Name that bug!
November 2, 2017 11:44 AM   Subscribe

A box of supermarket recycled tissues came with this beetle(?) wrapped in one of the tissues. It's still alive, and currently in my kitchen bin. I'm in the UK, and the box says that the tissues were made here. What might it be? (Pictures inside)
posted by Urtylug to Science & Nature (11 answers total)
Shield bug of some sort?
posted by pharm at 11:45 AM on November 2, 2017

Stink bug?
posted by jesourie at 11:46 AM on November 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Looks like a stinkbug and probably got in there post-manufacturing while trying to find a place to sleep for the winter.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:47 AM on November 2, 2017

Thanks everyone. I got rid of it by emptying the bin.
posted by Urtylug at 12:11 PM on November 2, 2017

Yep, it's definitely a shield bug, which is a type of true bug (Hemiptera), not a beetle.

It's almost surely stink bug, which is a type of shield bug.

I think it's specifically a brown marmorated stink bug

Good news is, totally harmless, even edible. A few years ago I collected a small jar of stink bugs and sauteed them with oil and spices, just to prove that they taste fine, a bit apple-y :)
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:11 PM on November 2, 2017 [18 favorites]

Edible ?! Outstanding! Thank you, SaltySalticid.
posted by at at 12:52 PM on November 2, 2017

If anyone else is interested in eating them: the local stink bugs are served as a food called Jumiles in Mexico.

This is most likely not that exact same species. I have no idea if any species of stink bugs are harmful to humans if ingested. Go ahead and eat all the stink bugs you want, but please don't eat stink bugs and then blame me if you get sick.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:07 PM on November 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hawthorn Shieldbug.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:10 PM on November 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm with Bloxworth Snout: I can't tell the colour well from the photo, but I'd say it's a native European species of some sort given the shape, and that they were in the UK whenever it got in.
posted by ambrosen at 5:34 PM on November 2, 2017

If brown marmorated stink bugs are in fact getting established in the UK, I can tell you from experience that life for a lot of folk in rural districts is going to be significantly less pleasant within a few years. In mid-autumn, masses of stinkbugs start looking for places to overwinter. Isolated houses in areas of woodland or crops get the worst of it by virtue of the sheer proportion of bugs to shelter--the stinkbugs enter any crevice they can find on the exterior of a building, and if they can follow it to the warmth of the interior they will. Meaning that you spend a large chunk of October through April or so vacuuming up anywhere from a few to dozens of the bugs every day. They're less of a problem in towns and cities.
posted by Creosote at 5:48 PM on November 2, 2017

Looking at this again, what didn't come out well in the photo is its quite prominent green areas on the bug's flanks. Bloxworth Snout's picture for a Hawthorn Shieldbug is a much better fit than the pictures of the brown marmorated stink bugs higher up.
posted by Urtylug at 10:36 AM on November 3, 2017

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