Bug of the Week: Shield Bug

These true bugs hang out in our native desert willow and mesquite trees, where they are hard to spot on the tree bark.

They are called shield or stink bugs. The “stink” name comes from the fact they have scent glands that release an odor when they are disturbed.

This one is probably Brochymena sulcata. It has an almost pleasant cinnamon odor when you pick it up.

The shield name comes from the shield shape in the middle of its back. We’d like to learn more about them, but they tend to keep quite well hidden.


  1. Snowcatcher

    Great shot, but boy, he sure isn’t someone I’d want to run into on a dark night!

  2. Roberta

    Oh, these bugs are very shy. Just don’t try to eat one like my cat did 🙂

  3. Isis Hernandez

    I found two on my mesquite tree I’m sure there is more. All i want to know is if they will hurt my tree. If so what can i do

  4. Roberta

    Some shield bugs eat plants, but many eat other insects and are considered beneficial. Even if it is one of the plant-feeding ones, only two will not cause any harm to a a plant as large as a tree.

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