Black and Yellow Bug
Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 1:43 PM
These beetles or bugs were found on two different acacia species about 25km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I have been unable to find any pictures on the web which remotely resemble them.
Dr David Hewitt
25 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Dear Dr Hewitt,
We believe these are immature Stink Bugs, but we are having trouble identifying the species. Many times, immature Stink Bugs or nymphs look radically different from the adults. Hopefully one of our faithful Australian readers will be able to identify the exact species.
These bugs have similar markings to Cantao parentum nymphs, although the colour (yellow) is different from the orange of the Cantao parentum.
If you are correct, and we believe you may be correct, then these immature Parent Bugs are actually Shield Bugs in the family Scutelliridae and not Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae. They are called Parent Bugs because unlike most insects, the female guards the young nymphs for several weeks. The original letter indicates they were found on Acacia, and a website we linked to indicates: “its food plant, Mallotus claoxyloides (Smell of the Bush) .” This general color pattern is one that is common on several species of Stink Bugs in North America. Another Australian Insect Website lists these food plants: “Found on the Red Kamala (Mallotus philippensis) and other such species from the family (M. claoxyloides, M. discolor) and also Araucaria cunninghammii ” but does not mention Acacia. This may still be an unidentified Stink Bug nymph.