I took this photo of the Acacia bug in an open grass veld area behind my home early in the morning. I regularly take a walk in this area that includes a small pond and is right next to a black wattle plantation. It has an abundance of bird and insect life and since I've been introduced to Trek Nature I suddenly look with new eyes at everything in this little nature site of mine. Time will tell what I might still find here to photograph.
Identification: Medium-sized (body length 14 millimetres), reddish brown, bow-legged with enlarged hind legs. They are relatively slender, have large broad triangular heads with large eyes and a triangular marking at the wing bases.
Biology: Sapsucker on seedpods of Acacia nilotica. Associated with grasses, cowpea, and other members of the Mimosaceae. They pierce bean pods, damaging the crops.
Habitat: Grassland and bushveld.
The life history and damage caused by Mirperus jaculus (Thunberg) on cowpea.
Studies on the life history of Mirperus jaculus on a variety of cowpea showed that the pre-mating and pre-oviposition periods were 7 to 10 days, under ambient temperature (26-30°C) and relative humidity (64-96%). Oviposition period for mated females was 27 days and egg number averaged 128 eggs; unmated females which oviposited for 39 days laid an average of 34 eggs on cowpea pods and sides of the cages. Egg incubation period was 7 days (range = 5-9 days).
There were five nymphal instars and the total developmental period (first instar to adult) averaged 19 days. Nymphs are ant-like with characteristic oblong head, narrow 'waist' abdominal segments 1-2 and globose abdominal segments 3-8.
Nymphal mortality was generally high (5%) during the second stadium.
Infestation of cowpea by the bug at one week of pod development resulted in 10% seed loss, at two weeks, it resulted in 85.6% to 99% seed damage, depending on the bug density. Damages reached from 61 to 66.8% at three-week pod development stage, for the same densities.
Ewete, F. K.; Niba, S. A. 1994
Journal of African Zoology 108(4): 407-413
A very good capture of this interesting acacia bug. This guy sure has hind legs that makes him look like a candidate for the insect Olympics for long jumping.
I agree with Mark that the symmetrical composition work excellent in this case. The centred placing of the insect gave balance to the shot. The colours are richly saturated yet very pleasing and the details are great with some slight movement noticeable on the left antennae. The stunning BG is adding great compliment to the darker insect and the lighting was perfectly managed.
A beautifully composed macro of this fellow.The lighting and exposure is spot on.The focus is excellent and the POV and DOF are very good.The details are razor sharp.The colours are natural and well saturated.A top rate shot.TFS