Folks, I’d like to introduce Mr. Red and Black Two-Spotted Stink Bug or Perillus bioculatus for short. Peri here is a native North America soldier bug, and is a part of the Pentatomidae family with all the other stink bugs.
There are generally 2-3 generations of these guys a season, with the last generation hibernating over winter. Females can lay up to 100 eggs usually grouped in 10-15 on branches.
I won’t make you wait any longer for the obvious answer to the question floating in your head. YES! They do smell if you step on them or threaten them. So, basically, when he gets scared, he farts. I feel his pain….
Peri’s favorite food is the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). He doesn’t care how this beetle is being served up, sweet young larvae or adult.. . He eats them all. Don’t get me wrong. Peri won’t let a meal pass him by. No. He’s not a fussy eater and will plunge his sharp beak into any nearby meal, excrete some digestive fluid, and enjoy a bug juice cocktail.
The shape of the shield makes me think of cops out walking their beats. And these guys do serve and protect… POTATOES! These guys have been mass released near potato crops to help eradicate the potato bugs.
So, if you’re a fan of the spud, don’t give this guy too much flack about dropping SBD’s. He’s your ‘potato savior’!
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl