Not really a Green Ant

Pod-sucking bug
Looks very like an ant but isn’t

There isn’t much insect activity in the garden at this (dry, cool) time of year but when I was ambling around it last week I saw a Green Ant which was too small – only about two thirds of the size of a normal Green Ant.

That was my first thought, anyway, but a closer look revealed that it wasn’t an ant at all but a very good mimic. It is a juvenile Pod-Sucking Bug (Riptortus sp., Alydidae, Hemiptera) and in fact is the same species I described here on Green Path four years ago. That post shows older juveniles, gradually less and less like the Green Ant; this very small one turns out to be the best mimic of all, other than being too small.

This second image clearly shows its proboscis or sucking tube, tucked away beneath its body until needed.

Pod Sucking Bug
The same young Pod-Sucking Bug showing its proboscis

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