Giant Mesquite Bug

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

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Artist's Description

9-17-10

Taken in Tucson, AZ using a Canon Powershot SX10IS while walking through the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum

Spectacular bugs are the norm for the Southwest. This leaf-footed bug fits the bill form colors and body designs to odor.

In April, after the mesquites have leafed and flowered, the overwintering eggs of Thasus hatch and strange about the trees, seeking out juicy leaflets from which to drink sap. Soon these tny blue bugs with a medial orange band have molted into rich red-and-white nymphs, which cluster in packs to intensify their smell, a sweet pungency that may repel predators or attract human curiosity.

Nymphs molt into adults by mid-June, becoming olive drab individuals, still recognizable by the enlarged antennal segment. Males are easily recognized by the enlarged hind femurs banded with orange. This leg design allows the male to establish a firm grip on the female during mating.

Adults lose the striking aposematic colors because they have gained flight for escape. Still the adults don’t range too far form mosquitoes, feeding on the seed pods or tender petioles. Adults may live till the end of monsoons, laying eggs on or near a potential host tree for next years offspring.

Artwork Comments

  • Sherry Pundt
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • Ray Clarke
  • Trish Meyer
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • Ray Clarke
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • AndreaEL
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • Bonnie Robert
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • JaniceMachado
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