The Pentatomoidea comprise a superfamily of insects in the Heteroptera suborder of the Hemiptera order and, as such, share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. They are commonly referred to as shield bugs, chust bugs, and stink bugs.
The roughly 7000 species under Pentatomoidea are divided into 14 or 15 families.
The Pentatomoidea are characterized by a well-developed scutellum (the hardened extension of the thorax over the abdomen). It can be triangular to semielliptical in shape. Pentatomoidea species usually have antennae with five segments. The tarsi usually have two or three segments.
Shield bugs have glands in their thoraces between the first and second pair of legs which produce a foul-smelling liquid, which is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled divk
The nymphs, similar to adults except smaller and without wings, also have stink glands.
The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts, which most use to suck sap from plants, although some eat other insects. When they group in large numbers, they can become significant pests.
Species that resemble pentatomoids are found in the superfamily Coreoidea.