White-Spotted Arvelius

This sad-eyed little green and yellow alien is a white-spotted arvelius, or tomato stink bug, Arvelius albopunctatus. It’s honestly a little spectacular — about 2cm long, brilliant green, with yellow “shoulders” yellow and black spots, and a black striped face — which makes it sad that it has Wikipedia Stub Syndrome (or, actually, doesn’t even have a Wiki page at the time of this writing). There are a lot of pages describing it, but if you look closely they all quote each other.

General range seems to be “southern US into South America”. It eats tomato plants, preferentially, as well as varieties of potato, green beans, sunflowers, and other crops. It’s “an important pest of cherry tomatoes in Baja California, Mexico”. There seems to have been a long fight to get it named — it has ten different Latin names listed between 1773 and 1857. There’s a chapter on it in a very expensive book called Invasive Stink Bugs and Related Species, but, sadly, I do not currently have $120 to spend on finding out additional details on this cute little thing.

Man, usually I can at least get a pest-control page to come up, but tomatoes seem to be really popular with stink bugs in general (bugs, piercing mouthparts, big, juicy fruits, you know) so pest-control for stink bugs on tomatoes covers a lot of species.

Identified via the kind people at iNaturalist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *