Clouded Plant Bug - Another Unusual Sight of 2014

In the last issue of the Hort News it was the larger-than-usual-number of inquiries about bumble flower beetle that caught my attention.  This time it's an insect that was new to me this summer; the clouded plant bug (Hemiptera: Miridae).  I suppose the rest of you have seen this cute bug on flowers, admired the expanded first antennal segments and went on about your interesting lives.  I had to stop and figure it out.


The clouded plant bug is not a pest species in Iowa (probably explains why it gets so little attention).  The adults visit flowers as shown below.  They also come to lights so maybe you've seen this at the back porch light.  I haven't.  Otherwise, they don't seem to garner much attention except in Tennessee where they are an occasional pest of cotton.


Clouded plant bugs are medium size at about one-quarter inch.  They are mottled brown in color.  Uninspiring so far!  The distinctive and unique characteristic is enlarged first segment of the antenna coated in small hairs.  A closer look at the fine features of this handsome insect is available at BugGuide.  



Clouded plant bugs commonly visit flowersClouded plant bugs commonly visit flowers


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on September 26, 2014. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.