What Kind of Eggs are These?

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Another bug identification quiz for you. These are the eggs of a predator which is sometimes mistaken for a pest. This species lays its eggs in a cluster.  A crown of spines around the top of each egg is a good hint. Both the nymphs and adults will attack may different kinds of prey, but they are commonly seen feeding on caterpillars.  They are often found in soybean and cotton.  The scientific name for this species is Podisus maculiventris (Order Hemiptera; Family Pentatomidae).  Still don’t know?


The spined soldier bug is a predatory stink bug.  The adults are pretty easily confused with other brown-colored stink bugs that are pests.  There are several characteristics that help separate an adult spined soldier bug from plant feeding stink bugs such as the brown stink bug, dusky brown stink bug and rice stink bug.

  1. Spined soldier bugs have relatively long spines that point outward from their shoulders … pictures 1 and 2 below.  The rice stink bug has forward pointing spines. The dusky brown stink bug also has fairly prominent and outward pointing spines, so you may need another clue.
  2. Spined soldier bugs often have a dark vertical stripe where their wing tips overlap near the end of their abdomen … pictures 1 and 2 below.
  3. The beak of plant feeding stink bugs are long and slender (like a needle); those of the spined soldier bug are shorter and broad (like a sword) … picture 3 below.  This is a great characteristic once you’ve compared a few specimens side by side.  It also works for the immature stages which vary considerably in color and size (but you may need a hand lens).



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