Opuntia Bug – Chelinidea vittiger

Opuntia Bug (Chelinidea vittiger)

Common Name: Opuntia Bug

Latin Name: Chelinidea vittiger


The adult measures 10 mm to 13.5 mm in length and 4 mm to 5 mm in breadth across the pronotum. C. vittiger aequoris has a prominent dorsal, yellow stripe on the head, a nearly solid yellow pronotum, and yellow veins on the forewing. The basic appearance is similar to that of the more well-known squash bugs (Anasa spp. ), but without the broad yellow pronotum and the golden veins of the corium and clavus that contrast sharply with the black hemelytra. This distinction is less noticeable in other Chelinidea forms and species. The center, the corium’s basal half of the costal border, and the abdomen’s exposed margin are other conspicuous yellowish patches in Florida specimens. The antennae, majority of the head, legs, and hemelytra of Florida specimens are dark brown to blackish. The forewing membrane has a greenish hue and is often darker than the leathery basal part. A black transverse band is almost always present at the pronotum’s base. The antennae seem somewhat dilated, but closer examination reveals 3-sided (prism-shaped) second and third segments (also present in older nymphs). The glabrous appearance of Chelinidea is a distinguishing trait.

Host plant:

Opuntia spp. (prickly pear) is common host plant

Damages caused by Opuntia Bug:

Opuntia bugs are dark or gray, with faint yellow lines on their wings. They are often seen in large numbers on plants and cause some wilting. Small numbers may go inside at the end of the season, similar to boxelder bugs, and become a minor annoyance invasion.

Life history and habits:

Winter is spent in the adult stage, sometimes in the home, but mostly under protective debris. They transition to prickly pear relatively early in the year, sometimes as late as late winter. Eggs are placed in tiny masses on cactus pads, and nymphs grow over a few months. At least two generations seem to be generated on average, with numbers peaking in late summer.