New Stink Bug Identification Card Available

December 5, 2011

By Laura Jess, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic and Erin Hodgson, Department of Entomology

A new, pocket-sized identification card for stink bugs in the Midwest will make identification of these insects much handier. Iowa State University Extension has just released the new identification card from authors Laura Jesse, Erin Hodgson, Donald Lewis, Matt O’Neal and Adam Sisson. The card was made possible with funding from a 2011 North Central IPM Center mini-grant.

In 2011, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was confirmed in Iowa. These were dead specimens; no live BMSB have been confirmed this year. ISU entomologists are actively looking for this pest throughout the state because this invasive species has the potential to damage corn, soybean and many other plants. In addition, BMSB is a home invader similar to the multicolored Asian lady beetle.

BMSB nymphs and adults have unique body characters (Fig. 1), but are easily confused with other stink bugs and incidental insects. This new card will help you distinguish some of the most common look-alikes in Iowa. In addition, a previous ICM News article gives longer descriptions for stink bugs.

Brown marmorated stink bug nymph (left, photo UGA1460050 by David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ) and adult (right, photo David Shetlar, the Ohio State University).

To learn more about BMSB in Iowa, visit our Stink bug Web page. If you think you see BMSB, please send a high-quality photo by e-mail to or mail the specimen to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at I 327 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA  50011.

Printed copies of the Stink bugs of the Midwest can be ordered from the ISU Extension Online Store at or by calling 515-294-5247.


Laura Jesse is an entomologist with the Iowa State University Extension Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic; contact at or by phone 515-294-5374. Erin Hodgson is an assistant professor of entomology with extension and research responsibilities; contact at or phone 515-294-2847.

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