Phytophagous stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) are important pests of many crops, feeding mostly on seeds and immature fruits. During feeding they introduce their stylets to remove the cells' contents. The resulting damage includes drop and/or malformation of seeds and fruits. As stink bugs are generally polyphagous, they feed on cultivated and uncultivated plants; consequently, wild host plants play an important role in the increase in population levels of agricultural pest species. These plants are important food resources for development of nymphs and reproduction of adults. Because these bugs are multivoltine and feed in general on temporarily restricted food plants, host-switching from food plants of nymphs to those of adults is common and has varying effects on adult performance depending on the quality of the foods involved. Although polyphagous, local populations of many pentatomid species may show specific feeding habits, restricting their host range to fewer plant species. The knowledge of host plant sequences, including cultivated and uncultivated hosts, and the use of wild hosts as trap plants will improve management of pest species. Finally, future research should focus on determining which plants are preferably used by stink bugs, how they affect insect performance, at what rate populations increase on these plants, and how effective natural enemies are at this time.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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