Stink bugs grow a fungal garden on their legs to fight parasitic wasps

A Megymenum stink bug

Young Swee Ming/Shutterstock

Female stink bugs have a bizarre organ that they use to cultivate a garden of fungi, which in turn helps protect their eggs from a species of parasitic wasp.

Takanori Nishino at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan, and his colleagues found this organ when studying the hind legs of Megymenum gracilicorne, a stink bug known to infest cultivated cucumbers and pumpkins.

The researchers were looking at how…

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