Stink Bug feeds on an Alder Cone

  • Stink Bug feeds on an Alder Cone shows one inserting its "beak" into the cone and sucking up the nutrients.
  • How they do this is quite fascinating. For information about this:
  • From Stephen A. Marshalls book on “Insects Their Natural History and Diversity”:

  • Stink Bugs and other Hemipteroids – are equipped with syringe-like beaks used to suck the liquefied contents out of other organisms (and plants).
  • This segmented beak is the lower lip (labium), which is extended to form a long, trough or gutter-like structure.
  • These mouthparts form four narrow blades (stylets) that fit into the long, sheath-like lower lip.
  • One pair of blades (mandibles) is for cutting, and the other pair (maxillae) is for spitting and sucking.
  • The maxillae combine to make a tube with two channels, one for sucking food up, and other for spitting saliva back into the food.
  • The slender, syringe-like stylets leave the bug’s labial sheath when the mandibles and maxillae slide against each other to penetrate prey or plant tissue.
  • The labium is sometimes bent back as the stylets snake their way into the host.