I collaborated on this digital key while completing my undergraduate degree at University of Guelph (Uof G). In this dichotomous digital key, the Ontario stink bugs (Pentatomidae) and parent bugs (Acanthosomatidae) are reviewed. Photographic dichotomous keys are provided to the families of Canadian Pentatomoidea and the 56 species of Pentatomidae and Acanthosomatidae occurring in, or likely to occur in, Ontario. One species, Trichopepla atricornis Stål, is recorded from Ontario for the first time.

The purpose is to provide a visual tool to allow easy identification between  pest an beneficial species of Pentaomidae and Acanthosomatidae. With this tool, proper pest management measures can be taken.

This project is cited as:

Paiero, S.M., Marshall, S.A., McPherson, J.E., Ma, M.-S. 2013. Stink bugs (Pentatomidae) and parent bugs (Acanthosomatidae) of Ontario and adjacent areas: A key to species and a review of the fauna. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification No. 24, 1 September, 2013. Available online at

Intended Audience

Ontario farmers, general audience, entomologists


Adobe Photoshop CS6, Microsoft PowerPoint

Intended Format


Process Work

The first step to constructing this key was to research existing keys and utlize pinned specimens from the University of Guelph (UofG) insect collection to select and illustrate characters that clearly define families and species within Pentaomidae and Acanthosomatidae for the digital key.

High-resolution images of pinned insects from the U of G insect collection (taken on the Microptics system) and live images taken by Dr. Steve Marshall and collaborators were used to clearly highlight important characters used for identification.

Microsoft PowerPoint was used to organize images and text because it was a tool that was comfortable amongst multiple researchers and collaborators involved.

Dichotomous Key_PowerPoint

The finalized digital key was then exported to HTML5 and was published in the Journal of Athropod Idenficiation.



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