Saturday, December 18, 2010
The forest bug, Pentatoma rufipes, is a species of shield bug in the family Pentatomidae. It is a common and widespread species found in forests and woodlands worldwide. It is shiny dark brown with red-orange markings on its body and bright orange legs. It is shaped like an escutcheon-type shield, flat, and about 14 millimetres (0.55 in) long. Its distinguishing characteristic is a pair of plates extending forward from the shoulders at the front of its dorsal thorax.
The forest bug's main food source is any of several species of oak. It is a sap-feeder and uses piercing mouthparts to withdraw the liquid. It can also be found on other species of deciduous trees. The forest bug is also an agricultural and garden pest, as it will not hesitate to feed on fruit and nut trees. Occasionally it will consume other insects.
Adults lay eggs during the summer in the cracks of tree bark, and the larvae hatch the following spring.