Proba bug

Proba californica

Adults are about 0.2 inch (0.5 cm), uniformly light brown, and lack any obvious marks on their body, unlike lygus bugs, which have a prominent yellow, triangular-shaped marking at the base of the forewings. The newly hatched nymphs are pale greenish yellow, somewhat similar to small aphids with the exception that the proba nymphs move faster with their overly long legs. The second- and third-instar nymphs are reddish brown and the fourth- and fifth-instar nymphs exhibit light and dark alternate bands on the abdominal segments.
DAMAGE: Proba bug nymphs and adults feed mainly on the very young leaves that are in the frond stage. As they feed with their piercing-sucking mouthparts, they inject a toxin into the plant that results in the death of the leaf tissues around feeding wound. As the developing leaves expand, the feeding punctures turn into brown necrotic spots that fall off, leaving the leaf with a shot-hole appearance. In a severely infested artichoke field, affected leaves are abnormally small and light yellow; as the leaves age they turn brown. The damage to the artichokes by the proba bug is very similar to that caused by lygus except that proba bug is more aggressive in its feeding habit.

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