Although many stink bugs are plant-feeding pests, the spined soldier bug is an excellent predator found in a variety of crop habitats, including orchards, vegetables, and row crops. The adult (approximately 14 mm long) is a drab brown color, with characteristic pointed ‘shoulders’ that give the species its common name. Newly hatched nymphs are red and black, superficially resembling an adult ladybird beetle, but with much longer antennae. As the nymphs develop, they lose their red color and become much paler. This species will attack a broad range of prey – sometimes taking on insects much larger than themselves.
Beneficial of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES:
Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico