All stink bugs have the distinctive shield-like shape and many release a smelly substance when they are threatened. Ohio is home to numerous stink bugs, from the common green stink bug to the predatory spined soldier bug. It has also reluctantly become home to the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, which is causing something of a stink as these pests feed on crops and can cause a lot of damage.
Southern Green Stink Bug
The southern green stink bug is a dull green and is shaped like a shield with black or very dark red eyes. This stink bug, Nezara viridula, is originally from Ethiopia but it is nowadays found in Africa, Europe, Asia and both North and South America. In North America, it is found mostly in the Southeast as well as in Arkansas and Ohio. On the sides of the abdomen are little black dots and the adult male is about a centimeter in length with the females just slightly larger. The bug's mouth is designed for piercing and sucking and it punctures fruit with its rostrum. It's much despised by gardeners because it can transmit tomato bacterial spot.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug is an uninvited invader whose numbers have been steadily climbing in Ohio since their presence was first confirmed in 2007. Officially known as Halyomorpha halys, this pest is native to China and Japan and made it's first appearance in the U.S. in Pennsylvania. Since then it has spread to neighboring states and Ohio. The bug eats the fruit and seeds of more than a hundred variety of plants and can cause considerable crop damage. It has no natural predators in Ohio or any of the other states, and it outnumbers native stink bugs. The brown marmorated stinkbug lays faint green eggs on leaves and once these hatch they go through five nymph stages before becoming adults that are a mottled brown in color.
Green Stink Bug
Not to be confused with the southern green stink bug, the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare, are also common in Ohio. They are about 3/4 of an inch long and are bright green in color. Like other stink bugs, they become active at the beginning of spring and are commonly found on fruit trees. The green stink bug has only one generation of offspring per year and is more commonly found in the middle of June.
Spined Soldier Bug
Ohio is also home to the spined soldier bug, which is a predatory stink bug that goes by the name of Podisus maculiventris. The adult ranges in color from pale brown to yellow with a noticeable spine on the middle of its front legs. Its eggs are laid on leaves in batches of 20 to 30 and are a metallic bronze in color. Females are prolific egg layers, producing up to a thousand eggs. While the newly hatched nymphs sometimes feed on the juices of plants, they are predatory in their later stages and adults only live for up to two months.
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