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Stink Bugs - Family Pentatomidae

The pentatomids are known as Stink Bugs or Shield Bugs. They are frequently found in large numbers on crops and weeds.  If disturbed, they will emit a pungent, evil-smelling liquid. They are mostly brown, some are greenish,  although a few are highly coloured.
 
Stink Bug 1st instars 
 
Stink bugs are distinguished from other bugs by their 3rd thorax, or the triangular scutellum, which is well extended to cover half of their back, but not covered the whole abdomen. Their legs are thin and with no spines. The antennae are four or five segmented. Their body are usually in shield-shaped. Nymphs look similar to their adults except they are wingless.
 
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Scent gland opening                                              Mating pair                                                           Nymphs hiding under bark 
 
The 'stink' evil-smelling liquid comes from the bug's scent glands. In adults the scent gland openings are located under each side of thorax, between the first and second pair of legs. In nymphs the scent gland openings are paired and located on the top of abdomen. The smell is from the discharged fluid which contains an oily component cimicine, which is a very volatile component. Those stink liquid will discourage or even harm the potential predators. 
 
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Newly hatched stink bugs                                                                  
 
Stink bugs mating occurs in spring and/or summer, depending on the species. Eggs are laid in tight clusters glued to a host plant, usually on the underside of leaves or under barks. After hatching, the first instars often stay together with the empty egg-shell until they moult become the second instars. Then they disperse in search of food. Nymphs undergo five metamorphoses to become adults.
 
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Different Stink Bug eggs                                            
 
Most of the Stink Bug species are plant suckers although some are predators to other insects. Some species in this family exhibit maternal care by standing guard over their egg batches.
 
All Stink Bugs are active during the day. They have a number of natural enemies, some species their eggs suffer parasites by wasps
 
We found quite a number of Stink Bug species in Brisbane. They are listed in the following pages;

 
DSCN1497.jpg (81660 bytes)Subfamily Podopinae - Small Brown Stink Bugs
We found two species in this subfamily.
 
 
 
 

wpe12.jpg (25192 bytes)Subfamily Asopinae - Predatory Stink Bugs
Most of the stink bug species are plant suckers, however bugs in this subfamily are predators. They prey on soft insects including caterpillars.
 
 
 
 

wpeA.jpg (36537 bytes)Subfamily PentatominaeStink Bugs
We found quite a number of Stink Bug species in Brisbane. Most of them are in this subfamily. Most of them feed on plants and are in shield shape.
 
 
 

Unidentified Stink Bugs  
Please advise if you known the ID of the stink bugs in this page.
 
 
 
 
 

 
To quickly identify the Stink Bug that you found, try our Field Guide page.    

Reference:
1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 508.
2. PENTATOMIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australia, 2002. 
3. Pentatomoidea Home page - David A. Rider, Professor of Entomology, North Dakota State University.  
4. Plant-feeding and Other Bugs (Hemiptera) of South Australia. Heteroptera Part I & II - by Gordon F. Gross, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide, 1975/1976.

Up ] Biology ] Field Guide ] Family Cydnidae ] Family Tessaratomidae ] Family Scutelleridae ] [ Family Pentatomidae ]

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Last updated: August 12, 2010.