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Image of the Month- Sept 2015

Leptocoris vicinus from Guam

Leptocoris vicinus on Eugenia
Photo by Cari Eggleston USFWS, Guam Wildlife Refuge.

Here we have a cluster of Leptocoris vicinus nymphs on Eugenia from Guam. The nymphs shown here differ in color from the ones we have taken photos of in Australia and Taiwan. The nymphs, and adults (shown below), lack the white coloration on the abdomen. Leptocoris vicinus has a large range, spanning from India to Japan, south to Australia. The variation in color may be a result of habitat differences (e.g. different predators) or due to differences in genetic variation of populations no longer connected. Random changes happen faster in smaller populations such as those founds on some Islands, and which could ultimately account for the striking orange nymphs on Guam.

  • Leptocoris vicinus - Range: Philippines, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Oceania
    Hosts: Cardiospermum halicacabum var. halicacabum (Balloon Vine or Heartseed), Koelreuteria elegans (Chinese Rain Tree), Pometia pinnata (Fijian Longan, Island Lychee, or Pacific Lychee), and Schleichera oleosa (Lac Tree)
    Physical description: Dorsum completely red except for black membrane and blackish clavus (sometimes surrounding area as well) that forms a distinct 'v' shape around scutellum; pronotum may have black markings. Ventral side black with red margins around abdomen. Coxae and appendages are black.

Guam: Leptocoris vicinus

Leptocoris vicinus lateral

Australia: Leptocoris vicinus

Notice the white markings on the nymphs and adults below, which are absent in the image above.