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Predatory Stink Bug (Apoecilus spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Predatory Stink Bug

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Predatory-Stink-Bug-Apoecilus Thumbnail image of the Predatory-Stink-Bug-Apoecilus

Adult Predatory Stink Bugs have a classic shield shape and tend to blend into their surroundings, but round-bodied juveniles come in a variety of bright colors.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Unlike herbivorous Stink Bugs, Predatory Stink Bugs feed on other insects. They are indeed predators, and fortunately the insects they eat tend to be trouble makers in the garden. Caterpillars and beetle grubs are easy prey for a Predatory Stink Bug so they are sometimes deliberately released in an area or garden to help naturally control pest insect populations.

Adults have pointed 'shoulders' and a wide body that tapers at the tip of the abdomen. The overall shape is like that of a shield, and many are brown. A long beak is used to pierce prey and kill it. Nymphs, or juveniles, have rounder, egg-shaped bodies and lack wings. The head and thorax may be dark or speckled with color. Many have white or pale stripes on the abdomen, and thick black bars down the middle. The overall color of just the abdomen may be bright red, yellow, orange, green, white, black, or a collection of many colors. The younger Predatory Stink Bugs definitely look different from their adult form. Recognizing this insect as an adult and nymph for what it is, and what it can do, is worth the effort to prevent mistaking this good garden friend for an enemy.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Rounded insect body icon
Smelly insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Pentatomidae
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          Genus: Apoecilus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Apoecilus spp.
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 20mm (0.39" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow, red, green, white
Descriptors: smelly, odor, round, wide, stripes, speckles

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 20mm (0.8in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 15mm
Hi: 20mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Predatory Stink Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Predatory Stink Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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