Tag Archives: Stink Bugs

Stink bug

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Signs of Autumn.’ (See more responses here.) So here two photos of a stink bug. I think this is probably a four-humped stink bug or rough stink bug (Brochymena quadripustulata), but it could be a brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys).

What does this have to do with ‘Signs of Autumn?’ Well, stink bugs start gathering around and inside homes in the fall. As natives of Southeast Asia, they’re sensitive to the cold and spend winter in a hibernation-like state called torpor. So in the fall, they’re looking for a suitable safe spot and a warm house fits that bill. They also have a tendency to gather in large numbers, so one stink bug could quickly be joined by many others.

Stink bugs don’t bite and they’re not dangerous, but they can release an offensive smelling liquid if threatened, hence their name. Because of this, they’re not exactly welcome house guests.

Black stink bug

A black stink bug on the Big Island of HawaiiA black stink bug on the Big Island of Hawaii
I thought this was a lady bug when I first saw it, but a bit of research revealed that it’s actually a black stink bug (Coptosoma xanthogramma). Black stink bugs were first found in Hawaii in 1965 on Oahu and can be problematic for some legumes and vines here.

Oriental stink bug

An oriental stink bug on a basil leaf.
An oriental stink bug on a basil leaf.

When I first saw this bug, I thought it was a Japanese beetle. Later, I realized I was wrong and it was a stink bug. They get their name because they can emit a foul-smelling substance when disturbed. Luckily, I didn’t disturb it enough to provoke that response, though there was no way I was going to leave it be on the basil plant where I found it. Most mornings see the plant with new holes or bite marks. Seems to be a favorite of just about every bug around.