Predatory Bug Nymph

2021 October 24

We found this bug nymph on July 4, 2021. As I recall, the girls caught it in a jar so they could show it to me.


It is clearly a nymph, since it hasn’t finished growing its wings. From its general body shape, it is definitely a true bug, and it is almost certainly one of the stink bugs in the family Pentatomidae

It has a very stout, robust proboscis (the piercing/sucking mouthparts) underneath the head, which from what I have seen is typical of the predatory bug species. So it is most likely one of the predatory stink bugs in the subfamily Asopinae.


That’s where the ID starts to go wonky, though, because this is a nymph. These stink bugs are well-known for radically changing color and appearance when they go from nymph to adult, and the actual ID keys concentrate on the adults, not the nymphs. So, since I didn’t keep it to raise to maturity, this is probably as far as I can go.


While I was looking for candidates (on the off chance that someone else had posted the nymph), I did find this one where the adult looks superficially similar and has the correct coloration. It is Rhacognathus americanus, and the page listing its range does include this area. The only problem is, this is apparently its former range. There are no records of it being found anywhere since 1966, and it may be extinct. So, this probably isn’t what my specimen grew up into after I let it go. Although, one never knows . . .

In any case, as a predatory bug it preys on other insects that may or may not be garden/forestry pests, so I suppose it is good to have around.

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