Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features

What Beetle is this and does it matter?

This morning I found these two beetles on my potato bush. They are not unattractive – yellow and black markings that appear to be unique on each beetle. Their legs are bright yellow and the antennae are black. I’m guessing they eat the leaves but couldn’t find a single leaf with tell-tale holes in them so I’m not sure. Maybe they actually eat the Gardenia shrubs which are all around the pot I have this bush in – The Gardenias have lots of leaves that shows signs of being some beetles favourite meal. I’d be really happy if they’d eat the potato bush instead.

I’ve been Googling “black and yellow beetle” and “beetles” and haven’t been able to find a single beetle that looks anything like this, so if anyone sees this and knows what it is I’d be most grateful for a comment left below.

Here are the photographs (Click to enlarge).



Happy gardening!

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

4 replies on “What Beetle is this and does it matter?”

Thanks for that great tip on Bug reference websites, Alan. I have a few of those bugs too but mine have diffrent markings. And the added reassurance of only seeing one or two of them, makes them no threat at all. Thanks for that!

Good you got your bug. I too leave them alone unless I get and infestation. I is hard to watch a garden being ‘sucked’ or chewed away. Aphids and slugs are my enemies.

It’s some kind of stink bug. Knowing that, try the “What’s that bug” website, or, or just Google “stink bug” and look at the images page until you find something that looks like it.

Personally I’d go to “What’s that bug” first, and I never worry about insects until I see a whole bunch of them on the same plant. Then I only worry a little.

Ahh, Thank you Alan!! This is what I found out:

Harlequin Bug: The harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica) is a flat, shield-shaped stink bug (3/8 inch or 9.5 mm long) with red and black spotted markings on its back. The immature stage known as a nymph has the same markings but is smaller and more round. The eggs stand on end in double rows and appear as tiny white kegs with black hoops. The harlequin bug can cause serious damage to crucifers and other vegetable crops. Both the adult and nymph suck sap from the collard/cabbage plant, causing it to wilt, turn brown and die. Younger plants are more susceptible to the feeding. Larger plants can withstand higher populations but show reduced growth and yellowing.

The plant I found them on looks fine – so I’m not going to do anything about them. And I’d rather they ate the Potato bush than the Gardenias where I’ve seen them before.

Comments are closed.