As with much of the country, it’s been rather hot and dry here in southeast Michigan. The nearby River Raisin has been very low, so the other day I took advantage of the empty, exposed banks to hike along the edge of a floodplain forest. With the forest itself filled with tall, dense growth of wood nettle, stinging nettle, giant ragweed, and giant ironweed, skirting the outside made getting around relatively easy.
Along the way I came across two horned squash bugs (Hemiptera: Coreidae: Anasa armigera) mating on a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae). Wild cucumber is a common host for this insect, providing food and apparently a place to mate.
Although perfectly at home in the wild, these insects do sometimes make their way to greenhouses, gardens, and fields where they can be pests of cultivated squash plants.