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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Succulent/Female Sharpshooter

The white spots on this female glassy winged sharpshooter (Homolodisca vitripennis) indicate she is ready to lay eggs. According to UC IPM pest notes for this species, she secreted the waxy substance, transferred it to the two patches on her wings. After the egg mass is produced under the cuticle of a leaf she will spread the waxy secretion over the eggs as a protectant.

Will she lay her eggs on a leaf of the succulent shrub (Aeonium haworthii) on which she is seen coming and going here? As that question festered in the far back reaches of my mind on a sunny Sunday, I happened to notice a mark on the underside of a nearby aloe leaf. Here it is, shaped and sized just like a sharpshooter egg mass.

Pondering the reproductive habits of bugs is just one more thing bug geeks do on Superbowl Sunday.

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