Plant-Insect Interaction: Squash bug on zucchini plant

Squash bug (Anasa tristis, Coreidae) on a zucchini plant (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae). Photographed 06/12/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Back in March I found one of these squash bugs (Anasa tristis, Coreidae) overwintering in a rotting tree here in southern Michigan.  Now that it’s warm and their favorite food plants are flourishing, they’re out in force.  I found a number of them crawling around on some zucchini plants (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae) in a local greenhouse.

Squash bug (Anasa tristis, Coreidae) on a zucchini plant (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae). Photographed 06/12/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

The adjacent greenhouse had some yellow summer squash plants in it (a different variety of Cucurbita pepo).  They were infested with a closely related insect, the horned squash bug (Anasa armigera, Coreidae).

Both of these bugs are considered common and serious pests of vegetable plants in the family Cucurbitaceae (squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers).  They feed on plant sap which causes the leaves to wilt, turn brown, and die.  They can also vector diseases in these plants.  Anasa tristis, the bug shown here, is probably the more common threat.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Plant-Insect Interaction: Squash bug on zucchini plant

  1. Pingback: Insect Love: Signal flies | The Life of Your Time

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