Meet the Italian Bedbug. According to the scientific classification, where the Latin terminology is adopted, this insect is called Graphosoma italicum. People who saw him in their own garden, invented him a variety of nice and not very nicknames: a bug-tiger or easier - a bug-rorqual.
The genus of Graphosome has only a few species, two of which (Schistnik Ruler and Italian Shchitnik) are so similar to each other that even entomologists argue whether they can be attributed to different species or to distinguish two subspecies in one form of the Ruler . Try to find out whose photo is in front of you:
To determine this by force, perhaps, only serious specialists. It is believed that the color of the Italian bug is red-orange rather than orange, like the subspecies of Graphosoma lineatum lineatum, and its legs are black with splashes of red, and not black-red or orange. That's all that helps to recognize who is who.
The habitat of the Italian bug
Italian bug is common. This heat-loving insect, but it occurs not only in the southern and central regions of Europe. It has also adapted well to the climatic conditions of the central part of Russia.
The Italian bedbug has long been no exception for Siberian orchards, meadow grass, agricultural lands and forest edges, wherever umbrellas grow. A few years ago, Ukrainians were amazed and alarmed by the incredible growth in the number of Italian bedbugs, these beautiful insects.
Appearance of the bug
The Italian bug has everything that it should be in the present Shield. The main attribute of representatives of the family Pentatomidae is the shield. The middlebroom of bedbugs is a dense chitinous plate resembling a shield in shape. It plays the role of exoskeleton, protects the vulnerable parts of the body of the insect: abdomen, wings, internal organs.
The scutellum of the graphosome lies with a wide base forward, and behind it is slightly narrowed, and leaves a small part of the abdomen bare. Pay attention to the following photo:
The Italian Bedbug really deserves admiring looks. It is of an amazing red-orange color, six longitudinal black stripes are visible from above, and from the bottom are black spots, the number and location of which can vary.
It occurred to somebody that a similar combination of colors (red-orange color with dark stripes) can be seen on the uniform of guards guarding the residence of the head of Catholicism - the Vatican. Therefore, some, though indirect, attitude to the Italian area bug still has.
His daring warning coloring attracts attention of gardeners, who are anxiously guarding their crops, and potential enemies - birds and photographers. So noticeable a copy and asks for the lens:
And did you know that ...
Warning coloring is used by insects intentionally. She protects the owner from natural enemies. It turns out that one can be safe without hiding, and purposely exposing himself as a show. As a rule, those creatures that possess any means of protection look defiant. So bugs have a very unpleasant smell, and they are inedible. The bird will not touch such an insect, and the spider will hurry to get rid of accidentally caught in its mining network.
The head of the Italian bug is triangular in shape, hidden to the eyes under the pronotum. The insect, like antennas, sets forth two antennae, consisting of five segments. This is his sensitive organ. Oral apparatus of a sucking-type bug is a proboscis, also having a jointed structure. This insect feeds exclusively on the juice of plants.
Two pairs of wings of the Italian bug are packed under the shield. Fore wings are skinny and membranous, with longitudinal folds on the latter. The hind wings are entirely webbed, they keep the bug in the air.
In sunny weather, some can meet with the Italian bug, flying from one plant to another. But, if someone disturbs an insect peacefully sitting on a leaf, it will not hurry to fly away from the chosen place. Most likely, the graphosome will simply fall to the ground or even allow itself to be seized. But the abuser can not doubt, the bug will use his secret weapon: will release a fragrant liquid.
According to the stems and leaves, the Italian bug moves around thanks to three pairs of tenacious legs, it easily restrains on wind-swept plants.
Features of reproduction
The Italian Bedbug, like all Poluzhekokokrylye, develops in its development three stages: an egg, a nymph, an imago.
Having wintered in a soft litter of fallen leaves, an adult bug becomes on the wing and goes in search of food.
When the outdoors is warm enough (it usually happens in May), Italian bugs are followed by a period of mating. At this time they gather in fairly large groups, actively eat, here on the foliage and green shoots of plants, not particularly bothering to find secluded places, fertilized females lay eggs. The cloak of the bug-protector is easy to recognize. Eggs laid in a strict order: in two rows of six pieces.
They are like miniature barrels, firmly attached to the plant. At one end there is a lid, from which comes the larva, reminiscent of the outline of a sexually mature Italian bug, but distinct in color.
The rate of ripening of the embryo in the egg directly depends on the ambient temperature. The warmer, the faster the maturation. In a hot climate the nymphs appear after 6 days, in cooler conditions this process is delayed up to a month.
The same can be said about the larvae of the Italian bug. In areas with a temperate climate, they reach puberty within 25-30 days, and in the south the process is accelerated twice. During the summer, 2-3 generations of striped shields grow.
Is it worth fighting with the Italian bug?
The favorite delicacy of the Italian bug is the juices of the plants of the umbrella family . Especially it attracts seeds. Owners of household plots, for sure, saw how a striped bug precipitates dill, parsley, carrots or the ubiquitous whining.
The question of whether it is dangerous to appear on the beds of a bug, called Italian, is debated. Someone considers this insect a pest with which it is necessary to fight mercilessly. Seeds, damaged by a bug, dry up, crumble before the due date, and they are never destined to give sprouts. And other people do not see any problem in that the graphosome settled in their kitchen gardens. There is an opinion that she takes care of the seeds very carefully, without affecting their germination.
Where is the truth? Take action against the Italian bug? Let's reason with reason. Not many gardeners are engaged in independent cultivation of umbrella seeds, and in fact to the plants the bug does not cause any damage, and several individuals are not able to cause a tangible impact on the crop. First of all, you should get rid of hiding, so as not to tempt.
If the number of shields has reached frightening dimensions, and insects, like necklaces, hang on bushes, and the fate of planting material of owners is very disturbing, that is, it makes sense to fight the pest mechanically.
The Italian bedbug is not shy, in its bright uniform it is easily discernible against the background of luscious greenery, and it is not difficult to assemble it by hand during mating. And only in exceptional cases may need the help of insecticides. And here it is necessary to competently approach the choice of a chemical, without harming the useful insects and, consequently, the future harvest.