Harlequin cabbage bug (calico bug, fire bug, harlequin bug)

Murgantia histrionica

The harlequin bugs are gaudy red-and-black-spotted stink bugs about 9.5 mm long, with flat, shield-shaped bodies. At rest, the front pair of wings overlap and the insect's back appears to be marked with a distinct X. The harlequin bug is an important insect pest of cabbage and related crops in the southern half of the United States. This pest has the ability to destroy the entire crop where it is not controlled. The harlequin bug injures the host plants by sucking the sap of the plants, causing the plants to wilt, brown and die.