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Passionvine bug

  • Adult passionvine bug (Leptoglossus australis)
    Adult passionvine bug (Leptoglossus australis).
Scientific name

Leptoglossus australis

Description of adult

This elongated bug is 18 mm long and 6 mm wide, and is dull black with a transverse red band behind the head and several red spots on the underside of the body. The tibia of the hind legs are swollen and flat.

Immature stages

The eggs are laid in chains of 16-17. They are brownish in colour, cylindrical in shape and 1.5 mm long. Nymphs are similar in shape to the adults but without wings. They are reddish in colour in the early stages. There are some black spines on the head and thorax.

Life history

The eggs are laid on vines, frequently along the tendrils. They hatch in six to seven days. The nymphs cluster soon after emergence then move onto the tender parts of the plant to feed. The total nymphal period is around 50 days, but may vary with the host being fed on. Adults can live for several weeks.

Distribution

This pest is found in Queensland and on the far north coast of New South Wales.

Host range

It feeds on many plants, including granadilla, passionfruit, cashew, pomegranate, citrus and cucurbits such as cucumbers and melons.

Damage

Minor and frequent.

Passionvine bug causes damage to granadilla. The adults and nymphs suck the fruit, producing sunken spots making it unmarketable. This insect usually feeds on flowers or green-mature fruit. The nymphs often cluster on fruit when feeding. Young fruit develop dimple-like surface blemishes at the feeding sites.

Control options

At monthly intervals, examine 50 random vines per ha by visually scanning 20 fruit per vine. Investigate control options if 50 or more vines have freshly damaged fruit.

Chemical

Nil.

Chemical registrations and permits

Check the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority chemical database and permit database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your State/location. Always read the label. Always observe withholding periods.