Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.
Updated: 2/9/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
When the unwelcome Brown Marmorated Stink Bug infiltrates human-occupied spaces, its size is quickly overshadowed by the smelly impression it leaves behind.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is a pest to a large variety of fruit-bearing trees and plants. Accidentally imported from Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug made its way to North America's coast and has been establishing populations there and beyond ever since. They are known to damage fruit in only appearance (not its flavor), rendering the fruit less likely to sell at market. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug uses its proboscis to poke a hole through the skin of a piece of fruit that is still growing on the tree. It sucks out the fruit's juices. The depletion of juice coupled with the piercing of the fruit's skin results in a dimple. This permanent depression continues to deform the fruit as it grows into a picking size. A series of these bites on one apple can cause the fruit to look quite deformed and unappealing at the market. Such devalued fruits can still be processed into pies and other edibles that are not as profitable.
The color of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug keeps them effectively camouflaged among branches and dead leaves. The brown body is covered in small black freckles. Both the nymphs and adults feed off of tree leaves or hanging fruit. The nymph (juvenile) looks nothing like the adult. It is round like a ladybug, and red and black. Three thick black dashes cross its red abdomen.
Members of the Stink Bug family are capable of emitting a foul-smelling odor that the insect produces when threatened, disturbed, or touched. This smelly chemical is produced by specialized stink glands in both the male and female. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug may find its way into buildings or homes in the winter, seeking warmer temperatures that allow it to hibernate, instead of freeze. It can and does emit this odorous secretion inside, making it a nuisance in the home and in the field.