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Are There Different Species of Stink Bugs?

Picture of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Types of Stink Bugs

There are many species of stink bugs, with more than 200 species in North America alone. Stink bugs are classified in the order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae and are commonly known as shield bugs.

Life Cycle

Most stink bug species develop by undergoing incomplete metamorphosis (eggs, nymphs, and adults). The pests undergo five nymphal stages, and become more and more similar to adults as they mature. Adult stink bugs normally live 6 – 8 months.


Stink Bugs are generally shield-shaped and have five segmented antennae from which the family name Pentatomidae originates. Their heads are relatively small when compared to many other insects, and they have two pairs of wings.

Both nymph and adult stink bugs have beak-shaped piercing/sucking mouthparts they use to extract juices from food sources.

Common Name

These insects get their common name from the malodorous smell of the chemical they release in defense of a perceived threat.

Stink Bug Groups

Most stink bugs are herbivorous, which means they feed on a variety of plants, fruit, and agricultural crops. The most commonly encountered herbivorous stink bugs found in and around homes is the brown marmorated stink bug.

Some stink bugs are predatory because they feed on other insects. Examples of predatory stink bugs include:

  • Anchor bugs

  • Two-spotted stink bugs

  • Arboreal stink bugs

  • Spined soldier bugs


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