Monday, 19 September 2011

Stink Bug Nymph (Tessaratomid Pycanum rubens) - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We first encountered this bug when we moved into our new home. At first, I thought it was a leaf bug since the back resembles the leaf of the plant in the photograph. Turns out I was wrong as this is in fact a Stink (or shield) Bug Nymph from the Tessaratomidae family.

Tessaratomidae is a family of true bugs with over 240 species. The nymph of the Pycanum rubens bear little resemblance to the adult counterpart (a photo which I will post later). This particular nymph was a dull red, I have captured many others which are bright red, and orange. It measures approximately 15mm to 20mm. The head is triangular with very distinctive eyes. The tarsi (the final segment of the legs) have 2 segments.

If you look close enough, you will see four dots on its back; these are actually stink glands which act as a defensive mechanism. They can squirt a strong jet of caustic liquid of up to 27cm! I'll have to be more careful when I'm taking photos next time, as apparently these can cause damage to human skin and temporary blindness if squirted in the eyes.

Stink Bug Nymph (Pycanum rubens)

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