Tuesday, February 03, 2009


This morning, as I shuffled across the kitchen to feed the cats, so they'd get out of the way while I poured my coffee, I unconsciously stepped over a stinkbug. I heard myself saying, "Oh, great. A stinkbug. It must be getting warmer."

Some people get swallows. Or robins. Or crocuses. My harbinger of spring is a stinkbug.

My photo of a stinkbug is on my other computer. So rather than drag myself downstairs again to boot up the other computer or take another picture, I lazily googled stinkbug. Wow. Other people have much prettier stinkbugs than I have. Of course, mine is not the "true" stinkbug. Mine is technically a leaf-footed bug - which happens to have the same delightful ability as stinkbugs, to release a strong scent when disturbed. I don't happen to think it stinks, but most people do.

It turns out that other people have prettier leaf-footed bugs than I do, too. By now the coffee's kicking in, so I went back to take a picture. Okay. Close up he's kind of good-looking. Not colorful, but not bad.

My point, and I do have one, is that if I didn't have this habit of blogging in the morning while I listen to Washington Journal, I wouldn't have paid much attention to the stinkbug. I certainly wouldn't have seen the pictures of other species of stinkbugs or read enough about them to learn that there are only two families of bugs that release this scent when disturbed: Coreidae, like mine and maybe next time I look it up I'll remember the name of the other family.

Will I ever need to know this? Probably not. But I was planning to write about economics and this was more fun.

1 comment:

Scott said...

We have true brown stink bugs here in Central Pennsylvania and they have been more plentiful than in previous years. First our acorns have disappeared and now the stink bugs are multiplying. They don't give us much harm, having never released any kind of noxious odors, so generally leave them alone.