08.27.2020-They’re really not that bad

When folks think of stink bugs they don’t do so with enthusiasm.  But they are actually beneficial to gardeners.  Anchor Stink Bugs- Stiretrus anchorago are predatory, feeding on the larvae of many beetles and lepidoptera that are considered pests themselves. One reason to love them, or at least tolerate, is the attractive pattern of their appearance.

Another reason to like them is one of their prey species, the Japanese Beetle-Popillia japonica, which is a major pest, especially of ornamental flowers. OTOH, one big negative is that they also prey on Lepidopterans.  Many of those larvae are pesty but the one we all love, the Monarch caterpillar, is also a food source for the stink bugs and that’s unfortunate.

As you can see, they also like nectar, especially that of Boneset-Eupatorium perfoliatum, which has been seen here often as a bug and others host.

Everything in Nature has its place and role to play in balance. Only humans judge the value of that.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to 08.27.2020-They’re really not that bad

  1. krikitarts says:

    I’ve seen several varieties, but not yet this one, and it is indeed a handsome one. It looks like it was designed by a Japanese or Chinese calligrapher. And good to know that it has a special taste for Japanese beetles; I remember them from our garden in Omaha, and wish we’d had some of these to help to control them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Calligraphy is a good description. I have seen a beetle of similar appearance with that as its genus. Sadly, the best way to control Japanese Beetles involves a gut-smooshing squeeze between thumb and forefinger. IPM at its most gross.

      Liked by 1 person

      • krikitarts says:

        That’s really about as quick an end as one can imagine. In my childhood, our parents had us collect them (and rose chafers) and drop them into a water glass with a half-inch of gasoline. They’d be dead within about five seconds. Both, I think are better than poisoning.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I immediately saw a face in the first one and couldn’t stop seeing it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog says:

    I see a lot of stink bugs throughout the day, but did not realize how beneficial they are. Your stink bug is handsome – the ones around here are very plain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much of what we consider pesty is in one way or another beneficial or controlled by a beneficial. The problem grows worse when we insert ourselves into the equation. Our adult green stink bugs are nice and green but not much else. Their nymphs are more attractive. These and another we get in the yard are the lookers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. melissabluefineart says:

    So THAT’S what happened to all my caterpillars! Darn. However, I am glad to learn all of this about stinkbugs~thank you! I don’t mind stink bugs except around here we have a non-native one that gets everywhere, roosting in the house during the winter. Those we squash but I don’t squash anything but mosquitoes and Japanese bottles outside. This one is excellent looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Be careful where you step after doing away with the Japanese bottles. 🙂 I squash the Japanese beetles and swat the mosquitoes but have developed a soft spot for deerflies after photographing that one a little while ago.


      • melissabluefineart says:

        Ha! Very funny. I’ve been getting sloppy with my typing~sorry about that. I don’t know that I could ever develop a fondness for deer flies but I only kill them if they are biting me. Routinely this summer trucks have been pulling up in front of several houses in my neighborhood, intent on spraying for “pests”. It makes me cringe. I do try talking to people about it but make no headway. And lawns. Do they not notice that the dandelions just come right back?!?! Insanity.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    What a pretty little thing! Not sure if I recall seeing one of these. I see a monkey face on its back. 😉
    Great shots, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t think I have seen a stinkbug as attractively decorated or coloured as this one! Beautiful photos, Steve, of an extraordinary and benefical insect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike Powell says:

    I’ve seen a number of different stinkbugs that share a similar shield shape, Steve, but never one with such a beautiful pattern on its back. My personal favorite stink bug (everyone has a favorite stinkbug, right?) is the Twice-stabbed Stinkbug, primarily because of its rather macabre name. Here is what it looks like, in case you have never encountered one. (https://michaelqpowell.com/2012/07/23/twice-stabbed-stink-bug-captured-alive/)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres says:

    This certainly isn’t what I expected when I read ‘stink bug.’ This is beautiful. It would make a terrific metal wind-up toy. I wonder if anyone’s ever done a series of beetle and bug wind-ups? What kid wouldn’t like a set of those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw lady beetle windups when I shared a house with a grandmother who bought all sorts of those toys for her grandchild. Of course, Mary Beth and I have been together since the winter of 1983, so that was a while ago that I shared a house with anyone other. Ann below this comment mentions enameled and it does look so. One of the lovelier Heteropterans.


  9. Ann Mackay says:

    Amazing – looks like it has been enamelled!


  10. This human thinks it’s a very beautiful critter, artfully photographed. Although I wish it did not munch on Monarch caterpillars.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bluebrightly says:

    Wow, this one’s amazing, and once again the Boneset brings ’em! So cool. 🙂 The next time you see one, whisper in its ear that Monarch caterpillars are actually what keeps the sun shining. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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