Twice-Stabbed Stink Bug – Cosmopepla lintneriana

Twice-Stabbed Stink Bug – Cosmopepla lintneriana
Family Pentatomidae (Stink bugs)
Bugs Main | Bugs Index | Assassin Bugs | Plant Bugs | Ambush Bugs
Live stinkbugs photographed at northern Illinois

Stink Bug - Cosmopepla lintneriana
Stinkbugs have 2 large compound eyes and 2 smaller, simple eyes (ocelli). Size: 6mm
Like all true bugs, this insect is a plant feeder, injecting enzymes which break down plant tissues and cell walls, then vacuuming up the resulting nutritional slurry. Because twice-stabbed stinkbugs feed on a wide variety of plants, including milk thistle, echinacea, asparagus, oats, mint and goldenrod, they are found in a wide variety of habitats.

They are active from May until September here in the American midwest. These colorful bugs are by far the most numerous stink bugs here in the western suburbs of Chicago. I find infestations of hundreds of individuals in very small areas of forest.

The family name Pentatomidae comes from the Greek "pente" (five) + "tomos" (a section); perhaps a reference to the 5-segmented antennae, or perhaps a reference to the body, which when viewed from above appears to be divided into 5 large sections. The scutellum is the largest section.

Stink Bug - Cosmopepla lintneriana

Stink bugs get their common name from the foul-smelling fluids they exude when disturbed. Both adults and nymphs have large glands that discharge underneath the body.  Stinkbugs are shy, I can tell you – and they will fly off very quickly if you get in their face.

Several species of insects that feed on peaches and other fruits early in the growing season cause a gnarling and distortion of the fruits called catfacing. Plant bugs and stink bugs, called catfacing insects, are largely responsible for this type of injury. They suck the sap from the fruit. If the peaches do not fall as a result of this attack, fruit development is inhibited in the area of the punctures. The surrounding healthy tissue continues to grow thereby causing a defect resembling a cat’s face. 


  1., Apateticus lineolatus
  2. Alfred G. Wheeler and Sir T. Richard E. Southwood FRS, Biology of the Plant Bugs
  3. American Museum of Natural History, National Science Foundation and University of New South Wales, Plant Bug Planetary Biodiversity Inventory, Plant Bugs (Miridae)

Order Hemiptera: True Bugs number almost 5,000 species in North America, and 40,000 worldwide. They have mouthparts formed into a beak, adapted for sucking plant juices or the liquefied insides of their animal prey.
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha – Cicadas & Planthoppers
Suborder Sternorrhyncha – Aphids, scales, mealybugs, jumping plant lice