Pentatastic!

As I have been subject to rainy weather and illness over the last few weeks, I haven’t had much of a chance to go outside and catch photo subjects. This gave me time to look back over some photos from this year, and a couple that I didn’t think much of back when I shot them piqued my interest. Both are stink bugs (family Pentatomidae), and they were both found here in Louisiana.

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A tough stink bug, Brochymena sp.

 

This first one is a “rough” stink bug, a member of the genus Brochymena. This genus, characterized by the spiny teeth on their “shoulders” (pronotum), is colored and textured to match the surface of lichen-bearing trees. This didn’t do it much good on the brick wall that I found it on back in August, but it’s rough to keep up in the Anthropocene.

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A typical pentatomid, I believe it to be Banasa sp.

This second one is a bit tougher, but I think it is a member of the genus Banasa. This guy much more resembles the archetypal pentamoid: green, shield-shaped, smooth and with a stubby head. This one was brought back to me as by-catch in October from a colleague who was studying avian malaria up in Kisatchie national forest. I love how I receive presents like this from friends and coworkers, it’s like I have extra eyes and ears out their looking for chitinous goodies.

The pentatomids are known for their ventral stink glands, which produce a noxious secretion, hence the name “stink bug.” Although I have seen and handled plenty of them over the years I have never smelled their characteristic odor (at least I don’t think I have).

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