This week, the question was: What is going on here?
This is a Florida predatory stink bug (Euthyrhynchus floridanus) feeding on a species of plant-feeding stink bug. The photo shows the predator’s piercing/sucking mouthparts inserted into its prey. Predatory stink bugs have much more robust mouthparts than their plant-feeding counterparts because they must be strong enough to puncture through the hard exoskeleton of their prey. Once inserted, they inject digestive enzymes to help liquify the prey’s internal tissues, making them easier to consume. Read more about predatory stink bugs here.
This week’s question is from Justin Ballew, Extension fruit and vegetable researcher.