Cotton Helopeltis or mosquito bug (Helopeltis schoutedeni)
It is a slender, delicate bug up to 10 mm long with very long antenna, nearly twice as long as the body. The nymphs are yellow with pale red markings. The adults have a red body with blackish antenna, head and wings. The eggs are white and about 1.7 mm long, and are laid into soft plant tissue.
Nymphs and adults feed on young plant tissues, injecting toxic saliva into the plant during sucking, causing necrotic patches, seen as dark brown spots, on leaves and stems. Spots exude moisture from a central puncture when squeezed. As a result the leaves are twisted and the shoots can be severely stunted. Die-back of young shoots is common under heavy attack. This bug is a common tea pest in all East African countries.
- In India neem products (e.g. 'Neemark') are recommended for control of the tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis antonii)