Harlequin Bug

Murgantia histrionica

The bright orange or red markings on this flashy bug draw attention to it, telling predators that it’s inedible. The Harlequin bug is not actually poisonous, but the chemicals it extracts and stores from the plants it eats make it spicy, like hot mustard. And many birds do not like spicy food! Since it’s a type of stink bug, the Harlequin bug can also use the classic stink bug defense.

Fun Fact:
These brightly-colored stink bugs store a chemical from the plants they eat that makes them taste bad to some birds.

What’s for Lunch:
Juices from plants in the mustard and caper families

Where’s Home:
Often seen on bladderpod, year-round in the reserve