Stink Bug

Common Name: Stink Bug

Order Name: Hemiptera

Family Name: Pentatomidae

Stink bugs are named for their ability to exude a foul smelling substance from a pore on each side of their thorax. These bugs often have symbiotic relationships with bacteria that aid the insect in the production of nutrients. Other insects, like termite, have similar relationships that aid in their digestion of wood. Stink bugs are predacious on other insects, good fliers and are recognized by a large triangular scutellum on their back.

Stink Bug Nymphs

This kindergarten was found on the underside of a leaf exhibiting a tightly clustered and well choreographed dance around one another until they finally dispersed. These immature nymphs mature into true bugs know as stink bugs. The yellow and black adults could be found further up the same shrub sipping on the juices of yellow berry clusters. The adults take on a typical pentagonal appearance and exude an unpleasant odor when disturbed. Although the term bugs is used as slang to describe all insects, members of the order Hemiptera are the only insects correctly identified as bugs.

Stink bugs can be recognized by their characteristic oval body shape and each antennae being comprised of five segments. This immature larval stage is considerably more colorful than the adult form which was almost entirely black. True bugs undergo a common form of incomplete metamorphosis with three life stages. The eggs hatches into nymphs which grows ever closer to the adult form through a series of body molts. The last molt renders the final adult form which is then free to reproduce and initiate the next generation. This nymph was quite adept at producing the characteristic foul smell for which they use as a chemical defense tactic.

Mating Stink Bugs

In many insects, the male and female adults vary in size, coloration and form. Some insects are able to reproduce without a mate however most species require union to fertilize the eggs. This pair was found in Indonesia. True bugs have characteristic forewings. Specifically, the connecting half being thickened and remaining tip half being membranous. A second pair of membranous wings rest under these special fore wings known as hemelytra. Their sucking, tubular mouth parts arise from the tip of their head.