Bronze Orange Bug Brissy Girl Jan Anderson/Flickr

Bronze Orange Bug

Musgraveia sulciventris

Did You Know?

  • A member of the Giant Shield Bug family Tessaratomidae
  • It is a pest in some commercial citrus orchards as sucking sap from the plants causes the stalks and young shoots to wilt and fall off; Its secretions also burn the leaves
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Baby bugs (nymphs) are initially bright green as are the eggs from which they hatch, before turning orange-red with a black dot on their back. An adult is bronzy-black with a broad thick body and a triangular back plate. Its head is small in relation to the rest of its body and it has orange antennae and leg joints.


Eggs are about 2.5 mm in diameter; adults are about 2.5 cm long.



Sap from citrus plants, including orange, lemon and lime trees, which it sucks through its tube-like mouthparts. It may also feed on the fruit and flowers of these plants.


A strong flyer.


After mating, females lay eggs on the underside of host leaves, and the bright green eggs hatch into baby bugs (nymphs) about one week later.

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What to Observe

  • Presence (to establish the first and last sighting for the season)

  • Courting/Mating

  • Presence of eggs

  • Presence of nymphs (baby bugs)

  • Mass outbreak

Climate Adaptations

Climate change could mean that the distribution of the bug’s food plant changes, which in turn could cause a change in the distribution of bugs. Also, warmer conditions as a result of climate change could result in the life cycle of bugs starting earlier and becoming prolonged.

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When and Where

When To Look

  • From spring and throughout summer
  • Young can be seen from late winter
  • Adults are commonly seen in October and November

Where To Look

  • In Queensland and NSW, particularly along the coast
  • On citrus plants in urban areas, commercial orchards and forests
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What Else?

Often known as the Orange Stink Bug because when disturbed, the bug squirts a foul-smelling fluid that can stain and burn human skin and eyes. This is used for defence against potential predators.