Subject: A True Bug I’ve Never Seen Before
Location: Portland, Oregon
September 20, 2016 6:18 pm
It’s been too many years since I took my college entomology class; are you able to identify unusual-looking bug? It was at rest on a hibiscus shrub and fairly relaxed about having its photo taken. The temperature was 64° and the skies partly cloudy. The location was the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.
Signature: David Hopkins
This is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Nymph, Halyomorpha halys, a non-native species that was reported in North America “First collected in 1998 in Allentown, PA, but probably arrived several years earlier” according to BugGuide. In less than 20 years, it has spread across North America and BugGuide reports: “Native to E. Asia, adventive elsewhere” and “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.” According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: “Across North America, brown marmorated stink bug has been found in 42 states and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec). It is causing severe agriculture problems in nine states and nuisance problems in 16 others.” One of the reasons the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is considered a nuisance is that they frequently enter homes to hibernate when the weather begins to cool. Needless to say, we have no problem tagging the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug as an Invasive Exotic species. You can compare your individual to this BugGuide image.
Thanks for your very prompt identification! I was familiar with the adult form, but this was the first time I saw the nymph form. You probably get questions about this all the time. In just the last few years it’s become so ubiquitous, that I see it more than any other hemipteran. Last winter, many tens of them congregated at the bathroom skylight for several weeks and removing them with the vacuum cleaner resulted in a vile stench — they lived up to their name!
Thanks again, Daniel.