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While on the subject of bugs, we would like to ask for assistance. The beautiful bugs in these pictures are inhabiting our garden for some time already, but we have been unable to identify them to the species level, even after consulting our local network of specialists and a search in the bug-databases on the internet. We don’t know if they should be considered local, or if it’s another exotic addition that has the potential of wreaking havoc to the local ecology.
One thing is clear, they are members of the stinkbug group (Pentatomidae). Their life cycle is actually pretty interesting. Although we have not been able to exactly determine the time it takes them to complete mating, it certainly is a long time. The pair stays locked in this position, almost motionless, for days, if not weeks, while occupying the same space in between some leafs together with several other pairs. After the eggs have been laid, neatly glued to the underside of a leaf, the female guards them until they hatch and the nymphs molt for the first time. The nymphs molt several times until the adult stage is reached. We are not sure how many times ‘our’ orange and black beauties do this, but in other species it is reportedly 4 to 5 times (the instar stages).
So, who is able to provide us with an identification?