Aelia rostrata

Aelia rostrata Boheman

Taxonomic position: Insecta, Hemimetabla, Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Pentatomidae.

Common name: Wheat stinkbug.

Distribution: Southern and Middle Europe, Mediterranean Basin, Middle East.

Morphology: The adults are about 12 mm in length, reddish-brown, with a pointed, triangular head. Several dorsal longitudinal stripes run from the tip of the head to the posterior part of the scutellum. The stripes consist of two yellowish bands, with two darker bars between them and an inner white stripe.

Life history: During late spring the adult bugs emerge from their winter diapause sites in mountainous central Turkey and migrate to lower lands. There they feed on available Poaceae (Gramineae) and lay their eggs (about 100-160/female). The emerging nymphs feed on the same plants. In autumn they return to their diapausing sites, often in Quercus scrub. Their numbers fluctuate from year to year, at times occurring in very large numbers. Aelia rostrata usually raises 1-2 annual generations.

Economic importance: Aelia rostrata feeds on many cultivated Poaceae, especially wheat but also rye, barley, and oats. It sucks the sap from host leaves, which turn yellow and greatly reduing plant growth. Ears may not be formed, or remain small, and grains with reduced weight and baking qualities. An entire harvest may be affected. In Central Anatolia crop losses came to 35-93% in 1989 and 88% in 1991


Horticultural methods: Removal of Poaceous weeds, early grain harvesting and winter plowing.

Chemical methods: Organophosphates may be applied against very large pest populations.

Biological control: Aelia rostrata is parasitised by several Tachinidae and Scelionidae, such as Trissolcus. In Turkey the pest is infected by the entomopathogenic nematode Hexamermis sp., whose infection rates came to 25-45% and it was considered an important natural enemy of A. rostrate at overwintering sites. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin caused 100% mortality of A. rostrate within 9 days of incubation.


Brown E.S. 1965. Notes on the migration and direction of flight of Eurygaster and Aelia species (Hemiptera: Pentatomoidea) and their possible bearing on invasions of cereal crops. Journal of Animal Ecology 34: 93-107.

Dikyar, R. 1981. Biology and control of Aelia rostrate in central Anatolia. EPPO Bulletin 11: 39-41.

Memisoglu H., Özkan, M. and Melan, K. 1884. Natural enemies of cereal bug (Aelia rostrata Boh., (Hemiptera: Pentatomoidea)) in Central Anatolia. Bitki Koruma Bölümü: 187-194.

Memisoglu H., Melan, K., Özkan, M. and Kiliç, A.U. 1994. Investigations on the crop losses the wheat caused by cereal bug (Aelia rostrate Boh.) in the region of central Anatolia. Bitki Koruma Bülteni 34: 111-121.

Memisoglu H., Melan, K., Özkan, M., Kiliç, A.U. and Dortbudak, Y. 1996. Investigations on the hibernation and migration of Aelia rostrate Boh. in central Anatolia. Bitki Koruma Bülteni 36: 115-142.

Muştu , M., Demirci, F. and Koşak, E. 2011. Mortality effects of Isaria farinosa (Holm.) and Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Sordariomycetes: Hypocreales) on Aelia rostrata Boh. (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Türkiye Entomoloji Dergisi 35: 559-568.

Tarla, G., Tarla, Ş. İslamoğlu, M. and Kodan. M. 2012. Parasitism of the wheat stinkbug, Aelia rostrata Boh. (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) with the entomopathogenic nematode, Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae). Egypt Journal of Biological Pests Control 22: 141-143.

Tarla, G. 2017. Morphological diagnosis of Aelia rostrata Boh. (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) parasitized by Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) in Ankara, Turkey. Türkiye Biyolojik Mücadele Dergisi 8: 21-28.