Banana spotting bug

Amblypelta lutescens

Adult bugs are yellow-green-brown and about 15 mm long. When 'disturbed', they may fly away, somersault to lower branches or quickly hide on the plant behind fruit or under leaves.

Damage: Both adults and nymphs feed by piercing and sucking. They insert their long mouthparts into plant tissue and cause deep set breakdown. Feeding results in sunken black spots due to tissue damage from introduced enzymes. Banana is not a favourable host for breeding and these pests will only attack commercial bananas if deprived of their normal hosts. On crops such as cashews, terminal growth can be affected. Damage occurs mainly from October through March and often continues into May. Some varieties are more susceptible than others e.g. the carambola variety Thai Knight is particularly susceptible.
Small fruits, which have just set, are usually shed, while slightly larger fruit may be retained but form a 'dimple' where the damage has occurred. Injured fruit remaining on the tree are usually unmarketable due to the large lesions that develop around the feeding site. The bugs are more prevalent in coastal orchards, particularly those close to rainforest or scrub. Orchards that are more openly situated have a lower incidence of bugs.
Damage is often confused with that caused by Queensland fruit fly. It is important to diagnose the cause of the damage accurately so that the most appropriate control measure may be applied. Bug damage is more common on the top halves of fruit. Considerable fruit damage can result from the feeding of a relatively small number of bugs. Fruit fly damage can be usually determined by cutting through the entry point and searching for the curved white 3 mm long eggs or for the white-cream carrot shaped maggots of the fruit fly.