Campylomma Bug – Mullein Bug – Campylomma verbasci

Campylomma Bug – Mullein: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life Cycle

Latin Name: Campylomma Verbasci

Appearance: The adult is green-brown in color, with an elongated oval form and a length of about 1/10 inch (2.5mm). It bears a dark mark on the first segment of its antenna and black spines on its legs. When the nymphs hatch, they are ovoid and transparent, but they eventually turn pale green. The egg is sac-shaped and roughly 1/28-inch (0.87mm) length. It is inserted into the bark, stems, and/or leaves of the host plant, exposing just the operculum (cap or cover).

Hosts Plants: Campylomma requires two types of hosts: a woody host for overwintering eggs and an herbaceous host for the summer. Although it looks that Campylomma need a woody host to develop, it is possible that an herbaceous host is not necessary. Woody hosts include apple and pear, serviceberry, grape, oak, and wild rose. Herbaceous hosts include common mullein, Verbascum Thapsus (hence the insect’s common name), potato, sugar beet, corn, small grains, and other weeds. Mullein has been found in the greatest abundance in orchard areas.

Territory: The mullein bug, Campylomma Verbasci, is a plant insect of the Miridae family. It may be found in Europe, Northern Asia, and North America.

Damage Insect Cause: The nymphs inflict damage by feeding on bloom calyxes and developing fruit, producing dimpling and fruit malformation. Shortly after petal fall, the injury shows as little corky regions alone or small corky areas surrounded by a depression; severe injury can induce cat-facing.

Life History and Habits: Campylomma spends the winter as an egg that is embedded deeply into the tissue of a woody host plant. Eggs hatch in the spring, starting as early as the tight cluster to pink stage of tree growth and lasting until petal fall. The peak time for egg hatching is during or immediately after bloom. Nymphs go through five stages. The overall time of nymphal development is temperature dependent and takes around 21 days at 72oF. Because Campylomma is a predator, biological management may be challenging. There are no known natural enemies of Campylomma that would be beneficial in a commercial setting.