When I was in high school, I kept a “nature journal.” In it, I wrote about the things I saw in my backyard. A woodchuck up a tree one day and detailed drawings of a cicada the next. Mostly, it had exuberant observations and questions. Well today, we answer one of my burning questions.
June 26, 2002
I found a really cool beetle on the milkweed plant. Here, I’ll try to draw and describe it:
antennae: 3 segments, long, not clubbed
head visible from above
no segments visible beyond elytra
roundish/oval shape body
antennae: come up over head and out (not to sides)
I’ll try a more detailed drawing of the colorful part:
Obviously this is not a perfect depiction of the beetle. The red’s not right. For it was moving while I was trying to draw it and I didn’t have the heart to kill it.
Very pretty though…
So today I was perusing as I sometimes do, when I stumbled upon this:
by David Guzman
Podisus 3rd instar
Hemiptera : Pentatomidae
Well, that’s pretty damn good if you ask me. And it’s a nymph! As David Guzman identified, a Pentatomidae podisus third instar. I’ve heard this term “instar” to describe different developmental stages of aquatic insects, but it never occurred to me this happened to terrestrials too. This might explain why I was so taken aback as a child when I saw this, I don’t think these instar phases typically last too long. Depending on the bug, maybe a few days even, so it would be rare to see this. It’s a Stink Bug. I guess I hadn’t mentioned that yet. Not only that, but a Predatory Stink Bug. Most stink bugs feed on plants, as I believe most Hemiptera do. Some Hemiptera, such as my favorite the Giant Water Bug, feed on other insects or animals.
I double checked on bugguide.net and for my stink bug I found was at least within:
It is either the Genus Perrilus or a Tylospilus or, as David Guzman said, a Podisus
Thanks David Guzman for the ID help! My young 17 year old self can rest. Case closed.