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TESSARATOMIDAE Tessaratomid bugs

Musgraveia sulciventris (Bronze Orange Bug) mating couple

Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Dr Geoff Monteith

The Tessaratomidae are a pentatomoid family of 49 genera and about 235 species worldwide, represented in Australia by 12 genera and 18 species.

Bronze Orange Bugs (Musgraveia sulciventris) are large, slow moving bugs with thick, fat bodies, small heads and orange antennae. They are often found on domestic citrus which they feed on by piercing the new shoots and sucking the sap.

Musgraveia sulciventris (Bronze Orange Bug)


Bronze Orange Bug
Photo: Robert Whyte

This photo shows an adult feeding on a shoot bearing fruit in a suburban garden in The Gap, Brisbane.

Musgraveia sulciventris (Bronze Orange Bug)


Bronze Orange Bug
Photo: Robert Whyte

This photo shows quite pretty colours when brought out by a flash, taken in a suburban garden in The Gap, Brisbane.

Musgraveia sulciventris juvenile, green


Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Derek Boddington

The Bronze Orange Shield bug lays its eggs underneath the leaves of host plants. When the young hatch out they are green and oval-shaped to better hide from predators.

Musgraveia sulciventris juvenile, orange


Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Derek Boddington

After 2-3 days they will moult (shed their outer skin) and become orange in colour, after another moulting they become bright red before their final moulting into adults.

Musgraveia sulciventris juveniles


The bug on the left is at the 4th stage, the bug on the right is about twice to three times the size (In real life) and is at the 5th stage. The bugs through their stages of metamorphis are called instars.

Bronze Orange Bug
Photo: Robert Whyte

Lyramorpha rosea (Lychee Stink Bug)


Lychee Stink Bug
Photo: Robert Whyte

Arboreal, diurnal, leaf eater, sap-feeder,found both on the ground, on trees and flying. Host plants include Alphitonia excelsa, Atalaya virens, Flindersia collina and Synoum glandulosum.

Rhoecus australasiae


Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Derek Boddington

This bug feeds on plants in the genus Melicope (previously Euodia). Melicope micrococca is a large tree with trifoliolate leaves native to the Enoggera catchment.

Thanks to Geoff Monteith (Queensland Museum) for help with this identification.

Stilida indecora (facing camera)


Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Robert Whyte

Stilida indecora feeds on plants of the family Sapindaceae, such as Alectryon, Cupaniopsis. These are hardy, mostly drought tolerant plants many of which are locally native in the Enoggera catchment.

Thanks to Geoff Monteith (Queensland Museum) for help with this identification.

Stilida indecora (from above)


Bronze orange shieldbug
Photo: Robert Whyte

Also known to feed on RUTACEA (Citrus species.) Stilida indecora like all TESSARATOMIDAE have large bodies and small heads. They probably can secrete foul smelling liquid (stink). Generally slow moving, but can fly.

Erga longitudinalis (Oncomerinae)


Tessaratomid
Photo: Robert Whyte

This non-flying juvenile was found in large numbers on the ripening fruit of Blood Vine (Austrosteenisia blackii) on Saturday, 17 December 2007 at Yoorala Street, the Gap. Philippe from Heteroptera.fr has given us the ID Erga longitudinalis for this nymph.

The Australian Faunal Directory lists it as Arboreal, diurnal, folivore, sap-feeder, terrestrial, volant, herbivore, host (Austrosteenisia blackii).