|Male Acanthosoma labiduroides|
The Pentatomoidea are a superfamily of insects in the Heteroptera suborder of the Hemiptera order. They are commonly referred to as shield bugs, chust bugs, and stink bugs. As Hemiptera, they share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts.
The Pentatomoidea are characterized by a well-developed scutellum (the hardened extension of the thorax over the abdomen). It can be triangular to semielliptical in shape. Pentatomoidea species usually have antennae with five segments. The tarsi usually have two or three segments.
Shield bugs have glands in their thoraces between the first and second pair of legs that produce a foul-smelling liquid, which is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled. The nymphs, similar to adults except smaller and without wings, also have stink glands.
The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts, which most use to suck sap from plants, although some eat other insects. When they group in large numbers, they can become significant pests.
Species that resemble pentatomoids are found in the superfamily Coreoidea.
These families are classified under Pentatomoidea:
- Acanthosomatidae Signoret, 1863 – known as shield bugs, contains 46 genera and 184 species found worldwide
- Canopidae McAtee & Malloch, 1928 – found strictly in the Neotropical ecozone
- Corimelaenidae Uhler, 1872 – includes the former family, subfamily Thyreocorinae Amyot & Serville, 1843 – known as ebony bugs, they are small, oval, shiny black bugs.
- Cydnidae Billberg, 1820 – known as burrowing bugs, it contains 120 genera and about 765 species worldwide.
- Dinidoridae Stål, 1867 – found in tropical Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America, composed of 16 genera and about 65 species
- Lestoniidae China, 1955 – small, round bugs that bear a resemblance to tortoise beetles (Chrysomelidae), composed only of one genus and two species, endemic to Australia
- Megarididae McAtee & Malloch, 1928 – contains only one genus (Megaris) and 16 species, small, globular bugs occurring in Central America
- Parastrachiidae Oshanin, 1922 – bright red and black bugs exhibiting maternal care of eggs, it contains only two genera: Dismegistus (Africa) and Parastrachia (Eastern Asia).
- Pentatomidae Leach, 1815 – known as stink bugs, it is the largest family in Pentatomoidea. It contains around 900 genera and over 4700 species.
- Phloeidae – large mottled brown and flattened bugs found strictly in the Neotropical ecozone. It is composed on only 2 genera and 3 species. They are known to exhibit strong maternal care.
- Plataspidae – found in Asia, particularly eastern Asia, although a few species of Coptosoma occur in the Palearctic. They are round plant-feeding bugs. It has about 59 genera and 560 species.
- †Primipentatomidae – family with about four Early Cretaceous fossil species from China.
- Scutelleridae – known as jewel bugs or shield-backed bugs. Composed of 81 genera and about 450 species.
- Tessaratomidae – known as giant shield bugs because they are usually relatively large. Has about 55 genera and 240 species worldwide (mainly in the Old World tropics).
- Thaumastellidae – small bugs usually found under rocks in tropical Africa and the Middle East. It contains only one genus and three species. There is some debate to their inclusion within Pentatomoidea.
- Urostylididae – contains about 11 genera and 170 species. They are found in Southern and Eastern Asia. (including Korea).
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- Stink Bug Fact Sheet from the National Pest Management Association