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Monday, October 17, 2011
Remember stink bugs when you were a kid? They're quite common here in California... in the desert (like this guy), mountains, and most places in between. They are well known for their comical, yet effective, defense tactics. When alarmed they stand on their heads by bending their front legs down and extending their rear legs. Depending upon the species, they exude an oily, stinky secretion which collects on the rear of their abdomen. Some species eject a reddish brown secretion as a spray. Larger desert species (like this guy) can spray 10 to 20 inches! Most species can spray multiple times, if necessary. The spray is not painful unless you get it in your eyes or mouth, where it is painful, burning and temporarily blinding. It does not wash off. After reading this, I now have much more respect for stink bugs!! Happy Macro Monday!