Species: Aconophora compressa
Common names: Lantana Treehopper, Lantana Bug
Unfortunately the Lantana camara has grown extremely well this summer and some of the stands are now really dense. However this does provide good cover for many of our birds and for this reason we have chosen to leave the removal of this weed till last when hopefully the rest of the bushland has shown significant regeneration. With the lush new growth there has been a reappearance of the Lantana sap-sucking bug that was introduced to Australia from Mexico in 1995 as a biological control agent for Lantana. Many of the ends of the lantana canes are now completely dead because of the damage caused by this bug. The photo shows an adult bug with a couple of dozen nymphs in various stages of development. The bug also attacks Fiddlewood trees and Duranta. Its biggest failing is that it cannot stand temperatures above about 40 degrees. Let’s hope its population can explode before we get any really hot summer days.