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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs



Scientific Name

The most common species of predatory stink bug found in Ontario is Podisus maculiventris Say (spined soldier bug)

The Pentatomidae, or stink bugs, are large (1–2 cm) oval or elliptical-shaped insects that have a well developed shield and an odouriferous gland, the secretion of which repels other predators.


  • Barrel-shaped eggs (1 mm) are laid in masses of up to 20
  • Eggs of spined soldier bug have a characteristic circle of small spines at the top end
  • Deposited on underside of leaves
  • First instar nymphs are red with dark brown to black areas
  • In later instars the abdominal segments are orange with black borders, and yellow, angular spots
  • Light, pinkish-brown when newly emerged, but later become darker brown with reddish marks on the corium (wing) and they have a pointed thoracic shield
  • They seldom fly but tend to walk around on the trunks and branches of plant hosts

Interaction With Host

Pentatomids are both phytophagous and predaceous, attacking a wide range of generally slow moving prey. Adults and nymphs use their proboscis or beak to harpoon prey and suck out their contents. They will feed on all life stages of suitable prey. Plant feeding also occurs.

Often Confused With
Plant-feeding stinkbugs – the proboscis or beak of predatory species, which are used to harpoon and hold prey, are usually shorter and thicker than plant in feedings species

Period of Activity
Adults overwinter under debris on the soil surface and become active in late April to early May. Podisus maculiventris occurs in low numbers and there are probably two generations per year.

Insects Attacked

Over 90 species of insects have been reported as suitable prey of P. maculiventris. Known prey in vineyards includes mites and the larvae of caterpillars.

Monitoring and Management

All life stages, particularly eggs, may be observed during routine monitoring activities.

Stink bug (Photo by S.A. Marshall School of Envromental Science, University of Guelph) Stink bugs attacking eight spotted foresterClick to enlarge.