Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910
Common names: Western conifer seed bug [En], Punaise du pin, Punaise américaine du pin [Fr], Bladpootrandwants [Nl], Amerikanische Kiefernwanze [De], Cimice dei pini [It]
Tubize, BRABANT ● Belgium
Description: The average length is 16-20 mm, with males being smaller than females. They are able to fly, making a buzzing noise when airborne. L. occidentalis like its closest relatives can be most easily recognized by the expanded hindleg tibiae and by the alternating light and dark bands which run along the outer wing edges on the flaring sides of the abdomen.
Biology: In its native range, the Western Conifer Seed Bug feeds on the sap of developing conifer cones throughout its life. However, it is not monophagous and even adaptable enough to feed on angiosperms if it has to, though it seems to prefer resiniferous plants that are rich in terpenes.
Its host plants in the native range include conifers like the Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), the White Spruce (P. glauca), and the Coast and Rocky Mountain Douglas-firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Outside the native range, it is also found on species like the Eastern White Pine (P. strobus) and Red Pine (P. resinosa) in eastern North America and Europe, and the Mountain Pine (P. mugo), European Black Pine (P. nigra), Scots Pine (P. sylvestris) and Pistachio (Pistacia vera) (pistaches or pistacio trees) in Europe.
The eggs are laid in small groups on the needles or leaf stems of its host plants, and hatch in spring. The nymphs go through 5 instar stages before moulting into adults. In the United States, the species is univoltine, but in southern Europe, it completes two generations a year, and in tropical Mexico even three.
Distribution: It is native to North America west of the Rocky Mountains (California to British Columbia, east to Idaho and Nevada) but has in recent times expanded its range to eastern North America, and has become an invasive species in parts of Europe.
In Europe, this species was first reported in 1999 from northern Italy; it had probably been accidentally imported with timber and. By 2007, it had established itself in mutch of Europe. It appears also in the Southern Hemisphere, with several records from Chile, and it was also recorded from Tokyo, Japan.
Wikipedia, Western conifer seed bug