Amazing Millet Bug

stink bug on millet

The iridescent green of the head is also in stripes at the joints, so the side view shows a string of jeweled beads

Anybody recognize this creature on the Limelight millet?

First pass at google confirms the likelihood that it is as it appears to be, some kind of stinkbug; they seem to be major pests on millet. But none of the common green and brown ones are anywhere near this large – it’s about an inch long.

Dial “M” for millet, right? It was the only one I saw but I fear it has friends and relatives nearby.

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  • Eric Larson Said,

    If you crush this bug, you will quickly sense the aroma that gives this bug and its brethren and sistern its name: Stink Bug. Pentatomidae is the general order of bugs you are dealing with, and yes, they can become a problem.

  • Lynn Said,

    Are you growing millet? If so, what do you do with it? Or like mine – is it coming up from the birdseed?

    Hi Lynn,

    In answer to your questions:

    Yes, I’m growing the millet on purpose.

    I put it in arrangements; t’s an ornamental variety, not an edible one. Gorgeous and long-lasting, I highly recommend it.

    So, not from the birdseed. We only feed niger (for the finches) and black oil sunflower. Former has never germinated, latter pops up all over the place.

  • lissett Said,

    I agree, this is a beautiful bug. My parents are from Mexico and they tell us how as kids they would catch this “mayate” bug and tie a string to it. And they would entertain themselves watching it fly around as they hold the string.( they would also bring this up when we were asking for a new toy…)

    Welcome to the blog, Lissette,

    What a neat story! It was on the slow moving side so I can easily believe it would have been easy to catch. Sounds like a pretty common toy if both of your parents played with it. And if it’s in both Mexico and Maine it must be a pretty common bug – more common than I realized.

  • James L McConaughy Said,

    Popillia japonica is commonly known as the Japanese beetle.
    You can find a very good article on Wikipedia.

    Hi James, Thanks so much for checking in.

    I can see why you thought the millet bug was a Japanese beetle; the color scheme is very similar. But the size and shape are very different. Whatever his species, this guy is definitely a stinkbug, not a beetle.

    I deeply wish I could say I might be mistaken, but living in Japanese beetle territory has made me all too familiar with those beautiful but voracious pests. Your guess still has a positive effect, however. It’s an excellent reminder that making id’s from photos, even very clear photos, isn’t as easy as “photo” makes it sound, and that goes for mushrooms, too.

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