Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Little Stinker

Larval green stink bug (c) John Ashley
Larval green stink bug on a wild sunflower seed head
Stink bugs (Chlorochroa spp.) go through four larval stages, called "instars," before turning into adults. Most are herbivores, feeding on plant leaves and stems, but some species have a sweet spot for immature seeds, like the young Gaillardia seed head pictured above. The variety of stink bug colors and patterns is intriguing, but some species can become pests on commercial fruit trees and plant crops. Sometimes good looks just can't compensate for bad habits.