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Squash Bug (Anasa tristis)

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

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Smelly little Squash Bugs can ruin fruit and vegetable plants and their ability to survive winters make them a chronic pest.

Updated: 01/08/2024; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Squash bugs are similar in appearance to Stink bugs. Both emit an odor when crushed, but squash bugs tend to feed on melons and squash while stink bugs feed on legumes like beans and peas. Squash Bugs suck on the juices of plant stems, leaves, and fruits, leaving gaping wounds that eventually destroy the part of the plant they are feeding from.

This hardy insect can survive the winter by hiding in beds of dead leaves and other debris. If they cannot find adequate shelter, they will die in the frost. Clearing yards of leaf litter and debris can help in preventing a backyard infestation from returning the next summer.

Females lay hoards of eggs under leaves of plants they drink from. The brown metallic eggs hatch and the young, green, powdery nymphs have pinkish-red legs. They feed on the leaves of the plant, causing them to dry out. Weather permitting, one or two generations can be produced every year.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Garden pest insect icon
Pest insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Coreidae
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          Genus: Anasa
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            Species: tristis

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Anasa tristis
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 17mm (0.59" to 0.66")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray; black; brown; orange; yellow
Descriptors: flying; bands; stripes; garden pest

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 17mm (0.7in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 16mm
Hi: 17mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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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 Squash 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 Squash Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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