Stink Bug, Pench Tiger Reserve, India

Nature’s palette is not only versatile but consists of the boldest and the most vibrant of hues. This tiny shield bug caught my eye because of its uniquely wonderful pattern. The image shows a stink bug, an effective predatory species widely distributed in Southeast Asian countries including India and commonly observed in cotton and chickpea ecosystems.

I visited Pench Tiger reserve in the state of Maharashtra in October 2019 to document arthropods. We were put up in the Tourism Development cottages. The cottages are covered by forests on 3 sides and by agricultural fields on one side. Cotton was planted in the agriculture fields. It is a widely grown crop in the state of Maharashtra.

I was looking for subjects to document when I saw this bug in a dense canopy. The colours and patterns were so unique and fascinating. It took me a while to reach the place where I had spotted the bug but it had disappeared by then. After a long wait, it emerged from beneath a leaf and as I approached it, it again went under the leaf. The hide and seek continued for a long period before I caught a brief glimpse of it and managed to take an image of its dorsal view and one more image of the rear.

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