Conchuela Stink Bug: Quick Guide for Curious Minds

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The Conchuela Stink Bug is a common agricultural pest known for its distinctive appearance and the unpleasant odor it emits when threatened. These bugs can cause damage to a variety of crops, making them a concern for many farmers and gardeners.

Adult Conchuela Stink Bugs are relatively large, averaging up to 15mm (0.6 inches) long, and display a unique color pattern. They usually have a dark green to black body with a prominent red border around the edges and a red spot near the tip of their abdomen [1]. The color varies depending on their geographical location – they tend to be greener in the north and blacker in the south. Conchuela nymphs are similar in color, but with a more rounded shape.

Strong fliers by nature, these stink bugs can easily migrate between different fields, feeding on various crops and common weeds. Recognizing their appearance and understanding their behavior can help in effectively managing and controlling their population, minimizing damage to agricultural production.

Conchuela Stink Bug: An Overview

Taxonomy and Identification

The Conchuela stink bug is an insect belonging to the family Pentatomidae and order Hemiptera. They are relatively large, with adults averaging up to 15 mm (0.6 inches) long.

Key features of these stink bugs include:

  • Dark green to black color
  • Distinctive red border
  • Red spot near the tip of their abdomen
  • Green color in the north, black color in the south
  • Nymphs are similarly colored but more rounded

Geographical Range

Conchuela stink bugs have a wide distribution but are predominantly found in the arid/semi-arid regions of the western United States and Mexico. They are common in areas like New Mexico, far West Texas, and parts of Mexico.

Characteristics of their range include:

  • Frequenting a variety of crops and common weeds
  • Occurrence in all stink bug species listed in Utah and found on hemp
Conchuela Stink Bug Other Stink Bugs
Order Hemiptera Hemiptera
Family Pentatomidae Pentatomidae
Size Up to 15 mm (0.6 inches) Varies
Color Dark green to black Varies
Geographical Range Western US and Mexico Global (species dependent)

Biology and Life Cycle

Eggs

Conchuela stink bugs lay their eggs in clusters on plants. The eggs are barrel-shaped and have a light color, usually yellow or cream. During the season, you can find egg clusters on various crops and weeds.

Nymphs

Nymphs are the immature stage of conchuela stink bugs. They have a striking appearance, with similarities to the adults in color. Here are some features of nymphs:

  • Rounded shape
  • Green in the north, black in the south
  • Found on plants starting midsummer through harvest

Nymphs go through several instars before becoming adults. They feed on plants and can cause damage to crops at high population levels.

Adults

Adult conchuela stink bugs have some distinctive characteristics:

  • Averaging up to 15 mm (0.6 inches) long
  • Dark green to black color, with red borders
  • Red spot near the tip of their abdomen

Adults are found in a variety of crops and weeds, and their color may vary from dark brown to green. They can cause damage to crops if their population is high enough. Two main species of conchuela stink bugs are Chlorochroa ligata and C. sayi.

Here’s a comparison between the two species:

Species Length (mm) Color Distribution
C. ligata 13-19 Brown to green Wider range of habitats
C. sayi 13-19 Consistently green More limited distribution

Overall, understanding the biology and life cycle of conchuela stink bugs can help in managing their populations and minimizing damage to crops.

Feeding Habits and Host Plants

Diet

The Conchuela Stink Bug is a voracious feeder with piercing-sucking mouthparts, enabling it to feed on various plants1. They are known to cause damage to fruits, berries, vegetables, and other host plants by piercing them and sucking out their contents1.

Common Host Plants

Conchuela Stink Bugs can be found on a wide variety of host plants, including:

  • Leguminous plants like peas and alfalfa2
  • Fruiting plants such as grapes, tomatoes, elderberry, and prickly pear1
  • Trees and shrubs like mesquite, yucca, agarita, and balsam-gourd1
  • Crops like cotton, corn, sorghum, and mustard1
Host Plant What Conchuela Stink Bugs Feed On
Grapes Fruit and berries
Tomatoes Fruit and vegetables
Alfalfa Leguminous plants
Cotton Seeds within bolls

Some key points about their feeding:

  • Conchuela Stink Bugs prefer leguminous plants, with alfalfa being a particularly important early-season host2.
  • They may cause substantial economic losses through reduced crop yields and damaged fiber in cotton plants1.
  • Fruit, vegetables, and other host plants can suffer from discoloration and deformation after a Conchuela Stink Bug feeds on them1.

Overall, the Conchuela Stink Bug is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, thriving on a diverse range of host plants.

Impact on Agriculture and Gardens

Types of Damage

The Conchuela Stink Bug, a seed feeder, causes damage primarily through its piercing-sucking mouthparts. They create injuries by piercing small to medium-sized cotton bolls and feed on the developing seeds1. Some examples of damages include:

  • Yield reductions
  • Loss of fiber quality

Affected Crops

Conchuela Stink Bugs have a wide range of host crops they may infest, including:

  • Cotton1
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Fruits and vegetables

Additionally, they may also infest gardens and yards around homes1, impacting ornamental plants and trees.

Managing Infestations

Controlling Conchuela Stink Bug infestations can involve multiple methods:

  • Insecticides: Apply targeted treatments to affected areas1.

  • Traps: Utilize commercial or homemade traps to monitor population levels.

  • Cultural practices: Implement strategies like crop rotation or planting resistant varieties.

Pros and Cons of methods:

Method Pros Cons
Insecticides Fast acting, targets both adult and nymph bugs Potential harm to beneficial insects, environment
Traps Non-toxic, easy to use May not provide complete control; monitoring required
Cultural practices Sustainable, cost-effective Requires long-term planning, may not guarantee eradication

Physical Features and Characteristics

Shape and Coloration

  • Conchuela stink bugs (Chlorochroa ligata) are large bugs, averaging up to 15 mm long.
  • Their color variations include dark green to black, often showing a regional pattern with green in the north and black in the south.
  • The nymphs have similar colors but are more rounded in appearance.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • A red border and red spot near the tip of their abdomen are distinctive features of adult conchuela stink bugs.
  • They can be differentiated from Say’s stink bug (C. sayi), which is consistently green, and their relative Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, which has abdominal edges and antennal segments with alternating broad light and dark bands.
Feature Conchuela Stink Bug Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Say’s Stink Bug
Size Up to 15 mm 14-17 mm 13-19 mm
Color Dark green to black Brown mottling Consistent green
Markings Red border & spot Light & dark bands None specific

These characteristics help identify and distinguish conchuela stink bugs from similar species.

Natural Predators and Defense Mechanisms

Predators in Nature

Several predators help control Conchuela Stink Bug populations in nature. Examples include:

  • Predatory stink bugs, known as gardeners’ friends
  • Parasitic wasps that target eggs and nymphs
  • Birds and spiders occasionally prey on the bugs

These natural predators play a role in controlling the stink bug population by feeding on their eggs, nymphs, or adults.

Defensive Strategies

Conchuela Stink Bugs have developed unique defense mechanisms to deter predators:

  1. Sting: Though they don’t have a traditional sting, their piercing mouthparts can cause mild irritation upon contact.
  2. Vents: Stink Bugs release a foul-smelling odor from their abdominal glands as a defense mechanism.

These strategies help the bugs deter predators and protect themselves from harm.

Comparison of Predatory and Conchuela Stink Bugs:

Feature Predatory Stink Bugs Conchuela Stink Bugs
Diet Insect pests Plants and crops
Beak shape Shorter, stouter Longer
Odor Generally odorless Foul-smelling
Benefit/damage to crops Beneficial Harmful

To sum it up, Conchuela Stink Bugs have a unique set of predators and defense mechanisms in their natural environment. Their defenses include releasing a strong odor and the potential to cause mild irritation with their mouthparts. While predatory stink bugs are beneficial to gardens, Conchuela Stink Bugs can cause damage and are a pest to crops.

Additional Resources and Information

Expert Entomologists

If you are seeking expert advice or further information on Conchuela Stink Bugs, consider reaching out to the entomologists at universities and institutions with strong expertise in the field. For instance, Texas A&M University and Colorado State University both provide reputable resources for understanding and identifying these insects.

Online Guides and Identification Tools

Several online guides and identification tools can help you learn more about Conchuela Stink Bugs and their behavior. One useful resource is the BugGuide website, where you can browse a clickable guide specifically focused on the Order Hemiptera, which includes stink bugs.

Comparison Table
Resource Pros Cons
Texas A&M University In-depth information about the bug Limited to Texas region
Colorado State University Focuses on types of stink bugs Limited to Colorado region
BugGuide Expansive content on various insects Not focused solely on Conchuela Stink Bug

Key Features of Conchuela Stink Bug:

  • Adults average up to 15 mm long
  • Dark green to black with a red border
  • Red spot near the tip of their abdomen
  • Nymphs are similarly colored but more rounded

Overall, whether you are an enthusiast or encountering these insects for the first time, these resources will help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Conchuela Stink Bug.

Footnotes

  1. https://extensionentomology.tamu.edu/insects/conchuela-stink-bug/ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

  2. https://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/hempinsects/PDFs/Conchuela%20and%20Says%20Stink%20Bug.pdf 2

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Conchuela Bug Nymph

 

Subject: Beetle Identification
Location: Port Angeles, WA
September 24, 2012 4:10 pm
I found this beetle crawling around on a Himalayan Blackberry bush and I have never seen one like it before. The size of the beetle is close to 0.5 cm long. This photo was taken on September 24, 2012 in northwestern Washington. Any help identifying it would be great! Thanks.
Signature: EZO Photography

Conchuela Bug Nymph

Dear EZO Photography,
This is not a beetle.  It is a Stink Bug nymph.  We did not recognize the species, so we did a bit of searching on BugGuide and identified it as an immature Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  BugGuide has some great information, including:  “As with most stink bugs, conchuela is primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants over other hosts. Once mesquite beans dry conchuela move to other more succulent plants including corn, sorghum, and cotton.”

Letter 2 – Chonchuela Bug

 

Subject: Conchuela Bug on Horse Nettle?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 10:18 pm
This may be a stink bug family member, Conchuela Bug, or Chlorochroa ligata, on a Horse Nettle, which is a member of the nightshade family. This is a particularly unloved wild plant, since it’s toxic to livestock (and humans), and has piercing thorns as well. Apparently it isn’t toxic to all insects, however. Today was warm and mostly sunny, 80 degrees. Thank you for your help! Here’s a Bug Guide reference: http://bugguide.net/node/view/22454
Signature: Ellen

Chonchuela Bug
Chonchuela Bug

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for doing all the work for us on this ID.  We agree with you that this appears to be a Chonchuela Bug, one of the Stink Bugs.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia)(3), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants).”

Conchuela Bug
Conchuela Bug

Letter 3 – Conchuela Bug

 

Subject:  Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Date: 07/05/2019
Time: 11:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to know what this green beetle in my garden is. Saw it July 4, 2019. Is it a fig beetle? I do have fig trees a few feet away.
How you want your letter signed:  Kim Goldberg

Conchuela Bug

Dear Kim,
This is not a Figeater, nor is it any other Beetle.  It is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and based on BugGuide images, we believe it is a Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants). “

Letter 4 – Conchuela Bug Nymph

 

I’ve been invaded
Hello, I live in Yucca Valley Ca and over the past week or so these bugs are all over my house. They are everywere. What are they? I haven’t found any information on them. They aren’t on my plants per sey… They are on everything. Any Ideas? Great Websight hope you can help.
Jaymee Elder

Hi Jaymee,
This is an immature Stink Bug, and immature specimens are often much more difficult to positively identify than the winged adults. We did find a close match on BugGuide from Corpus Christi, Texas, but it is not identified to the species level either. We will continue to research this, especially as the numbers are so plentiful. More searching has led us to believe this is a Conchuela Bug, Chlorochroa ligata, which is pictured on BugGuide as an adult. On the Death Valley.net site the adult is described as: “The conchuela is a large black stink bug with a reddish marginal border and a reddish spot in the middle of the back.” If you get a photo of a winged adult, please send it our way. You might also want to try taking it to the nature center in Joshua Tree National Park to see if a ranger has any ideas. Nice French Tips.

Letter 5 – Conchuela Bug nymph

 

Subject:  bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  northern Nevada
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 01:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These came in a couple of days ago and now they’re everywhere.
How you want your letter signed:  Harold

Immature Conchuela Bug

Dear Harold,
This is an immature Stink Bug called the Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants). many observed, including likely eggs and nymphs, on allthorn (Koeberlinia spinosa).”

Letter 6 – Conchuela Bug Nymphs

 

Subject: Help!
Location: Mill Bay, BC, raised bed in my backyard, against a fence
October 1, 2012 4:08 pm
Hello Bugman! I’ve just ventured out to my raspberry bushes and I’m seeing quite a few of this bug…haven’t seen it before and I’m wondering if you know what it is. The bugs appear to be on the leaves but some of the berries have holes bitten through them (there are earwigs out and about too so they may be doing that). I live in Mill Bay BC, Canada. We are on Vancouver Island. We’ve had a very warm September and I have a ton of raspberries right now.
Signature: whatever!

Conchuela Bug Nymphs

Dear whatever!,
These are Conchuela Bug nymphs,
Chlorochroa ligata, a species of Stink Bug.  They have mouths designed for piercing and sucking, and they are not responsible for chewing holes in the raspberries.  The earwigs might be chewing the berries.

Letter 7 – Immature Conchuela Bug

 

Subject:  Whats this Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Oregon (Medford)
Date: 07/30/2021
Time: 01:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These Beetle’s have traveled to the SE, SW sides of our building. They are staying around the door jams and brick stem wall.Black with a thin orange line around their body. I search beetles of So Oregon and these were not listed. Thank you for your help, Darrell
How you want your letter signed:  Darrell

Conchuela Stink Bug

Dear Darrell,
You had difficulty with your identification because this is not a Beetle.  This is an immature Conchuela Stink Bug.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Conchuela Bug Nymph

 

Subject: Beetle Identification
Location: Port Angeles, WA
September 24, 2012 4:10 pm
I found this beetle crawling around on a Himalayan Blackberry bush and I have never seen one like it before. The size of the beetle is close to 0.5 cm long. This photo was taken on September 24, 2012 in northwestern Washington. Any help identifying it would be great! Thanks.
Signature: EZO Photography

Conchuela Bug Nymph

Dear EZO Photography,
This is not a beetle.  It is a Stink Bug nymph.  We did not recognize the species, so we did a bit of searching on BugGuide and identified it as an immature Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  BugGuide has some great information, including:  “As with most stink bugs, conchuela is primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants over other hosts. Once mesquite beans dry conchuela move to other more succulent plants including corn, sorghum, and cotton.”

Letter 2 – Chonchuela Bug

 

Subject: Conchuela Bug on Horse Nettle?
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
April 28, 2013 10:18 pm
This may be a stink bug family member, Conchuela Bug, or Chlorochroa ligata, on a Horse Nettle, which is a member of the nightshade family. This is a particularly unloved wild plant, since it’s toxic to livestock (and humans), and has piercing thorns as well. Apparently it isn’t toxic to all insects, however. Today was warm and mostly sunny, 80 degrees. Thank you for your help! Here’s a Bug Guide reference: http://bugguide.net/node/view/22454
Signature: Ellen

Chonchuela Bug
Chonchuela Bug

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for doing all the work for us on this ID.  We agree with you that this appears to be a Chonchuela Bug, one of the Stink Bugs.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia)(3), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants).”

Conchuela Bug
Conchuela Bug

Letter 3 – Conchuela Bug

 

Subject:  Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Date: 07/05/2019
Time: 11:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to know what this green beetle in my garden is. Saw it July 4, 2019. Is it a fig beetle? I do have fig trees a few feet away.
How you want your letter signed:  Kim Goldberg

Conchuela Bug

Dear Kim,
This is not a Figeater, nor is it any other Beetle.  It is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and based on BugGuide images, we believe it is a Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants). “

Letter 4 – Conchuela Bug Nymph

 

I’ve been invaded
Hello, I live in Yucca Valley Ca and over the past week or so these bugs are all over my house. They are everywere. What are they? I haven’t found any information on them. They aren’t on my plants per sey… They are on everything. Any Ideas? Great Websight hope you can help.
Jaymee Elder

Hi Jaymee,
This is an immature Stink Bug, and immature specimens are often much more difficult to positively identify than the winged adults. We did find a close match on BugGuide from Corpus Christi, Texas, but it is not identified to the species level either. We will continue to research this, especially as the numbers are so plentiful. More searching has led us to believe this is a Conchuela Bug, Chlorochroa ligata, which is pictured on BugGuide as an adult. On the Death Valley.net site the adult is described as: “The conchuela is a large black stink bug with a reddish marginal border and a reddish spot in the middle of the back.” If you get a photo of a winged adult, please send it our way. You might also want to try taking it to the nature center in Joshua Tree National Park to see if a ranger has any ideas. Nice French Tips.

Letter 5 – Conchuela Bug nymph

 

Subject:  bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  northern Nevada
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 01:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These came in a couple of days ago and now they’re everywhere.
How you want your letter signed:  Harold

Immature Conchuela Bug

Dear Harold,
This is an immature Stink Bug called the Conchuela Bug,
Chlorochroa ligata.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “prefers fleshy fruits of various plants, especially agarita, balsam-gourd and mesquite; also on sage, yucca, mustards, prickly pear (Opuntia), and various crops (cotton, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, grapes, peas, tomatoes, etc.); primarily a seed feeder preferring leguminous plants (once mesquite beans dry, the bugs move to more succulent plants). many observed, including likely eggs and nymphs, on allthorn (Koeberlinia spinosa).”

Letter 6 – Conchuela Bug Nymphs

 

Subject: Help!
Location: Mill Bay, BC, raised bed in my backyard, against a fence
October 1, 2012 4:08 pm
Hello Bugman! I’ve just ventured out to my raspberry bushes and I’m seeing quite a few of this bug…haven’t seen it before and I’m wondering if you know what it is. The bugs appear to be on the leaves but some of the berries have holes bitten through them (there are earwigs out and about too so they may be doing that). I live in Mill Bay BC, Canada. We are on Vancouver Island. We’ve had a very warm September and I have a ton of raspberries right now.
Signature: whatever!

Conchuela Bug Nymphs

Dear whatever!,
These are Conchuela Bug nymphs,
Chlorochroa ligata, a species of Stink Bug.  They have mouths designed for piercing and sucking, and they are not responsible for chewing holes in the raspberries.  The earwigs might be chewing the berries.

Letter 7 – Immature Conchuela Bug

 

Subject:  Whats this Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Oregon (Medford)
Date: 07/30/2021
Time: 01:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These Beetle’s have traveled to the SE, SW sides of our building. They are staying around the door jams and brick stem wall.Black with a thin orange line around their body. I search beetles of So Oregon and these were not listed. Thank you for your help, Darrell
How you want your letter signed:  Darrell

Conchuela Stink Bug

Dear Darrell,
You had difficulty with your identification because this is not a Beetle.  This is an immature Conchuela Stink Bug.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Stink Bugs

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello! I work for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. I am helping to update a field guide to stink bugs. The current version is at https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/444/444-356/444-356_pdf.pdf. We would like to use your photo. We all work for non-profit universities, and our goal is to educate people about insects. May we have permission to use the photo? If so, please send me the photographer’s name (so credit can be given) and a high resolution version.

    Reply
    • Dear Lydia,
      Normally, we would just allow requests like yours for non-profit use of images on our site, however, in this case, the signature is EZO photography, and a quick web search revealed a Facebook page for EZO Photography. We would request that you ask permission directly from the photographer. We don’t normally maintain records to contact folks who write to us. We would have no problem granting the permission indirectly, but again, we feel that asking the actual copyright holder is prudent in this situation. In the event that you cannot make contact, we would be happy to forward the larger resolution file for your use.

      Reply

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