Species, Identification and Life Cycle
In the U.S., many species of stink bugs are found and several can infest soybean fields. The green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare, is the most common, but the brown stink bugs, Euschistus spp., can also be found attacking soybean pods and seeds. Stink bugs are typically more of a problem in the southern states, and additional species are found there. This includes the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula and the redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildini. The southern green stink bug can be distinguished from the green stink bug by a more rounded spine between their hind legs. The redbanded stink bug has a distinct red band across its back.
Redbanded stink bug
Green stink bug nymphs have a flashy display of black, green, and yellow or red, and short, stubby, non-functional wing pads. The green stink bug adults are large (approximately 5/8 inch in length), light green, and shield-shaped with fully developed wings.
Green stink bug adult (green-colored) and nymphs (multi-colored) on soybean pods.
Stink bugs go through a simple metamorphosis, which includes egg, nymph, and adult stages. During warm months, female stink bugs lay eggs which are stuck in clusters to leaves and stems. After hatching, the wingless nymphs molt several times before becoming full-sized, winged adults. Large nymphs or adults are the overwintering stage. Stink bugs normally complete only one life cycle per year in the northern states, one to three in Midwest, and two to five in the South, depending on species and location.