In identifying insects, we often, if not most often, use common names. At our July BAMGA meeting, one of the insects I had the opportunity to share about was a Stink Bug – the Cosmopepla lintneriana, known as the Twice-stabbed Stink Bug or Two-spotted Stink Bug, and also called the Wee Harlequin Bug – that was attacking Donna Kalinski’s Snapdragons and Anise flowers. This particular Stink Bug reminded me, once again, how common names can be confusing.
Herein lies the issue. In speaking about the C.lintneriana (a “bad” bug), I used the common name of Two-spotted Stink Bug – not wrong, but it could be confused with the Perillus bioculatus, also known as the Two-spotted Stink Bug, a “good” bug.
As you can see, both bugs are in the same Order (True Bugs) and same Family (Stink Bugs) but in different Species. Correct identification of the Species is important when recommending a control.
Just a note to add to the confusion – – there is also a Lady Beetle with the common name of Twice-stabbed! It’s fun and challenging to identify insects, particularly the “good” guys vs. “bad” guys – don’t you agree?!!
- C.lintneriana: bugguide.net/node/view/635060; Camden County, NJ, 2012; photo by Yurika Alexander
- P.bioculatus: bugguide.net/node/view/455430/bgimage: Greensboro, NC, 9/16/2010; photo by O.S. Henry
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Author: Jim Revell, Bedford Extension Master Gardener
Printable article: Aug 2016 “Two Spotted Stink Bugs“