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Pearls or Stink Bug Eggs?


A group of 14 stink bug eggs attached to the underside of a poplar leaf.

You can tell that these eggs are ready to hatch because the baby stink bugs, called nymphs, are clearly visible. The two red dots in each egg are the fully developed compound eyes of the nymph. Each egg is 0.7 mm in diameter—about the width of a pencil lead. Upon hatching, the nymph will have the form of a tiny adult, and then shed its cuticle five times to become an adult in a about a month. Because the stink bug hatches as a miniature adult and has only three major stages of development (egg, nymph, adult) it is said to undergo incomplete metamorphosis to distinguish the process from the complete metamorphosis that most insects, such as fruit flies and butterflies, undergo, progressing from egg, to larva, then pupa, and adult.

Image courtesy of Igor Siwanowicz, PhD, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, VA

Technical notes:
This photograph was taken using a digital SLR camera and a macro lens plus a set of extension tubes to achieve higher than 1:1 magnification offered by the lens alone.




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