Other Common Names
Painted Stink Bug, African stink bug
Explanation of Names
Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister, 1835)
(L). 'gay, cheerful' (1)
habitus distinctive among NA Pentatomidae
sw US (CA-TX-CO-NV) / ne Mex. / Chile (BG data)(3)
(D. Rider, pers. comm.)
native to s. & e. Africa, adventive elsewhere, incl. the New World, the eastern Mediterranean, and so. Asia(2)
hosts on members of the mustard, nightshade, mallow, legume, sunflower and grain families
causes substantial damage to cruciferous crops such as broccoli, cabbage, mustards, and cauliflower, as well as infests a wide range of other crops and weeds species (Palumbo and Natwick 2010)(2)
. It has become a serious agricultural pest in the sw US.
Eggs laid in clusters on leaves or soil; four nymphal instars(2)
This invasive bug pest poses a significant threat by its use of soil for oviposition, ability to tolerate warm climates, and wide variety of host plants. - TISI
may aggregate on non-hosts in the fall when pest populations are high and food is scarce.
rough chronology of species' spread:
2008 - CA - earliest NA record: Los Angeles Co., CA 2008
2009 - AZ
2011 - NM, NV
2012 - w. TX, s. UT
2014 - CO
2015 - LRGV, n. TX
2017 - c. TX
of the species' increasing abundance from Ron Hemberger:
I shot the first of these on August 17, 2008, here at Peters Canyon [Orange County]. For several months, they were scarce. I saw them only in a small part of this one park - and then only atop mustard blooms. Many were mating.
Today [July 27, 2009], they are in at least three other parks in Orange County and common enough at Peters to enter the category of "infestation". The day this one was shot, the bugs - in various stages of development - were all over the trail and also perched on dried-out vegetation. Today marked a turning point, since these were the most numerous insects of any species that I saw.
Painted (L) vs. Harlequin Bug (R)
Bundy CS, Grasswitz TR, Sutherland C. 2012. First report of the invasive stink bug Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister)(Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) from New Mexico, with notes on its biology. Southwestern Entomologist 37: 411-414.
Halbert, S.E. and J.E. Eger. 2010. Bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) an exotic pest of cruciferae established in the Western USA. Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services, DACS-P-01750.
Palumbo JC, Natwick ET. 2010. The bagrada bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae): A new invasive pest of cole crops in Arizona and California. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-2010-0621-01-BR.