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Honey-locust plant bug

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Common name:  Honey-locust plant bug

Scientific name:  Blepharidopterus chlorionis (syn. Diaphnocoris chlorionis)

Hosts:  Honey-locust plant bug feeds on honey-locust trees (Gleditsia triacanthos). Feeding by the nymphs in spring causes the foliage to be distorted and yellow. This stresses the tree, but does no major harm to it.

Feeding by the honey-locust plant bug results in leaf distortion, chlorosis, and yellow-to-brown spots. Heavy infestations may cause premature leaf drop, but typically a second flush of leaves is produced. Despite the damage to the foliage, trees do not die. They will be stressed if feeding occurs several years in a row. Unfortunately, the honey-locust plant bug is an unpredictable pest because weather conditions influence its survival and activity. An outbreak one year does not ensure an outbreak in subsequent years.

The honey-locust plant bug overwinters as an egg beneath the bark of twigs and branches of honey-locust trees. The eggs hatch in the spring, just as the leaf buds begin to open. Young nymphs begin feeding on the young foliage at this time causing damage to the emerging leaves. The nymphs are small (less than ⅛ inch), green, oval insects. They look like the adults, but with shortened wings. Nymph development requires 30 days, so they will mature into adults by late May or early June. The adults are pale to light green, with full length wings and are about ⅛ inch long. The adults continue to feed for another month or so and disappear by mid-to late July. Eggs are laid by the adults in linear clusters under the bark of two- and three-year-old twigs. There is only one generation per year.

Cultural management: 
Maintain tree vigor by watering and fertilizing as needed. The damage done by the honey-locust plant bug is mostly cosmetic.

Chemical Management:

Use of insecticides for honey-locust plant bug is not warranted unless the population is extremely high or damage has occurred several years in a row

The pesticide information presented in this publication is current with federal and state regulations. The user is responsible for determining that the intended use is consistent with the label of the product being used. The information given here is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement made by The Morton Arboretum.

For more information, contact The Morton Arboretum Plant Clinic (630-719-2424 or