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Mr. Smarty Plants - Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin

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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

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