- This page contains pictures and information about the Biology of Stink Bugs in superfamily
Pentatomoidea that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
They include the stinkbugs, shieldbugs, tortoise bugs, burrower bugs and
- Shield Backed Bug
- As all other bugs in the Order Hemiptera,
bugs in superfamily Pentatomoidea have one common characteristic: their sucking mouths. Most of them suck juice from plants
and some (Asopus Group) feed on other soft-body insects.
They can be found on all kinds of terrestrial habitats, including under
bark, on tree trunks, branches, stems, leaves, flowers, in the litter and
deep under the soils.
Adult's stink gland
all of those bugs in this superfamily the fore wings are hardened and
thickened in the basal half but the distal half remains membranous. This
results in a structure which is half hardened like the wing-covers of a
beetle and half membranous like the wings of a bee.
- Large Stink
- The shield-shaped insect of the superfamily Pentatomoidea, especially the family Pentatomidae,
are called Shield Bug. They have well-developed scutellum that is either
triangular to semi-elliptical in shape. They are also known as Stink Bug.
stink glands and will give off a
strong-smelling odor when the insect is disturbed, particularly on capture.
and nymph bugs have those glands located in different parts of body. For the
nymph bugs those glands openings are on the top or back centre of abdomen
while the adults have the gland openings at the side of thorax immediately
in front of the hind legs. The odor is from the discharged fluid which
contains an oily component cimicine, which is a very volatile
- They usually have flat and soft
bodies. Their forewings are toughen on the base area and with a membranous tip
part. Their antennae are well developed with up to five segments. Most of
them are colourful although some have unnoticeable camouflaged
- For the stink bugs, female and male look almost the same except female is
usually a little larger than male. Mating takes place usually with the
couple facing in the opposite direction.
Bugs are developed in incomplete metamorphosis.
Their young, when small, look quite different from the adult.
successive instars increasingly resemble the adult. There are usually five
juvenile stages and a few with four.
- Stink bug young instars
- When bugs newly hatched from eggs as 1st instars, they usually stay around their eggs cases. In general,
the 1st instars nymph do not feed. They
spend some time ingesting bacteria which the female deposited on the eggs when
she laid them. The bug have to liquefy the food with saliva first before they
can feed on it.
- The principal differences between various instars and between nymph and
adults lie in the development of the wings and in some case the number of
antennal segments. The beginning of the wings development start in the 3rd
instars. The wing-buds are fully seen in the 5th instars. Almost all nymphs
have four antennal segment in early instars stages. If the adult has the 5th
segment, the second antennal segment of the nymph divides into tow in the
4th or 5th instars stage. Ocelli are only seen in the 5th instars if the
quickly identify the Stink Bug that you found, try our Stink
Bugs Home page and Field
- 1. Insects
of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University
Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 508.
- 2. PENTATOMOIDEA
- Australian Biological Resources Study, Australia, 2002.
- 3. Plant-feeding and Other Bugs (Hemiptera) of South Australia. Heteroptera – Part I & II - by Gordon F. Gross, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide,
- 4. Pentatomoidea Home page - Dr. David Rider, North Dakota State University, 2009.
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