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 Trees Questions

Mulching in deep shade in Round Rock TX
June 22, 2010 - Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves yellowing from Denton TX
January 26, 2012 - In autumn of 2010 I planted 10 live oaks about 6 to 7 ft. tall. I have see that during the month of Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012 they are showing some yellow leaves. What can I do to help them?
view the full question and answer

How many native trees in U.S. from Clarkson MI
May 18, 2011 - Does anybody have any numbers on how many native trees there are in the entire United States?
view the full question and answer

Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
August 20, 2011 - Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the drivewa...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading seedless desert willows for continued bloom in Phoenix AZ
May 31, 2010 - We planted two seedless desert willow trees this spring. Both have bloomed nicely but we now have many stems with the spent flowers still on the tree. Your database for this plant says to "Remove spe...
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