Saturday, August 7, 2010
This little guy hiding among the fluff is a Stink Bug. Most of us are familiar with them and their stinky excretions. If you've ever smelled one when it is feeling defensive it is an odor you won't soon forget. I am not sure of the exact species of this particular specimen, but they all belong in the family Pentatomidae. There are over 200 species of Stink Bugs in North America so it can be difficult to ID them to species sometimes. Adults generally will overwinter and become active in the spring and begin mating. The female lays small clusters of barrel-shaped eggs on the underside of leaves. Some stink bugs feed on fruits or vegetables, others feed on various plants and still others feed on various insects. They have a piercing/sucking mouthpart. They will inject an enzyme into their choice of food and this enzyme breaks down tissue and allows the stink bug to slurp up the juices like a plant or insect slurpee. These insects can be found in a wide range of habitats, which will include meadows, prairies and other grassy areas, gardens, and agricultural areas.