After a recent tree walk with an expert I started to observe trees more keenly.I happened to be intrigued by some interesting top shaped fruits on a tree. On referring to a tree book I found that it was the Portia tree also known as Indian Tulip tree (Thespesia populnea).
Thespesia populnea flower
On browsing on the net I was thrilled to know the connection between the two -The insect and the Portia tree.These cotton stainer bugs feed on the seeds of the Portia tree,Thespesia populnea
On examining a plant below this tree I found eggs laid under a leaf.The small, pale eggs are laid on the food plant or dropped on the ground near the food plant.
They hatch in 5-8 days into wingless nymphs which lack the cross-markings on their backs (they do not have a larval stage). Hatchlings gather near their egg shells, then continue to feed in groups. They moult 5 times (instars) before reaching the mature stage whereupon they get their wings and characteristic cross-markings.
These insects are called cotton stainers because their red bodies get crushed along with the cotton they eat when it is harvested, and these stains are difficult to remove. Their feeding mechanism also cuts the fibers and hence affects the growth of the cotton ball.