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Cotton Harlequin

The males and females of the Cotton Harlequin Bug are different colours, with the females mostly orange and the males mostly blue-red.


Habitat


The Cotton Harlequin Bug lives in urban, agricultural and coastal areas. The Cotton Harlequin Bug is common during summer in Sydney gardens and among ornamental trees in parks.

Feeding and Diet


The Cotton Harlequin Bug feeds on many species belonging to the hibiscus plant family (Malvaceae), including ornamental hibiscus species and cotton. It feeds mostly on young shoots, piercing the stems and sucking the sugar-rich juices intended for shoot growth. Cotton Harlequin Bugs are sometimes a minor pest of cotton and have been known to cause the introduction of a fungus, which rots the cotton boll. In gardens, they cause flower buds to drop prematurely.