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 Pests Questions

Need help with a Coreopsis eating beetle in Shiro, TX
April 20, 2011 - Mr.Smarty Plants,(Sorry, I kept messing up with my emails) Anyway, here goes: I usually have a beautiful meadow full of lanceleaf coreopsis blooming by now. Not this year. I found to my horror every s...
view the full question and answer

Weedy buffalo grass from Dripping Springs, TX
March 07, 2013 - I have a buffalo grass lawn. It is thin and filled with weeds. I would like to find a solution to improve my lawn. I prefer a native grass but I need to be able to control the weeds and I am not ph...
view the full question and answer

Green Ash Tree in California Dropping Seeds
July 06, 2016 - We have two large green ash trees in our front yard. 2 yrs ago, they began to lose seeds year round. When they're green and when they turn brown. I believe they may have termites or some type of in...
view the full question and answer

Bugs eating new growth on Mountain Laurel shrubs from Dripping Springs TX
April 02, 2013 - What is eating the new growth on my mountain laurel shrubs? One plant has red bugs and the other has black (could they be love bugs?). Is there something I can do to preserve the new growth?
view the full question and answer

Avoiding insect bites while gardening in Kansas
December 03, 2015 - I recently moved into Mission, Kansas(Johnson County). Every time I go do any yard work I get a couple of insect bite looking spots on body. They are somewhat painful and very itchy. One of them got i...
view the full question and answer

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