Tag Archives: Pentatomidae

Bugging You From Texas, Part deux

I’ve been home on San Juan Island, WA for 4 days now and clearly I picked up a bug traveling home. Not exactly the sort of bug I wanted, but it was inevitable given the crowded airplane and traveling stress. My husband came down with the BUG first. Then it hopped over to a new host – ME.

So, I’ve spent the afternoon on the couch labeling and sorting photos from one of our nature walks in Texas. This was the first of two hikes we took at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area Nature Preserve https://www.llela.org/about-llela/mission-and-vision. This area (approximately 2000 acres, I believe) has been conserved in conjunction with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the City of Lewisville, Lewisville ISD, the University of Texas in Arlington, and Texas A & M Agrilife Extension. It is a true jewel in the madness of the DFW metropolis where over 6.7 million people are displacing wildlife and native ecosystems are lost in the process. The BEST part of these hikes for me is the fact they do not allow dogs. NOT ANY! I am thrilled that the focus is on wildlife and habitat conservation and preservation instead of human recreation. I could actually be outdoors, enjoying nature AND viewing wildlife.

We’ve been to this preserve in prior trips to Texas. This year, we focused on hiking some trails we hadn’t been on before. Here is the gallery of some of the bugs I photographed, along with a few wonderful landscape scenes we viewed on the Redbud Trail – map here: https://www.llela.org/home/showdocument?id=9417

Please support environmental conservation wherever you are. This habitat may seem large at 2000 acres, but the former Blackland Prairie once covered 12 MILLION acres in the state of Texas. We need to set aside more if we are to weather the changes coming ahead.

Stay tuned for Bugging You From Texas, Part 3. I have more wonderful photos to share with you.

Chlorochroa ligata – Conchuela Bug

I spotted this round black bug yesterday on the leaf of a Mullein plant (Verbascum thapsus) yesterday (August 17, 2019). At first glance, you might think it a beetle, but upon closer examination, I recognized the yellowish outer margin from a larger, very similar specimen someone had asked me to identify earlier. This isn’t a beetle, but a BUG. True Bug, that is. It’s classified in the insect order Hemiptera. Hemiptera means “Half-wing” in Greek. This is a large order of insects with over 10,000 species in North America. It includes “bugs” like aphids, scale insects, cicadas, giant toe biters, stink and shield bugs (like this one!) and more.

Conchuela Bug (Chlorochroa ligata)
Found on Mullein plant (Verbascum thapsus)
San Juan Island, WA August 17, 2019

This specimen isn’t a full-grown Conchuela Bug, but a nymph. True bugs have what is called Hemimetabolous or incomplete metamorphosis. This means there are 3 stages of development that go from egg, to nymph, to adult. The nymph basically looks like a miniature version of the adult. To contrast, the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and Coleoptera (beetles) have Holometabolous development with 4 stages that include egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Conchuela is derived from Spanish and means the diminutive ofย conchaย shell. These bugs do indeed look like a little black shell with their hardened pronotum, scutellum and rounded body.

Conchuela Bug
Chlorochroa ligata
Photographed on Common Mullein
San Juan Island, WA August 17, 2019

In case bugs don’t interest you, perhaps the Hairy Woodpecker on a Mullein plant will. I’ve been enjoying watching these birds rock the Mullein back and forth like a clock pendulum, pecking away at the thousands of seeds held in a single flower head. https://youtu.be/U6lTDcHefz8