En Español

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 Pests Questions

How are NPIN Deer Resistance Ratings Determined?
May 06, 2014 - If your plant data-base (which is the best thing since sliced bread!) is silent on the degree to which a plant is deer-resistant, does this mean you just don't have enough information to make the cal...
view the full question and answer

Wasps on live oaks from Sinton TX
August 20, 2012 - Wasps on my live oak trees. What is attracting them? Does this hurt the tree?
view the full question and answer

Rabbit-proof Plants for Texas
July 03, 2014 - Do you have a list of flowers that rabbits will eat or will not eat so I know what to plant or avoid? I have a year-round rabbit population in my neighborhood and wish to co-exist with them without t...
view the full question and answer

Replacements for yuccas from Georgetown TX
August 07, 2013 - I have lost some softleaf and variegated yucca to a beetle grub destroying the root system - like the Agave snout beetle does. I have put an insecticidal drench on my remaining plants, but suspect wi...
view the full question and answer

Squirrels eating seed pods of Rock Rose in Austin
June 24, 2011 - Squirrel(s) have been ripping the branches off my rock rose bushes in order to eat the seed pods. Previously we had problems with squirrel(s) gnawing on our garden ornaments. I sprayed the ornaments ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center