Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 16, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do I get rid of the Lopidea ALL OVER my Texas Laurels and boring into the seed pods?

ANSWER:

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer; however, it is from 2006 and we don't know if more is known about the bug now. We will look a little further.

From the Austin Bug Collection, here is an article on the family Miridae. About halfway down there is a paragraph on the Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel. Here is an extract from that:

"Many species of bugs are difficult to distinguish from other members of the same genus, partly because colors are a little variable and sometimes the differences are quite minimal. Lopidea species are one of those groups. They all have the same look: long and rather flattened body with black markings on a base of gold, orange or red. There is one species in our area that can be found on numerous plants and flowers and it has a wide black mark on its entire back and light orange sides. One species, though, is very host-specific and so can be recognized by when and where it shows up. Lopidea major is present only in the spring (the early nymphs start to appear at the beginning of March) and feeds on Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora). This species was also called Lopidea texana but that is now considered to be a junior synonym. These bugs are very gregarious and often disfigure a lot of leaves on the trees when they feed. However, they don't seem to affect the health of the plants in spite of their numbers."

Basically, this is a shrug. Yes, they're on the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)  early March until April, and then they are gone. From Arid Zone Trees, the last paragraph mentions the bug and the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) with some possible treatments. If it's any comfort, they apparently are worse some years than others; this must be a bad year.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Trees Questions

Need a tree that grows only 15 feet tall in Hopewell, VA.
May 26, 2010 - We would like to landscape an area of our yard with a tree that grows no higher than 15 feet. This location receives full sun most of the day and we would prefer a drought tolerant species or one tha...
view the full question and answer

Protecting storm-damaged pecan and black walnut trees in TX
June 29, 2015 - Several trees on our property in northeast Texas were uprooted by a tornado. A pecan tree with a circumference greater than 93 inches was carried to the ground. Although it is completely horizontal,...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for trees with non-invasive root system in Paramus, NJ.
August 23, 2011 - What trees can I plant in New Jersey with non invasive root systems? We lost our tree to a storm and are looking for a viable replacement.
view the full question and answer

Young oak tree with dead branches
April 10, 2009 - I purchased my home new a year ago and we have three young oak trees that came with the house. Two of the trees are doing great and their new leaves have grown in. One tree however still has dead le...
view the full question and answer

Identity of flowering yellow trees in Austin
March 21, 2012 - There are numerous flowering yellow trees in my Austin neighborhood. Are they mesquite or goldenball lead trees? They are quite fragrant, like a new bar of soap.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.