Guides