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Insects and other arthropods

Stink bugs

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Description

Pentatomids owe their name to the fact that their antennae are divided into five segments (from the Greek penta, or five). This characteristic is less obvious than their shield-shaped bodies, which has also earned them the name “shield bugs.” There is a triangle (scutellum) where the wings join. Their heads are generally small.

The shape of the mouthparts of these piercing and sucking insects depends on their diet. In herbivores, the first segment of the rostrum is slender and located under the head. In predatory stink bugs, this segment is larger and projects in front of the head.

Most of these insects give off a very foul odour when they are disturbed. They produce these repellent secretions from glands on the abdomen, near the rear legs.

Life cycle

These insects can be seen from spring through until fall. In the spring, the females lay eggs in tight clusters on plants, after spending the winter in the soil or under dead leaves. The eggs often resemble little barrels. The young bugs that hatch (nymphs) spend their first few days in groups near where they hatched, before dispersing.

Like all hemipterans, pentatomids undergo incomplete metamorphosis (they are hemimetabolous), meaning that the nymphs resemble the adults to some extent but do not have functional wings and cannot reproduce.

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