Tree bug anony­mous

go! - - Upfront Letters -

QFRANS J GROTIUS from Brak­pan writes: I took this close-up photo of a plant and only saw the in­sect when I looked at the photo on my com­puter. It was so well cam­ou­flaged that I didn’t even see it when set­ting my fo­cus. What kind of bug is it?

AEn­to­mol­o­gist DUN­CAN MACFADYEN says: This is the larva of a het­eropteran, or seed bug, called Stic­to­pleu­rus scutel­laris, which be­longs to the fam­ily Rhopal­i­dae. Un­for­tu­nately, we know very lit­tle about this group. I spoke to lead­ing het­eropteran ex­pert Dr Dawid Ja­cobs and there is lit­er­ally no in­for­ma­tion avail­able about this bug!

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