by Patrick Kavanagh
Our Golden Wattles Acacia pycnantha are playing host to some very interesting bugs Hemiptera at present. Yesterday, a little clutch of nymphs caught my eye. Using the very helpful website brisbaneinsects.com, I think they are Crusader Bug nymphs, Genus Micti and from their size, about 10mm long, they are probably second instars. There was also what I think is an Acacia Horned Treehopper Genus Sextius. It was being attended by ants, which apparently glean honeydew excreted by the Treehopper. Both the Crusader Bugs and Treehoppers feed on the sap of the wattle. I wondered as there were many intriguingly shaped extrusions of resin nearby whether these bugs were the cause.
Checking out another Golden Wattle today, I found numerous mating groups of Horned Treehoppers and still attended by hungry ants in the midst of their amorous entanglements. The “pair” in the bottom part of the picture is actually a menage a trois with the second male obscured by the female in this photo.”