Predatory Stink Bug Detected in Western Kentucky

A nice good-looking stink bug was observed in western Kentucky on several occasions during mid-July and mid-August this year. Euthyrhynchus floridanus (Pentatomidae) (Figure 1), known as the Florida predatory stink bug, has been previously detected in Kentucky and several northern states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, etc.). This recent occurrence was the first time in nearly 5 years that I have observed this beneficial insect; my previous contact was while I was in Florida during my doctoral studies. In the current case, perhaps this is a year that this species migrated in high numbers, or perhaps my current studies using sunflowers as trap crops was a factor with this finding.

Euthyrhynchus floridanus, can be identified by its dark metallic, blue-ish body and orange or yellowish spots (Figure 1). It does not cause any damage to plants, although some immature stages of stink bugs feed on plants; neither do they harm humans.  The Florida predatory stink bug is a predator that feeds on many insects, and immature instars can attack prey in packs as a group effort. In Kentucky, this species may not be of great importance to reduce pest populations as they may not have well-established population. In one occasion, this insect was observed preying upon a plant feeding brown stink bug (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Florida Stink bug on a sunflower bud. (Photo: Raul Villanueva, UK)

Figure 2. Predatory Florida Stink bug “stabbing” a phytophagous brown stink bug.  (Photo: Raul Villanueva, UK)

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By Raul T. Villanueva, Entomology Extension Specialist


Posted in General Pests