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Photo#243061
New state & county record for Halyomorpha halys - Halyomorpha halys - female

New state & county record for Halyomorpha halys - Halyomorpha halys - Female
Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
October 30, 2008
Size: 16.2 mm (Scale bar=5 mm)
Dorsal (a) and ventral (b) aspects of an adult female found in my home. I was in my home office in the wee morning hours, and she literally smacked me in the head, landing stunned on my desk. After taking several photographs, and searching the pentatomids on BugGuide, I was pretty sure this was H. halys. This ID was confirmed by Dr. Paris Lambdin, Hemipteran expert at the University of Tennessee. Note the light banding on the terminal two antennal segments, as well as the alternating light and dark banding on the exposed lateral margins. The absence of teeth on the juga, as well as the smooth anterior pronotal margin also distinguish this from a similar genus, Brochy*mena. The color of the ocelli (which isn't super clear on this image, but is a nice red-violet color) is also pretty diagnostic. I just submitted the new locality record for publication in The Florida Entomologist. It was neat to be the first to report this species from this state, but not so neat that we have a new introduced pest to deal with.

Just curious
How did you tell it was a female?

 
Basically
by the size and mass. Females of this species (and many other true bugs, I'm sure, as in many species) are a lot larger. According to Dr. Lambdin, the length and mass on this specimen alone are large enough to pretty safely say that it is a female. I'm not sure if there are any external characters near the tip of the abdomen that also would distinguish it as female, as I don't know too much about Hemipteran genitalia, but I'm learning! I'm finally in my first entomology course this term, and really enjoying it so far. I'll post more details if I find out how to sex Pentatomids on a basis other than size alone.

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