Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little green bugs

Yesterday evening, I noticed three little green insects on my broad beans. I wasn't sure what they were, and they didn't seem to be causing any trouble, so I left them alone. This morning I went back out to check up on them and they were still there, pretty much in the same spots as before.

This is "Bug 1," who has an identical look-alike on another leaf.

This is Bug 2, who is shorter rounder than Bug 1, but with the same colouring. 

This is Bug 1 from another angle.

I think they are some variety of damsel bugs.They move fairly quickly when startled, which suggests to me that they are probably predatory. They're hanging out on the broad beans, and broad beans are often plagued by aphids, which damsel bugs apparently love. I haven't seen much evidence of aphid damage on my plants, but perhaps that's because these guys and their friends are scarfing them down before they can ruin my lovely beans.

I didn't take biology in high school, so everything I know about living organisms has come from gardening. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have paid much attention to three little green bugs, but now that I have plants to protect, I want to know all about every crawly and/or winged thing that passes through the yard. Friend, or foe? Predator, or prey? Fan of succulent green vegetables? Keep moving. Fan of slimy slugs or of tiny sap-sucking aphids? Pull up a chair and stay a while!

3 comments:

  1. Assassin bug I think and you're right about them being predatory. It's great to have a few of those around the garden to keep some of the pests down.

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  2. They seem to be doing their job, whatever they are! In a few of the documents I found online, they used "assassin bug" and "damsel bug" almost interchangeably, so I wonder if they're the same thing, or just part of the same family. Either way, I'll keep them, for sure. I spotted a few on my nasturtiums, too, which makes sense if they're looking for aphids. Munch away, my little bug friends, munch away.

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  3. Update: I saw what was definitely an assassin bug on my potatoes yesterday - a little bigger than these guys, with darker colouring. Protecting my spuds like a champ!

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