Spined Soldier Bug on Patrol in the Robbins Farm Garden!

On Saturday morning, July 14th, I discovered this 1/4-inch long, light-orange colored bug on the basil.  It proved difficult to photograph, since it really didn't like to stand still.  However Alan, being very patient, finally captured these two shots -- one for close-up detail, and the other with my hand for scale.


After many hours of searching the internet, I am now convinced that what I found is the nymph stage of a type of Stink Bug -- the Spined Soldier Bug, Podisus maculiventris.  While many types of Stink Bugs are exceedingly damaging to many food crops in the U.S., this particular bug is actually beneficial because it's a predator.  It kills other insects by literally sucking the life out of them!  

So, this is one of the good guys!  It's a good thing that we don't need to get rid of this bug, as stink bugs are very difficult to control, both organically and conventionally!



For more info on Spined Soldier Bugs:
1.  http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/bugs/stinkbugs/stinkbugs.htm#nymph

2.  http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2010/08/02/immature-predatory-stink-bug-eats-monarch-caterpillar/

3.  http://bugguide.net/node/view/237854

4.  http://stinkbugsguide.net/infestation.htm

5.  http://www.motherearthnews.com/blogs/blog.aspx?id=142346&LangType=1033&blogid=1502