Both adults and nymphs have large stink glands on the underside of the thorax extending more than half-way to the edge of the metapleuron. They discharge large amounts of this foul-smelling liquid when disturbed. This liquid, dried and pulverized, was once used at industrial level to reinforce the smell of some acids. Now it’s been replaced by artificial composites.
It is found in orchards, gardens, woodlands and crop fields throughout North America, feeding with their needle-like mouthparts on the juices of a wide variety of plants from May until the arrival of frost. Adults develop a preference for developing seeds and thus become crop pests (tomato, bean, pea, cotton, corn, soybean, eggplant). When no seeds are present, they also feed on stems and foliage, thus damaging several fruit trees, such as the apple, cherry, orange and peach trees.