Stink Bug

a pentatomidae stink bug feeding on seeds of Lion's Ear. Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

The outline of the bug is shaped as a pentagon. Wings folded down over back. Usually on plants with developing seeds.

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Stink Bug

a stink bug, pentatomidae on Verbena, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

This stink bug was found on flower spikes of verbena in Nairobi.

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Stink Bug

A stink bug on Cyatula, Amaranthaceae, from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

A pair of brick-red markings on the wings distinguish this pentatomid found on Cyathula.

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Gray Stink Bug

A gray stink bug on Plectranthus from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

These bugs are well camouflaged when crawling on gray bark. They can also exude pungent chemical if attacked.

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Handsome Stink Bug

Burgandy, gold and silver Pentatomidae, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Okay, I made up the name. There's a gold band across the front of the pronotum. On shubs.

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Blue-Legged Stinkbug

Pentatomidae with blue legs and antennae from Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

I suspect that the blue color blends with the leafy green hiding the legs from visual predators..

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Picasso Bug

a brightly marked shield bug, f. Scutelleridae, Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Conspicuously colored bug feeding on seed heads. Wings concealed under a shield.

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Plant Bug

a plant bug, f. Miridae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small (< 5mm), agile bugs with slender legs, sometimes able to jump. Many species in variety of colors.

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Plant Bug

Miridae from Kakamega Forest, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small bug with charcoal body and rusty-orange legs. Feeds on growing plant tissue.

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Cotton Stainer

Cotton Stainer, Dysdercus nigrofasciatus, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Conspicuously marked bug that has become a pest on many crops. Two black bands on dorsum.

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Leaf-footed Bug

A mating pair of Cletus leaf-footed bugs from Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Most leaf-footed bugs have a leaf-like process on the third legs - this one is an exception. Many kinds that feed on plants.

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Leaf-footed Bug

perhaps Cletus, and a darker phase leaf-footed bug from Kitale, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Possibly the same species, but a darker morph. This specimen was feeding on developing seed of Amaranthus in a Kitale garden.

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Leaf-footed Bug

Coreidae from Moshi, Tanzania, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Leaf-footed bugs are more conspicuous and therefore over-represented in this guide.

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Bandy-Leg Bug

Leaf-footed Bug, Coreidae, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Posterior leg femurs are held perpendicular to body. Head is missle-shaped.

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Leaf-footed Bug

a big Coreidae, perhaps Anoplocnemis sp., from Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Robust, very dark bug found on herbaceous weeds. Femora of hind legs conspicuous.

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Leaf-footed Bug

A plant feeding leaf-footed bug from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Brown 15 mm plant bug with slightly enlarged third pair of legs. Surface texture granular in appearance. Sucks sap from new growth and fruit.

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Leaf-footed Bug

Leaf-footed Bug, f. Coreidae. Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

This one looks very similar to the one at left. Same genus? Acanthocoris? Notice orange-tipped antennae.

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Coreid on Guava

a small coreidae damaging Guava, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Bug about 5mm with thickened first antenna segments. Marked with brown and white.

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Seed Bug

Seed Bug, Lygaeidae, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Many seed bugs are marked red-and-black, but not all. Even hard seed coats can be penetrated. These are ˜4mm.

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Dirt-Colored Seed Bug

Rhyparochromidae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

This bug lives on the ground feeding on germinating seeds and dead insects.

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Assassin Bug

Assassin Bug, Reduviidae, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Predaceous bugs that can deliver painful bite. Black with orange markings. Narrow "neck" behind head (pronotum).

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Assassin Bug #2

Assassin Bug, Reduviidae, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Predaceous bugs that might deliver painful bite. Black with burnt-orange marks. Narrow "neck" behind head (pronotum).

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Water Strider

Water Strider, Gerridae, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Predaceous bugs that skate on the water surface tension in ponds and slow streams. Long legs like a spider's.

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Water Scorpion

A water scorpion in water trough, Nepidae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

A long, slender tail-like structure suggests a scorpion, but it doesn't sting. This large, fresh water aquatic bug is predatory.

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Lace Bug

a colony of lacebugs, f. tingidae. Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small insects that usually live in groups on undersides of leaves. Some have lacy fringe on thorax. Host of this one is African Olive, Olea.

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Thorny Tree Hopper

Membracidae on Caliandra calothrysus in Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

This hopper is black with small amount of white. Two sharp lateral projections from the pronotum.

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Tree Hopper

Membracidae look like thorns. Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

What looks like a thorn on a plant turns out to be a hopping bug! Many species in wide array of colors and shapes.

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Citrus Leafhopper

Cicadellidae on orange, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Green and brown hoppers feeding on new shoots of an orange tree.

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Grape Leafhopper

leafhopper on foliage of Rhoicissus from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Bullet-shaped bug capable of quick jumps. Small, less than 4mm. Tan, mottled with brown.

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Twin-Dash Leafhopper

small leafhopper, Cicadellidae, Kitale, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Coppery brown with two yellowish dashes on each wing. Powerful jumping legs. Can fly also.

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Electric Leafhopper

a blue-streaked leafhopper, Cicadellidae,. Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Most leafhoppers do not have common names. The blue markings inspired this suggestion.

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Kakamega Sharpshooter

A green, yellow and blue Cicadelidae from Kakamega, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small leafhoppers when viewed through magnification are often brightly colored.

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Green Cicada

A green colored Cicadidae from Kabarnet, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Males are the noisemakers normally concealed high in tree canopies.

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Spittle Bug

A large spittlebug, Cercopidae, on a Malvaceae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Or perhaps this is a Fulgorid? Adults can jump and fly. Many kinds on a variety of plants. Many smaller than this one at 7 mm.

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Cercopid Bug

cool looking Cercopidae from Kitale, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Another name for a kind of spittlebug. This is a colorful adult and possibly contains noxious chemicals. In a Kitale garden.

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Ambatch Spittle Bug

a Cercopidae on Aechynomene in Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Adult bugs brightly marked with orange and white on black. They can jump quickly and to quite a distance for escape.

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Spittle Bug

Cercopidae on a rubiaceae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Orange, white and yellow marks on mostly black insect. Adult form can jump and fly also.

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Spittle Nymph

Cercopidae on a rubiaceae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Immature form of bug to left. Froth of bubbles excreted by the bugs while sucking sap.

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Orange Spot Bug

Adult Cercopidae, spittle bug, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Glossy black with two orange spots. Locomotes by jumping and/or taking flight. Spittle bug in weeds near cultivation.

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Cixiid Plant Hopper

A fast moving plant hopper on trunks of fever tree, cixiidae, from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

These sap-sucking plant hoppers were found on the yellow-green trunks of fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea).

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Plant Hopper

A flatid plant hopper on a cucurbitaceae from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Bright white velvety wings folded into tent. Hops when disturbed.

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Scale on Mango

a possible star scale on Mango, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Very dark immobile bugs with white projections around the perimeter. Clustered on twig.

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Mealy Bug

Mealy bugs on Cordia with Ants, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small, pinkish mealy bugs on the underside of a Cordia leaf with ants guarding.

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Giant Mealy Bug

a large mealy bug, Pseudococcidae, on Kei-Apple, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Slow moving, brilliant white bug with no visible head or legs dorsally. Threads are made of waxy matterial.

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Felt Scale

A possible felt scale on a composite inflorescence from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Clumsy, barely mobile bugs with a cottony border found on growing points of plants and usually with ant guards.

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Cochineal Scale

Cochineal Scale Insect, Dactylopius, from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Bright white masses of stringy wax on pads of cactus plants. Bright red dye emerges from crushed bugs inside.

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Scale Insect

An armored scale, Diaspididae, on Terminalia from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Hard, smooth lumps on twigs with golden brown cover. Sap sucking insect inside.

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Armored Scale

An Armored Scale from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Soft-bodied bug beneath a hardened shell. Black, sooty mold nearby growing on old honeydew.

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Leaf Scale

Ficus leaf with Diaspidae scale insects, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Small, pyramid-shaped, sessile insects with a shell-like cover. These were on a Ficus leaf.

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Whitefly

whitefly on Nicandra from Kitale, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Bright white wings on very small insects often alighted on undersides of leaves. Many species.

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Black Bean Aphid

Aphid on cow-pea, Vigna unguiculata, from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Almost black aphids on buds and shoots of cultivated beans and related plants. Forms colonies of multiple-aged bugs.

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Cabbage Aphid

A colony of Cabbage Aphids on the underside of Sukuma Wiki from Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Slow moving blue-green insects that form colonies on coles such as cabbage and mustard greens.

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Aphids on Guava

Aphids on Guava from Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Very small black aphids on undersides of Guava leaves protected my Myrmicaria ants.

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Horseweed Aphid

Aphids with Ants as Protectors, Kenya, Africa, photo © Michael Plagens

Dark green aphids on stems of horseweed (Asteraceae) with ants in close association.

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 2010-2017

By no means am I an expert on the Natural History of Kenya. I am a novice exploring this part of the World. By creating a page for the species as I encounter them I am teaching myself. If you, the reader, find an error I hope that you will let me know so that I can fix it.