Sunflower Stink Bug

Agonoscelis versicoloratus

an adult stink bug, Agonoscelis versicoloratus, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

An adult stink bug on flower spikes of Purple Top Verbena in Nairobi, Kenya. March 2013.

an adult stink bug, Sounth Nandi Forest, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Apparently the same stink bug species on roadside weeds in South Nandi Forest, Kenya. April 2013.

Many stink bug species are roughly the shape of a pentagonal shield in outline. This one is a bit elongated from the more common, compact shape. All stink bugs have well developed piercing-sucking mouthparts and most use these to feed inside developing seeds or buds. Many are brightly marked as a kind of warning about their noxious stink glands. This species (group?) has become abundant in sunflower cultivation, thus the common name, but it may be found on a wide variety of other plants enough to a pest in shambas.

Glands on each side of the thorax can produce foul smelling compounds which serve to defend against insect predators such as birds or lizards.

Pentatomidea -- Stink Bug Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 01 Aug. 2013,
updated 01 Jan. 2022.