|Green Stink Bug – Acrosternum hilare|
Family Pentatomidae – Stink Bugs
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Live adult and nymph green stink bugs photographed at DuPage County, Illinois, USA
With their huge flying wings, stink bugs can burst into flight and disappear very rapidly
Stink bugs feed on developing seed of many hosts including trees, shrubs, vines, weeds and many cultivated crops. They may also feed on the stems and foliage when seed are not present. Both nymph and adult stink bugs pierce plants with their needlelike mouthparts and suck sap from pods, buds, blossoms and seeds; the degree of damage depends on the developmental stage of the plant when it is attacked. Immature fruit and pods become deformed as they develop, and seeds are often flattened and shriveled. Germination can be reduced, or the seeds may fail to germinate at all.
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 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. I can truthfully say I've never smelled anything while investigating these curious beasts. Stinkbugs are shy, I can tell you – and they will fly off very quickly if you get in their face. Stinkbugs are often also called shield bugs, due to their shield-like shape.
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.
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.