Does anyone know what this is? I have lived in this area of northern Utah, USA for over 30 years and played with insects, snakes and spiders growing up here. However, until this week, I have never seen this insect before, nor anyone else we have asked. Suddenly they are all over our porch, patio, trampoline and house. This one is about the size of a lady bug, but we have seen some about double that size.

At first we thought it might be a beetle, but their shells are not bifurcated. Looking underneath, they have a long thin tube that they fold into their body that appears to be their mouths. We thought a weird tick, but they only have 6 legs. Can't seem to find anything similar online either.

Does anyone know, what it is?

unknown insect

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know about species in Utah, but this looks like a shield bug (Pentatomoidea) nymph. So perhaps that could get you somewhere in your search! $\endgroup$
    – picapica
    Jun 29, 2017 at 15:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since the back isn't bifurcated, not a beetle and with its long proboscis folded underneath, it's a plant bug nymph (as in true bugs in the order Hemiptera). Suddenly finding them all over the place means eggs have recently hatched. Metamorphosis doesn't happen with true bugs. Eggs hatch directly into nymphs which are usually, but not always, a small version of the adult and go through a number of moults till adult. But I still don't know what species, sorry. $\endgroup$
    – Jude
    Jun 29, 2017 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ I found a bunch of similarly looking hatchlings on a plant on my balcony a few days ago. Probably a different species, given that I'm in France. It must be hatching season in the northern hemisphere. $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Jun 30, 2017 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


Definitely a nymph of some species of true bug (order Hemiptera), most likely in the suborder Heteroptera (i.e., the shield bugs, stink bugs, assassin bugs, etc.) and family Pentatomidae.

For example, see these photos of nymphs of similar species:

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From L->R: Podisus maculiventris, Troilus luridus, Glaucias amyoti, Cosmopepla lintneriana, Carpocoris purpureipennis, Murgantia histrionica

Using yet another species, Piezodorus lituratus, as an example, you can see how a Pentatomidae nymph typically develops to maturity:

enter image description here


As to your species...

This site lists Cosmopepla lintneriana, Chinavia hilaris, Podisus placidus, Chlorochroa rossiana, and Sehirus cinctus as species of Pentatomidae that live in Utah. None of their nymphs looks quite right, though your specimen reminds me most of a stripe-less Podisus. That might be a good jumping off place for further digging...

  • As you can see, there are many species with similar nymphs, and various instars within species even have fairly great variation.

I can't find a great match yet, but I can keep looking. I'll update if I find one.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Plus, what with the shift in climate, insect ranges are shifting too, sometimes drastically. $\endgroup$
    – jlawler
    Jun 30, 2017 at 14:22

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