Shield bug
Pentatomoidea is a superfamily
The term superfamily is used to describe several different concepts in different scientific fields:* Superfamily and Superfamily : a level of biological classification; redirects to Taxonomic rank...

 of insects in the Heteroptera
Heteroptera is a group of about 40,000 species of insects in the Hemiptera. Sometimes called "true bugs", that name more commonly refers to Hemiptera as a whole, and "typical bugs" might be used as a more unequivocal alternative since among the Hemiptera the heteropterans are most consistently and...

 suborder of the Hemiptera
Hemiptera is an order of insects most often known as the true bugs , comprising around 50,000–80,000 species of cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, shield bugs, and others...

 order and, as such, share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts
Insect mouthparts
Insects exhibit a range of mouthparts, adapted to particular modes of feeding. The earliest insects had chewing mouthparts...

. They are commonly referred to as shield bugs, chust bugs, and stink bugs.

There are about 7000 species under Pentatomoidea, divided under 14 to 15 families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...



Pentatomoidea are characterized by a well developed scutellum (the hardened extension of the thorax over the abdomen). It can be triangular to semi-elliptical in shape. Pentatomoidea usually have an antennae with five segments. The tarsi usually have two or three segments.

Shield bugs have glands in their thorax between the first and second pair of legs which produce a foul smelling liquid. This liquid is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled carelessly.

The nymphs
Nymph (biology)
In biology, a nymph is the immature form of some invertebrates, particularly insects, which undergoes gradual metamorphosis before reaching its adult stage. Unlike a typical larva, a nymph's overall form already resembles that of the adult. In addition, while a nymph moults it never enters a...

, similar to adults except smaller and without wings, also have stink glands.

The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts which most use to suck sap from plants, although some eat other insects. When they group in large numbers they can become significant pest
Pest (animal)
A pest is an animal which is detrimental to humans or human concerns. It is a loosely defined term, often overlapping with the related terms vermin, weeds, parasites and pathogens...


Other species that resemble pentatomoids are found in the superfamily Coreoidea
The leaf-footed bugs and allies make up the superfamily Coreoidea of the true bug infraorder Pentatomomorpha.There are 5 families presently recognized, but the Coreoidea as a whole are part of a close-knit group with the Lygaeoidea and Pyrrhocoroidea and it is likely that these three superfamilies...



The following families are classified under Pentatomoidea:
  • Acanthosomatidae
    Acanthosomatidae is a family of Hemiptera, commonly named “shield bugs,” for which Kumar in hisWorld revision recognizes 47 genera; now this number is 54 genera, with about 200 species,and is one of the least diversified families within Pentatomoidea.-Genera:...

    Signoret, 1863 – Known as shield bugs. Contains 46 genera and 184 species found worldwide.
  • Canopidae McAtee & Malloch, 1928 – Found strictly in the Neotropical ecozone.
  • Cydnidae
    Cydnidae are a family of shield bugs, known by common names including burrowing bugs or burrower bugs. In some classifications, Cydnidae includes the family Thyreocoridae , which are known commonly as negro bugs or ebony bugs, and/or the family Parastrachiidae...

    Billberg, 1820 – Known as burrowing bugs, it contains 120 genera and about 765 species worldwide.
  • Dinidoridae Stål, 1867 – Found in tropical Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    , Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

    , Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , and South America
    South America
    South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

    . It is composed of 16 genera and about 65 species.
  • Lestoniidae China, 1955 – Small round bugs which bear a resemblance to tortoise beetles (Chrysomelidae). It is composed only of one genus and two species, it is endemic to Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

  • Megarididae McAtee & Malloch, 1928 – Contains only one genus (Megaris
    This is also the ancient Greek name of a small island off Naples, site of the Castel dell'Ovo.Megaris or the Megarid was a small but populous state of ancient Greece, west of Attica and north of Corinthia, whose inhabitants were adventurous seafarers, credited with deceitful propensities...

    ) and 16 species. They are small globular bugs occurring in Central America
    Central America
    Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...
  • Parastrachiidae Oshanin, 1922 – Bright red and black bugs exhibiting maternal care of eggs, they are composed of one genus and two Asian and Estern Paearctic species.
  • Pentatomidae
    Pentatomidae, Greek pente meaning five and tomos meaning section, is a family of insects belonging to order hemiptera that includes some of the stink bugs and shield bugs. Their antennae are 5-segmented, which gives the family its scientific name. Their bodies are usually shield-shaped...

    Leach, 1815 – Known as stink bugs, it is the largest family in Pentatomoidea. It contains around 900 genera and over 4700 species.
  • Phloeidae – Large mottled brown and flattened bugs found strictly in the Neotropical ecozone.. It is composed on only 2 genera and 3 species. They are known to exhibit strong maternal care.
  • Plataspididae
    Plataspididae are a family of shield bugs native to the Eastern Hemisphere. One species, Megacopta cribraria, has recently become introduced and established in the southeastern United States, where it is a pest of soybeans....

    – Found in Asia, particularly eastern Asia, although a few species of Coptosoma occur in the Palearctic
    The Palearctic or Palaearctic is one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth's surface.Physically, the Palearctic is the largest ecozone...

    . They are round plant-feeding bugs. It has about 59 genera and 560 species.
  • Scutelleridae
    Scutelleridae is a family of true bugs. They are commonly known as jewel bugs or metallic shield bugs due to their often brilliant coloration. They are also known as shield-backed bugs due to the enlargement of the last section of their thorax into a continuous shield over the abdomen and wings...

    – Known as jewel bugs or shield-backed bugs. Composed of 81 genera and about 450 species.
  • Tessaratomidae
    Tessaratomidae is a family of true bugs. It contains about 240 species of large bugs divided into 3 subfamilies and 56 genera.Tessaratomids resemble large stink bugs and are sometimes quite colorful. Most tessaratomids are Old World, with only three species known from the Neotropics. Some members...

    – Known as giant shield bugs because they are usually relatively large. Has about 55 genera and 240 species worldwide (mainly in the Old World tropics).
  • Thaumastellidae – Small bugs usually found under rocks in tropical Africa and the Middle East. It contains only one genus and three species. There is some debate to their inclusion within Pentatomoidea.
  • Thyreocoridae
    Thyreocoridae are a family of shield bugs, known by common names including negro bugs or ebony bugs. In some classifications, they are included as a subfamily within the family Cydnidae; some authors also refer to this family under the name Corimelaenidae, a junior synonym....

    Amyot & Serville, 1843 – Known as ebony bugs, they are small oval bugs that are a shiny black.
  • Urostylididae – Contains about 11 genera and 170 species. They are found in Southern and Eastern Asia. (including Korea).


The morphological
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 unweighted tree
Phylogenetic tree
A phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree is a branching diagram or "tree" showing the inferred evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities based upon similarities and differences in their physical and/or genetic characteristics...

 of Pentatomoidea after Grazia et al. (2008).

External links

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