Florida mango tree flowering - beetel bug

pashwinMarch 4, 2014

My florida mango tree is flowering and I saw about 12-15 of these beetel bugs. I am relatively new to gardening and not sure what I can do. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Hire_an_Aggie(8b)

I cannot tell exactly but this appears to be an insect in the order Hemiptera, the triangular shaped scutellum on the back where the wings connect is a sure sign. This order is primarily piercing and sucking insects that cause damage to plants. There is the chance that this insect is feeding on pollen or nectar and is beneficial. True bugs, stink bugs, etc, are in this order. In Texas where I live they cause untold millions in damage to food crops each year.

Send this picture to your local extension agent. They will have one of two responses; 1- tell you what it is, or 2- send someone to get one because it is new to the area. My bet is that it would be the former. They can also tell you whether to get a glass of tea and watch the critter, or get 50 friends with 50 magnifying glasses and Zap them ASAP!

Beetles, order Coleoptera, are less likely to be an issue on the flower. The damage they cause is often inside the tree or underground. Many of them are saprophages and only eat dead organic matter. The often have hard outer wings, and an absence of the triangular scutellum on the back. I don't think this is a beetle.

If you are bored, and not creeped out easily, check out this website...

http://www.texasento.net/prob.htm

it's Texas stuff, but often they are the same or similar in Florida.

I'd like to close by saying, Mango! Mango! Mango!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Pashwin, your insect is most certainly a beetle, no mistaking that. It's one of the many Scarab beetle species. And beetles can be pests of leaves, seeds, flowers, fruit, and nuts.

Your beetle is quite common to Florida and other southern locations. Their favorite host plants are mango, avocado, and tomato. I've heard them called simply 'Flower Chafer '...their scientific name is Euphoria sepulcralis.

Aggie, look up the beetle to see further images. You might not have been able to clearly see the image or you might not be familiar with scarabs. It's pretty easy to confuse beetles with some of the true bugs if you're not familiar with their physical characteristics or habits.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:53AM
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Hire_an_Aggie(8b)

Sounds like your pretty certain, and since the picture isn't clear I'll have to agree. The Google image of the species you suggest seems to be on target.

My initial diagnosis was based on protruding, or seemingly so, mouthparts typical in piercing/sucking design. This could also be a shadow, or a plant part I am seeing in the picture. There could be mandibles there and it is an illusion that I perceive.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:05AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hmmmm. That the insect is a scarab beetle of some kind was obvious to me. The wing coverings are that of a Coleopteran...I see nothing that even hints of a Hemipteran. At least, to my eyes. :-)

I searched Google for 'flower beetles mango ', which resulted in an immediate image of this little guy.

Other important clues are that Pashwin is from Florida, that this insect is on the flowers, that the plant is a mango, and that it's March.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:35PM
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