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Conchuela stink bug

Article author: Katelyn Kesheimer, Pat Porter, Suhas Vyavhare
Most recently reviewed by: Pat Porter & Suhas Vyavhare (2018)

Common Name(s): conchuela stink bug

Pest Location

Row Crop

Description

The Conchuela stink bug is relatively large, with adults averaging up to 15 mm (0.6 inches) long. Adults are dark green to black with a distinctive red border and a red spot near the tip of their abdomen. These stink bugs tend to be green in the north and black in the south. The nymphs are similarly colored, but more rounded in appearance and lack wings.

Origin and Distribution

Conchuela stink bugs are widely distributed in North America in the United States and Canada.

Habitat & Hosts

In Texas, Conchuela stink bugs are often found feeding on mesquite in large groups in the spring and summer. Later in the season they can be found on sorghum until the grain becomes too hard for their mouthparts, and then they will move to cotton. The stink bugs feed on cotton bolls, which can introduce pathogens and/or reduce yield. Populations are usually restricted to the margins of fields, but when populations are high they will be found throughout the field.  

Other hosts include sage, yucca, mustards and prickly pear. They can also feed on tomatoes, grapes and peas.

Photo of Conchuela stink bugs on a sorghum panicle.

Conchuela stink bugs on a sorghum panicle. Photo: Pat Porter.

A note about cotton: Stink bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts and damage cotton by piercing small to medium sized bolls and feeding on the developing seeds. Conchuela stink bugs are voracious feeders. It is common to find multiple adults or nymphs feeding on same boll. Stink bug infestations can result in substantial economic losses to growers in the form of yield reductions, loss of fiber quality, and costs associated with control.

Stink bugs prefer to feed on medium-sized bolls (approximately the diameter of a quarter), but are capable of feeding on bolls of any size. Stink bugs may feed on bolls 25 days of age and older. Hard upland cotton bolls or pima bolls in which the lint is near dry are relatively safe from yield loss. Their feeding on young bolls (fewer than 10 days of age) usually causes bolls to shed. In larger bolls, stink bug feeding often result in dark spots about 1/16-inch in diameter on the outside of bolls. These dark spots do not correlate well with the internal damage (callus growths/warts or stained lint). There may be several spots on a boll without internal feeding. Damage to the internal boll wall is a good indication that lint and seed are being affected. Excessive stink bug feeding on cotton results in reduced yield, stained lint, poor color grades, and reductions in physical fiber quality. In addition to direct damage, stink bug feeding can transmit plant pathogens that cause boll rot.

Life Cycle

Conchuela stink bugs overwinter as adults and emerge in the spring for feeding, mating, and egg laying. Females will lay eggs in clusters of about 50 eggs each, typically on the underside of leaves. They have incomplete metamorphosis with five nymphal instars, each lasting 5-7 days. There are several generations per year. 

Management

If you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.

Home gardeners will find that the synthetic pyrethroid class of insecticides is effective on this pest.

Stink bug control is cotton can be found in Managing Cotton Insects in Texas. Insecticides include synthetic pyrethroids, Acephate and Dicrotophos (2018).

Management in sorghum is discussed in Managing Insect and Mite Pests of Texas Sorghum, which is under revision as of this writing.