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Rhaphigaster nebulosa
Rhaphigaster nebulosa

Rhaphigaster nebulosa
Rhaphigaster nebulosa, (synonym Raphigaster nebulosa), is a species in the order bugs (Hemiptera), the suborder true bugs (Heteroptera), the infraorder Pentatomomorpha, the superfamily Pentatomoidea, the family stink bugs and shield bugs (Pentatomidae), and the subfamily Pentatominae. It is the only species of the genus Rhaphigaster. Rhaphigaster nebulosa are widespread in Europe and the Palearctic ecozone of Asia. In Europe it is common, especially in the south (Mediterranean region), but it is increasingly found in the north. It appears en masse at times. This species produces one new generation a year.
Rhaphigaster nebulosa - front view
Rhaphigaster nebulosa - front view
Adult Rhaphigaster nebulosa reach body lengths of 14 - 16 mm. The surface of their bodies is hairless and yellow, grey-brown, yellowish-brown or brown in colour, with spots and irregularly distributed pits. The underside of the body is light coloured with dark spots. Between the front hips (on the 1st sternite) is a long crescent-shaped spike. The antennae are predominantly black with yellowish-white stripes on the 3rd to 5th segments. The 2nd segment is longer than the 3rd. The mouthparts form a proboscis.
Rhaphigaster nebulosa - side view
Rhaphigaster nebulosa - side view
On the underside of the chest (thorax) are the defensive glands which emit an unpleasant-smelling secretion as a defense mechanism. This can be squirted over a distance of several decimetres. The abdomen is black at the edges (connexivum) and has yellowish-white markings. The side margins are densely dotted. The wing covers usually have dark brown patches of colour. Rhaphigaster nebulosa are clumsy fliers and buzz loudly in flight.
Stink bug - Rhaphigaster nebulosa
Stink bug - Rhaphigaster nebulosa
Rhaphigaster nebulosa are diurnal and prefer warm habitats such as deciduous forests, fallow land, and parks and gardens, where they can be found on deciduous trees, such as hawthorn (Crataegus), plum (Prunus), whitebeam (Sorbus), hazel (Corylus) or elm (Ulmus), as well as on shrubs, hedges (blackberry), and creepers (ivy). They feed on plant juices. In rarer cases, they drink the body fluids from dead insects (for example, leaf beetle larvae).
After mating in late spring, the fertilized females lay about 40 eggs on plant parts. The eggs are initially yellowish-white, later brown, about 1. 5 mm in length, and are glued to stripes and disc formation. The hatched larvae (nymphs) are a variety of colours and have no wings at first. These grow from the 3rd larval stage on (after the 2nd moult). The young bugs have their defense glands on their backs. In September the development of the nymphs is complete and after the last moult they emerge as fully developed adult bugs.
The new generation of Rhaphigaster nebulosa hibernate under tree bark, in cracks and crevices, and in parts of buildings. They may appear en masse, especially in late summer or early autumn, on the sunlit walls of buildings, where they absorb heat before they go into their winter hiding places.

The tachinid fly, Cylindromyia bicolor, is among the natural enemies of the Rhaphigaster nebulosa. Its larvae feed on the insert of older juvenile bugs.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Rhaphigaster nebulosa
2. Rhaphigaster nebulosa - front view
3. Rhaphigaster nebulosa - side view
4. Stink bug - Rhaphigaster nebulosa
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