Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs, and related Plant Bugs of Columbia County, Oregon

Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs, and the rest of the insects on this page are all members of Pentatomomorpha, an infraorder of True Bugs (order Hemiptera). They are most closely related to Cimicomorpha, the Assassin Bugs and Capsin Bugs, and are somewhat more distantly related to Water Bugs and Water Striders.

Like all true bugs, the members of this group have piercing/sucking mouthparts. Most of these species use those mouthparts to suck plant sap, though a few are carnivorous and feed on other insects. They have a hard exoskeleton.

Note on identifications – in the “nymph” stage, many of these bugs go through several color phases quite different from those of their parents. As it would be too cumbersome to show every possible nymph stage for every species, I’ve chosen to only focus on adults. If you wish to identify a nymph you will have to look up the individual species or post to Bugguide or iNaturalist.

Stink Bugs (Pentatomidae)

Members of the family Pentatomidae are famous for the foul odor they emit when disturbed. They tend to have a shield-shaped body and a five-segment antennae. While most species suck plant juices, a few are predatory.

Green Stink Bug Chinavia hilaris columbia county northwest oregon
Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris) – To 0.75″. Green with black dots on the back edge of abdomen. Tiny pale dots at front of scutellum (the segment in the middle). Found in forest edges, orchards, and crops/gardens. (photo © Howard Bruner)
Uhler's Stink Bug Chlorochroa uhleri columbia county northwest oregon
Uhler’s Stink Bug (Chlorochroa uhleri) – To 0.65″. Green, with 3 white/cream raised marks at front of scutellum and one at the apex. The embolium (edge of wing) is narrower than in rossiana. Found in crops and fields. (photo © Robby Deans)
Pacific Stink Bug Chlorochroa rossiana columbia county oregon
Pacific Stink Bug (Chlorochroa rossiana) – To 0.6″. Green. Three white marks on scutellum small or missing altogether. Similar to Conchuela Bug and may need to examine genitalia to distinguish. Found on bushes and crops. (photo © Kurt Steinbach)
Conchuela Bug Chlorochroa ligata columbia county northwest oregon
Conchuela Bug (Chlorochroa ligata) – To 0.75″. Green in north (brown in south), lacks spots at front of scutellum and apex is yellow/orange (red in south), as is edge of abdomen. Found on crops. (photo © Don Henise)
Western Red-shouldered Stink Bug Thyanta pallidovirens columbia county northwest oregon
Western Red-shouldered Stink Bug (Thyanta pallidovirens) – 0.4″. Green with red “shoulders” and sometimes a red band across the pronotum. Lacks black spots on the lower sides of abdomen. Found on crops and orchards. (photo © Keir Morse)
Green Burgundy Stink Bug Banasa dimidiata
Green Burgundy Stink Bug (Banasa dimidiate) – To 0.4″. Front of pronotum and scutellum are green, rest of back is reddish-brown. Exoskeleton pitted throughout. Found on trees (including conifers) and bushes. (photo © Christopher)
Muddy Stink Bug Banasa sordida columbia county northwest oregon
Muddy Stink Bug (Banasa sordida) – To 0.45″. Muddy brown, grayish-brown or black, with tan or greenish scutellum. Clearly pitted throughout. Four rows of dark blotches on bottom. Found on cedar and cypress. (photo © James Bailey)
Gloomy Stink Bug Holcostethus tristis
Gloomy Stink Bug (Holcostethus tristis) – To 0.4″. Uniformly dark brown or black except for bands at back edge of abdomen. Shape is especially round. Found on holly, blackberry, and hawthorn. (photo © Rudyard)
short stink bug Holcostethus abbreviatus columbia county northwest oregon
Short Stink Bug (Holcostethus abbreviatus) – To 0.35″. A squat species, mottled grayish-brown. Short head, shoulders rounded. Light apex on scutellum. Abdomen banded at edge. Found on holly, blackberry, and hawthorn. (photo © James Bailey)
Yellow-edged Stink Bug Holcostethus limbolarius columbia county
Yellow-edged Stink Bug (Holcostethus limbolarius) -To 0.35″. Similar to Short Stink Bug but black markings on edge of abdomen do not reach edge. Found in weedy fields and gardens. (photo © Sam Kieschnick)
Wavy Brown Stink Bug (Neottiglossa undata) -To 0.25″. Slender oval shape. Gray-brown or yellowish-brown with pale line down middle and on both sides. Found on grasses and oats. (photo © corndog)
Swollen-faced Stink Bug (Neottiglossa tumidifrons) – To 0.25″. Similar to Wavy Brown Stink Bug but with darker markings and even more narrow body. Head large with concave center. Found on grasses and oats. (photo © Alex Bairstow)
Spined Soldier Bug Podisus maculiventris columbia county
Spined Soldier Bug (Podisus maculiventris) – To 0.5″. Mottled tan to brown with sharp “shoulders” of the pronotum. A long spine on the underbelly reaches between the hind legs. Eats caterpillars and beetle larvae. (photo © Chloe and Trevor)
Short-spined Soldier Bug stink bug Podisus brevispinus columbia county northwest oregon
Short-spined Soldier Bug (Podisus brevispinus) – To 0.4″. Mottled tan to brown with sharp “shoulders”. Spine on abdomen is shorter or missing completely. Feeds on caterpillars and other insects. Found on trees. (photo © Jason Michael Crockwell)
Gilded Predatory Stink Bug (Apoecilus bracteatus) – To 0.7″. Brownish-orange, may have black marking. Larger than Podisus species with thorax sloped evenly to pointed shoulders. Lacks dark streak at end of abdomen. (photo © Jean-Francois Roch)
One-spotted Stink Bug (Euschistus variolarius) – To 0.6″. Yellowish-brown to brownish-gray. Antennae dark on final two segments. Pointed “shoulders”. Apex of scutellum is light. Distinct black spot on genitalia below. Found on trees and vines. (photo © Jason Michael Crockwell)
Brown Stink Bug Euschistus servus columbia county northwest oregon
Brown Stink Bug (Euschistus servus) – To 0.6″. Tan to grayish-yellow. Antennae dark on final two segments. Shoulders only somewhat pointed. Apex of scutellum sometimes light. Found on weeds, crops, shrubs and trees. (photo © Chloe and Trevor)
Consperse Stink Bug Euschistus conspersus columbia county northwest oregon
Consperse Stink Bug (Euschistus conspersus) – To 0.5″. Tan to brownish gray. Antennae dark only on final segment. Shoulders somewhat pointed and slightly serrated in front. Flatter and broader than Brown Stink Bug. Found on trees and vines. (photo © Thomas Barbin)
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Halyomorpha halys columbia county northwest oregon
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) – To 0.7″. Mottled grayish-brown with distinct banding on abdomen’s edge. Antennae dark with light bands. Found on crops and orchards, winters on homes. Introduced from Asia. (photo © Eric Carlson)

Furrowed Rough Stink Bug (Brochymena sulcata) – To 0.6″. Grayish-brown with some cream/orange highlights. Very rough with distinct humps. Antennae lacks bands. Found on trees. (photo © David Anderson)
White-speckled Rough Stink Bug (Brochymena affinis) – To 0.8″. Flat, broad and rough body with serrated front edge. Mottled gray and white with some orange markings. Antennae lacks bands. Found on trees including conifers. (photo © Jim Johnson)
Small Stink Bug Cosmopepla intergressa columbia county northwest oregon
Small Stink Bug (Cosmopepla intergressa) – To 0.2″. Round and tiny. Speckled brown or copper, sometimes with light band at front of pronotum. Three light spots at front of scutellum. Found on berry bushes. (photo © Chloe and Trevor)
Hedge Nettle Stink Bug Cosmopepla conspicillaris columbia county northwest oregon
Hedge Nettle Stink Bug (Cosmopepla conspicillaris) – 0.2-0.3″. Black, back of pronotum is red-to-orange with two black spots. Tip of scutellum lined in cream. Found on hedge nettle and columbine. (photo © Jesse Rorabough)
Figwort Stink Bug Cosmopepla uhleri columbia county northwest oregon
Figwort Stink Bug (Cosmopepla uhleri) – 0.2″. Similar to Hedge Nettle Stink Bug but lacks cream-colored line on scutellum. Black spots less pronounced. Found on California Figwort, columbine, and thimbleberry. (photo © Don Loarie)
Twice-stabbed Stink Bug Cosmopepla lintneriana wee harlequin bug columbia county northwest oregon
Twice-stabbed Stink Bug (Cosmopepla lintneriana) – To 0.25″. Black with red or yellow line across pronotum, short line crossing it, and a pair of marks near the end of the scutellum. Found on mint, asparagus, milkweed, and many other plants. (photo © Noah Strycker)
Two-spotted Stink Bug Perillus bioculatus columbia county northwest oregon
Two-spotted Stink Bug (Perillus bioculatus) – To 0.45″. Black. Front of pronotum is red with two large black spots. Scutellum lined in red. A predatory species that eats Colorado Potato Beetles. (photo © katunchik)
Blue Shield Bug Zicrona caerulea columbia county northwest oregon
Blue Shield Bug (Zicrona caerulea) – To 0.35″. Metallic blue-green. Feeds on beetle grubs and caterpillars as well as plants. Found on low vegetation in fields and forest edges. (photo © David Renoult)

Shield Bugs (Acanthosomatidae)

Though the name “Shield Bug” is used for many related bugs, the family Acanthosomatidae takes the name as a whole because….well, they’re shaped like a shield. They also have a spine on their abdomen adjacent to the rostrum. Again, most of these species suck plant juices.

Edge-striped Shield Bug Elasmucha lateralis columbia county northwest oregon
Edge-striped Shield Bug (Elasmucha lateralis) – To 0.35″. Yellowish or yellow-green with red-brown patches. Dark bands on edge of abdomen. Found on birch and other plants. (photo © Harsi Parker)
Red Cross Shield Bug Elasmostethus cruciatus columbia county northwest oregon
Red Cross Shield Bug (Elasmostethus cruciatus) – To 0.4″. Green to green-yellow with reddish X-mark on back. Spined shoulders. Found on many plants and trees, especially alder. (photo © Harsi Parker)

Shield-backed Bugs (Scutelleridae)

This bug family is distinct in that their scutellum extends over their entire back, giving the appearance of a continuous shield and sometimes causing them to be mistaken for beetles. They are also known as “Jewel Bugs” due to the colorful appearance of some species. Like Stink Bugs they can produce a noxious smell. They feed on plant juices.

Bronze-headed Shield-backed Bug Homaemus aeneifrons columbia county northwest oregon
Bronze-headed Shield-backed Bug (Homaemus aeneifrons) – To 0.35″. Tan to brown with light medial line. Some have brown W-mark, others relatively plain. Head dark, lacks yellow markings of related species. Found on sedges in meadows and weedy areas. (photo © Robert Weeden)

American Tortoise Bug (Eurygaster amerinda) – To 0.4″. Tan to brown with light medial line that widens at end. Head same color as body. No keel on shield. Found on grasses, grains, and plants in open woodland. (photo © Chris Mallory)
Shoshone Tortoise Bug (Eurygaster shoshone) – To 0.3″. Tan to brown with light medial line that usually disappears at end. Identified by clear keel on shield. Found on weeds and grasses in meadows. (photo © Chris Mallory)

Ebony Bugs (Thyreocoridae)

As with the shield-backed bugs, their scutellum extends over their entire back, causing them to be mistaken for beetles. They can be distinguished from beetles by their five-segment antennae and unique mouthparts. They feed on flowers and young seeds.

Black Bug Corimelaena ebony bug columbia county northwest oregon
Black Bugs (Corimelaena sp.) – To 0.2″. Small, round, and shiny-black all over. There are several species in our area, including Corimelaena pulicaria and Corimelaena interrupta, that are difficult to tell apart. Found on weeds and short vegetation. (photo © mrp123)

Flat Bugs (Aradidae)

These unique bugs are as flat as their name suggests, adapted to live under the bark of dead trees. Most species are very drab in coloration. Little is known of their habits though it is assumed that they feed on fungus.

Dark-spotted Flat Bug Aradus fuscomaculatus columbia county northwest oregon
Dark-spotted Flat Bug (Aradus fuscomaculatus) – To 0.25″. Mottled tan and black. Eyes project. Strong furrows on pronotum. Wings comparatively more prominent. Abdominal lobes are rounded, convex and flare. (photo © Thomas Barbin)

Pacific Flat Bug Mezira pacifica northwest oregon columbia county
Pacific Flat Bug (Mezira pacifica) – To 0.4″. Generally black, often brownish spot in middle. Scutellum triangular in this genus. Wings minimal. Sides parallel rather than rounded and convex. Longer antennae base than Reduced Flat Bug. (photo © James Bailey)

Bordered Plant Bugs (Largidae)

These plant sap-feeding bugs get their name from the colorful borders on either side of their body. They are found both on the ground and crawling in shrubs and low plants.

Bordered Plant Bug Largus cinctus columbia county oregon
Bordered Plant Bug (Largus cinctus) – To 0.7″. All of our local bordered plant bugs have the same dark oval body with orangish or reddish borders. Feeds on plants. (photo © Steven Soltesz)

Leaf-footed Bugs and relatives (Coreoidea)

This superfamily of bugs gets its name from the broadly expanded rear legs in some species. Some emit an unpleasant odor when threatened, though “Scentless Plant Bugs” such at the Boxelder Bug do not have strong odor. They feed on the sap of plants, with some species specializing in young twigs while others focus on seeds.

Squash Bug Anasa tristis columbia county northwest oregon
Squash Bug (Anasa tristis) – To 0.65″. Oval in shape, gray to black with bands on abdominal margin. Pronotum is smooth and inconspicuous. Feeds on leaves of squash plants. (photo © littlequeen)
Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus zonatus columbia county northwest oregon
Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) – To 0.8″. Reddish-brown with faint light zig-zag on back. Pronotum is steep but smooth. Light/dark bands below the wings on the abdomen. Found in forest, feeding on the seeds of conifer cones. (photo © Lee Cain)
Oregon Leather Bug Coriomeris occidentalis columbia county northwest oregon
Pacific Coast Leather Bug (Coriomeris occidentalis) – To 0.4″. Brown/orangish-brown with roughened appearance. Antennae are thickly “haired”. Steeply sloped pronotum is serrated and spined. Feeds on clover, alfalfa, and other plants. (photo © karenrichards)
Western Boxelder Bug Boisea rubrolineata columbia county oregon
Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineata) – To 0.55″. Dark body with red or reddish-orange veins. Often clusters in groups. Feeds on the growing seeds of trees like maple, boxelder, and ash. (photo © Jesse Rorabough)
Hyaline Grass Bug Liorhyssus hyalinus columbia county oregon
Hyaline Grass Bug (Liorhyssus hyalinus) – To 0.3″. Variable in color, brown with yellowish, reddish, or greenish tint and can be light or dark. Feeds on the seeds of low weeds as well as hemp. (photo © Steve Daniels)
Lupine Bug Megalotomus quinquespinosus columbia county northwest oregon
Lupine Bug (Megalotomus quinquespinosus) – To 0.65″. Brown with light/dark banded on abdominal margin. Brown antennae are black/white at end. Long rear legs are serrated above the first joint. Found on wooded edges. Feeds on legumes. (photo © Gary Chang)
Common Broad-headed Bug Alydus eurinus columbia city northwest oregon
Broad-headed Bugs (Alydus sp.) – To 0.6″. Dark brown to black, often resembling spider wasps. Dense hairs on head and pronotum. Found on wooded edges, feeding on bush clover and other legumes. (photo © David Anderson)

Seed Bugs and relatives (Lygaeoidea)

Of variable appearance though most tend towards drabber patterns of red, brown, gray, and white and have somewhat slender bodies. Their antennae only have four segments. As the name suggests, many bugs in this family are known to suck the nutritious interior out of young seeds, though some species drink plant sap or even attack other bugs. Many of the drab-colored species tend to be found on the ground and are known as “Dirt-colored Seed Bugs”.

Small Milkweed Bug Lygaeus kalmia columbia county oregon
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii) – To 0.5″. Dark gray to black with red cross across back and red line across pronotum. White spots towards rear. Found on milkweed, of which it eats the nectar and seeds. (photo © Mark Leppin)
White-crossed Seed Bug Neacoryphus bicrucis  columbia county oregon
White-crossed Seed Bug (Neacoryphus bicrucis) – To 0.4″. White cross in middle of body separates black sections above and below from red sections on sides. Found in fields and meadows, often on ragwort. (photo © mrcarp)
Elm Seed Bug Arocatus melanocephalus columbia county oregon
Elm Seed Bug (Arocatus melanocephalus) – To 0.3″. Dark gray to black, has rusty tint to parts of the front half of body. Feeds on elm seeds though can be found on other trees. Introduced from Europe. (photo © John L. Richards)
Birch Catkin Bug Kleidocerys resedae columbia county oregon
Birch Catkin Bug (Kleidocerys resedae) – 0.2″. Tannish to reddish, sometimes with silvery sections and a triangular scutellum distinct in color. head more prominent than Elm Seed Bug. Found on the flower spikes of birch trees. (photo © corndog)
Pacific Dirt-colored Seed Bug Gastrodes pacificus columbia county oregon
Pacific Dirt-colored Seed Bug (Gastrodes pacificus) – 0.25″. A broad flat bug, rust-brown with black front of pronotum and black scutellum. G. intermedius is darker and less orange in color. Found on Douglas Fir where it sucks from cones. (photo © Harsi Parker)
Mediterranean Seed Bug Xanthochilus saturnius columbia county oregon
Mediterranean Seed Bug (Xanthochilus saturnius) – 0.2-0.3″. Very sharply defined black shapes on a brown/bronze background. Often found in grass seed fields. Introduced from Europe. (photo © karenrichards)
Common Dirt-colored Seed Bug Rhyparochromus vulgaris columbia county oregon
Common Dirt-colored Seed Bug (Rhyparochromus vulgaris) – 0.2″. Black and brown, with distinct paired black/white spots in middle of abdomen. Found on ground and tree trunks, hunting for seeds. Introduced from Europe. (photo © David Anderson)
Double-spined Seed Bug Scolopostethus thomsoni columbia county oregon
Double-spined Seed Bug (Scolopostethus thomsoni) – 0.15″. Black body with black-tipped brown wings. Double row of spines on lower part of front leg. First two antennae segments are partly lightened. Found in dense vegetation, including nettle. (photo © Alex Bairstow)
White-tipped Seed Bug Scolopostethus diffidens columbia county oregon
White-tipped Seed Bug (Scolopostethus diffidens) – To 0.25″. Single row of spines below front leg. Distinct curved white spots on lower part of wings. Hunts seeds on the ground like other dirt-colored seed bugs. (photo © Harsi Parker)
Tuxedo Seed Bug Raglius alboacuminatus columbia county oregon
Tuxedo Bug (Raglius alboacuminatus) – To 0.25″. Black with six distinct white flecks (two at end often overlap to appear as one) and several tan and white diagonals. Found in cleared ground and weeded lots. Introduced from Europe. (photo © David Anderson)
False Chinch Bugs Nysius columbia county oregon
False Chinch Bugs (Nysius sp.) – 0.1-0.2″. These tiny, slender bugs are drab gray with transparent wings crossing over their bodies. Found on a wide range of plants including grains and vegetable crops. (photo © CA Clark)
Western Big-eyed Bug Geocoris pallens columbia county oregon
Western Big-eyed Bug (Geocoris pallens) – 0.15″. Drab brown/gray/black with large eyes. Broad head/body. Found in places with sparse clumps of vegetation, including fields, lots, and gardens. Feed on both plants and insects. (photo © Eric Carlson)
Docked Stilt Bug Neoneides muticus columbia county oregon
Docked Stilt Bug (Neoneides muticus) – 0.3″-0.4″. A slender bug with very long slender legs. Similar to Spined Stilt Bug, but top of thorax bulges less and there is a short downcurved process on top of head. Feeds on fruit blossoms, stems, and insect eggs. (photo © Noah Strycker)

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2 thoughts on “Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs, and related Plant Bugs of Columbia County, Oregon

  1. Can I send you a bug photo? Need help identifying it… I think it is some sort of stink bug. Black with orange border, and three white dots… underbelly seems to be greenish in color.


    1. To be honest, I’m a herpetologist, not an insect expert. Everything I know about bugs is what I looked up to make this guide, so if you can’t find it here then I won’t know what it is either. The best thing to do is create an account, then you can upload the photo there and someone will ID it for you. That works for pretty much any kind of plant or animal.


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