Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

Scientific Name: Halyomorpha Halys.

What to look for?  The body of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has a shield-like shape. The “shield” is a mottled brownish-grey coloration with multiple dark spots on the lower side edges.  They have two antennae that have five bands – the next to last being white. The legs are brown with faint white banding. The nymphs are more brightly colored with dark reddish eyes and a yellowish-red abdomen that is also striped with black. The legs and antennae of the nymphs are black with white banding.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs may be seen around the trees here in the late summer and fall. And since they are looking for a warm environment, you may find them on window screens trying to get in your home. Note: Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are undesired, invasive species!

How big are they? Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs have a body length of approximately one-half inch.

What are their flight patterns? Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs have wings and will flutter short distances.

How else do they behave? Think skunk! Crushing or otherwise agitating Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs will result in the release of an unpleasant odor. Rutgers University has a website to report sightings of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

What’s for dinner? The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug feeds on a variety of plants, including fruit trees, ornamentals, and some crops.

Where do they take up residence? The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is native to eastern Asia. Since its discovery in North America in 2001, the stink bug has spread rapidly throughout the eastern and Midwestern United States and ultimately on the West Coast. This bug has been reported in various counties across Illinois. These bugs are not found in the Southwest, Great Plains or Rocky Mountain areas. Wooded areas serve as the primary habitat, especially areas adjacent to fruit trees and crop land.

When and where do they breed and nest? The eggs of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug are laid on the underside of leaves in clutches of approximately twenty-five eggs. After hatching, first instar nymphs may aggregate around the egg clutch before molting and dispersing to feed. Development from egg to adult takes approximately two (2) months and goes through five instars or molts. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has one to two generations per year.

Where do they migrate? Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs do not migrate. Winter diapause is a crucial component of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug life cycle. These bugs respond to shortening day length during fall by entering into diapause. During this period, adult reproductive activity ceases as the stink bugs conserve resources to survive the winter. Only adults enter diapause and survive through the winter. Increased temperatures and day length in the spring signal an end to the dormant period and Adult Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs will leave their overwintering sites in search of food.

Do they make any interesting sounds? No.

Interesting Facts About the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:

  • First confirmed in 2001, but specimens were collected as early as 1996.

  • While the presence of the brown marmorated stink bug poses no risk of harm to homeowners, crushing or otherwise agitating stink bugs will result in the release of an unpleasant odor, and their excrement may stain surfaces.

  • In the United States, the brown marmorated stink bug has emerged as a major pest of tree fruits and vegetables.

For more information on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and sources of information used in this blog (these are the several of the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit USDA National Invasive Species Information Center, Rutgers University New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and Penn State Extension

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, insects and plants. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.

 

Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!