Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Eucalyptus Tip Bug says “Back Off”

Posted by Darren on April 16, 2010

Here are some photos of a more mature specimen of the Eucalyptus Tip Bug (Amorbus alternatus).  I find these sap sucking insects on new eucalyptus shoots, and when approached they will stick their large legs out sideways in what I assume is a warning posture or an attempt to make themselves look larger.   They can also produce a foul smell when disturbed which I would assume would be a strong deterrent to a predator. They will rarely try and escape when approached which suggests that their defensive behaviors are probably quite effective.  A bird or lizard who tried to eat one probably wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

The nymphs of these insects have beautiful colours (see previous Eucalyptus Tip Bug post) and also impressive defensive behaviours when approached.   I have seen the nymphs quiver their bodies when threatened as if to say “I’m here, I taste very bad and I’m poisonous…so back off”. I hope to catch some photos of the more immature nymphs if they are still around on my resident eucalypts.

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2 Responses to “Eucalyptus Tip Bug says “Back Off””

  1. Amazing photos!

  2. You can see the stink gland opening on the thorax in the second photo. Nice!

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