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Image of the Month - February 2012

Two Jadera haematoloma (top left) and three Boisea rubrolineata feeding on a Koelreuteria seedling

In this photo, both Jadera haematoloma and Boisea rubrolineata are feeding on the cotelydons of a golden rain tree seedling. Typically soapberry bugs feed on the cotyledons contained within seeds before they have germinated. But germination does not stop hungry soapberry bugs from feeding on nutritious cotyledons! In this way, soapberry bugs can continue to hinder the spread of invasive sapinds (in this case, Koelreuteria) even after they have sprouted- especially since many soapberry bugs are not picky eaters. Here, we see two very different soapberry bug species feeding on an invasive host that they have only recently adapted to feeding on.

When some Jadera haematoloma and Boisea rubrolineata move off of their ancestral Cardiospermum and Acer hosts, they are inadvertently helping us control invasive species like Koelreuteria.

Photo by Scott Carroll