Bug (Two-spotted Grass Bug) Stenotus binotatus
Species: S. binotatus
Binomial name: Stenotus binotatus
Synonyms: Lygaeus binotatus, Cimex paykulli Turton, Stenotus sareptanus
Common name: Two-spotted Grass Bug, Slender Crop Mired.
Stenotus binotatus is an adventive species of plant bug, originally from Europe, but now established across New Zealand.
It is a somewhat variable species that is 6–7.5 mm long, yellowish, and with two large black spots shaped like elongated semicircles with a straight edge anteriorly on the pronotum. These marks have given this bug its common name ‘Two-spotted Grass Bug’. The males are generally more yellow with extensive dark markings on the pronotum and forewings. The females are more greenish in colour and their markings are lighter. Both sexes become more strongly marked and deeply coloured with age.
Both the nymphs and adults of this species feed mainly on the flowering heads of grasses. It can be a pest of crops such as wheat because they deposit salivary enzymes into the immature wheat grains while feeding. These enzymes survive in the harvested wheat. In baking they destroy the gluten structure of the dough, reducing the quality of the bread.
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