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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Pentatomidae

Pentatomidae is a family of insects that includes some of the stink bugs and shield bugs.

If disturbed, stink bugs will emit a pungent, bad-smelling liquid, whose rancid almond smell is due to cyanide compounds. Their antennae are 5-segmented, which gives the family its name. Their bodies are usually shield-shaped.

Many stink bugs and shield bugs are considered agricultural pest insects, because they can create large populations; they suck plant juices and damage crop production, and they are resistant to many pesticides. On the other hand, some genera of Pentatomidae are considered highly beneficial, such as the anchor bug. This bug can be distinguished by the red-orange anchor shape on the adult. It is a predator on other insects, especially Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, and other pest insects.

Pentatomidae