Mating stink bugs

2007 June 4

We found these two stink bugs on the lilac bush in the front yard. They were very focused on the task, and stayed coupled the whole time they were being handled and photographed.


I tried to get a side view, but they were big enough that it was hard to get them completely in focus with the macro lens.


The female (the one on the right) pretty much took the lead as they moved around, dragging the male wherever she intended to go. He certainly didn’t seem to slow her down much.

If the Bug Guide pictures are to be believed, these two look like either Podisus brevispinus (not too likely), which is actually a predatory species, or brown stink bugs (genus Euschistus)(much more likely). I’m very surprised to find that there *are* any predatory species of stink bugs, and even more surprised that they are practically indistinguishable from non-predatory stinkbugs in a different genus. I thought that they all fed entirely on plant juices. If these are the predatory species, that certainly explains why they were hanging out on the lilac blossoms – flowers are great places to nab other insects when they come by for some nectar. And, of course, if they are one of the much more numerous non-predatory species, they were hanging out there because the bush itself is a good meal.

They were still coupled after I released them, so I expect that we didn’t actually interfere with anything.

3 Responses
  1. January 30, 2009


  2. October 16, 2009

    We went camping with my brother and his girlfriend last weekend and we saw a couple of these bugs attached to each other on one of our camp chairs. My brother talked about how they were love bugs and we all got a laugh out of finding them on our chair and of course of few jokes were said about them. unknowingly, my brother packed the chairs in his car and with it came the stink bugs. It just so happened that a few days later he went into a local jewelry store to look at rings for his girlfriend who he plans to ask to marry. He said he smelled something really strange upon entering the store. The sales lady behind the counter was very friendly until according to him suddenly did a 360 and said that she did not want any of his business and to just leave, just please leave and take his business else where. He left the store wondering why this lady acted so weird and went to a local mexican resturant for lunch. He then felt something on the back of his neck and reached back to brush of the same stink bug that we had seen on the camp chair earlier this week. The reaction to the people in the resturant was comical as the other customers stated I bet you will get a free lunch today! The waitress picked up the bug and took it outside. Which leaves us to wonder. If you were in a store and saw someone come in with a bug on the top of their head would you tell them it was there? Poor jewelry store owner lost a sale worth over one thousand dollars because she did not mention a little stink bug that had caught a ride!

  3. dman permalink
    March 26, 2011

    kill the stinks bugs if you see them they are infested in my house and other places. Careful they stink when you kill them. The cold weather kills them quick when you through them outside.

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