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Tectocoris diophthalmus facts for kids

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Tectocoris diophthalmus
Cotton Harlequin Bugs.jpg
Adult female and nymph
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Scutelleridae
Genus:
Tectocoris
Species:
T. diophthalmus
Binomial name
Tectocoris diophthalmus
(Thunberg, 1783)
Synonyms

Cimex lineola Fabricius, 1781 (homonym)
Cimex diophthalmus Thunberg, 1783
Tetyra lineola Fabricius, 1803
Tetyra cyanipes Fabricius, 1803
Cimex banksii Donovan, 1805
Scutellera schoenherri Eschscholtz, 1822
Scutellera banksii Guerin, 1838
Scutellera cyanipes (Fabricius, 1803)
Scutellera cyanipoda Boisduval, 1835
Scutellera tongae Boisduval, 1835
Tectocoris gambiae Westwood, 1837
Pachycoris lineola (Fabricius, 1803)
Scutellera cyanipes (Fabricius, 1803)
Tectocoris lineola (Fabricius, 1803)
Tectocoris banksii (Donovan, 1805)
Tectocoris cyanipes (Fabricius, 1803)
Tectocoris bancksii Montrouzier, 1861 (Lapsus)
Tectocoris obliquus Walker, 1867
Tectocoris pusillus Walker, 1867
Tectocoris amboinensis Walker, 1867
Tectocoris diophthalmus rufus Stål, 1871
Tectocoris diophthalmus tagalicus Stål, 1871
Tectocoris diophthalmus schoenherri (Eschscholtz, 1822)
Tectocoris lineola banksi Dodd, 1904 (Lapsus)
Tectocoris diophthalmus cookiana Kirkaldy, 1909
Tectocoris diophthalmus peregrina Kirkaldy, 1909
Tectocoris diophthalmus venusta Kirkaldy, 1909
Tectocoris purpureus Knight et al., 1985 (Lapsus)

Jewel Beetle 2
nymph, near Cooktown, Australia.

Tectocoris diophthalmus, commonly known as the Hibiscus Harlequin Bug or Cotton Harlequin Bug, is the sole member of the genus Tectocoris. It is a brightly coloured convex and rounded shield-shaped bug with a metallic sheen that grows to about 20 mm. Adult females are mostly orange and males are both blue and red or orange, while nymphs are typically metallic green and purple. The colours are quite variable, and experiments suggest that the variation in colour may reduce bird predation, especially on the immature stages. This extreme level of variation is such that different taxonomists have, since 1781, described this species under different new names at least 16 times, some of these supernumerary names remaining in use until 2006, when it was finally confirmed that they were all colour forms of a single organism. It is common in Eastern Australia, New Guinea and several Pacific Islands in habitats ranging from urban to agricultural and coastal areas.

The Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs feed on many species of the family Malvaceae, as well as cultivated cotton. They will also feed on Illawarra flame tree flowers, grevillea and bottlebrush saplings.

They pierce the stems of young shoots and suck the sap. Females lay clusters of eggs around stems of usually the hibiscus plant and then guards them until they hatch.

Tectocoris diophthalmus (female adult with eggs - ventrolateral)
female guarding eggs
Tectocoris diophthalmus (female adult with eggs - dorsoolateral)
female with eggs
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