Geographic location of the bug: Duxbury, Massachusetts
Time: 12:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello Mr. Bugman,
My friends and I have enjoyed our chemistry class while watching our friend Gerald, a dead bug, who passed away a week ago. I am truly hurt that he was killed, but he brings us good luck to every class. He was very near and dear to my heart, and I would love to know what bug he is. R.I.P. Gerald <3
How you want your letter signed: Thanks!
We are sorry for the loss of your good luck mascot, but alas, Gerald is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, an invasive, exotic species that was first reported from Pennsylvania at the end of the 20th Century and has now spread across much of the North American continent. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs frequently enter homes to hibernate. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs pose a significant threat to agriculture, and according to BugGuide: “Highly polyphagous, reported on ~300 plant spp. in its native range; feeds mostly on fruit, but also on leaves, stems, petioles, flowers, and seeds. Damage typically confined to fruiting structures” and “in the US, reported to damage apples, pears, peaches, cherries, corn, tomatoes, peppers, soybean, ornamentals…”