April 27, 2010
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Check out the schnozz on this guy:
Ok, ok, it’s not a nose proper; it’s a “beak” or, more accurately, a rostrum. And it’s not for sniffing, it’s for feeding (which our friend may in fact be doing).
Another “true bug” here…BUG BUG BU… ah, well, you get the idea. This one is a Stink Bug (Pentatomidae); the rather unfortunate moniker is the result of the smelly defensive chemical they secrete from thoracic glands when they’re handled or disturbed. It’s not harmful to humans, though…just smelly. (Personally, I don’t find it all that offensive, only distinctive.)
The Stink Bug family is a mixed bag of herbivores and carnivores; some sup happily on plant juices while others prefer the innards of other insects. Pentatomids overwinter as adults under leaf litter and other insulated nooks and emerge in the spring. In my experience, this is a little early to find a stink bug out and about, but then, this has been an unseasonably early and warm April so far.
On that note, may I just say that April has a crappy sense of humour?
Like, really? Was this really necessary today? (I’d like to state for the record that just yesterday I was overheating in shorts and t-shirt and getting sunburned). This is the scene after only an hour of precipitation, and it’s coming down in droves. Ridonculous, I say. Utterly ridonculous.
Edited to add:
Thirty minutes later, and this: