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.
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