Order (Heteroptera), family Pentatomidae

Shield Bugs, so called from the general shape of the adults.

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Bishop's Mitre Aelia acuminata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Aelia acuminata
  • Disused railway, Chesterton, TL463614: 16 Sep 2002
  • Sub-Family Pentatominae
  • Feeds on grasses, in continental Europe occasionally a pest on wheat.
  • Length: 9mm
  • Yes that's my thumb! I can work the camera left-handed! Fooled you!


Sloe Bug Dolycoris baccarum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dolycoris baccarum Dolycoris baccarum
  • Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR, TL479582. 29 July 2014
  • Noticeably hairy, sometimes called Hairy Shield Bug
  • Nymphs (also hairy) feed on various plants especially Rosaceae (sloe, damson, etc.)
  • The purple colour fades to brown in winter
  • Widespread in southern England and Midlands, sporadic further north
  • Enlarged view


Brassica Bug Eurydema oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Eurydema oleracea Eurydema oleracea
  • White: Lime Kiln Close, Cherry Hinton TL485561. 9 Sep 2014
    Red: Cambridge, Garden. 5 June 2016
  • Sub-Family Pentatominae
  • Colour varies, the markings may be red, orange, or white as here
  • Larvae feeds on wild crucifers, including garlic mustard (Alliaria) and horse-radish (Armoracia), cultivated brassicas, and Convolvulus. They are also sometimes carnivorous.
  • Range expanding outwards from the London area


Woundwart Shield Bug Eysarcoris venustissimus (Schrank, 1776)

Eysarcoris venustissimus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 2 Sep 2001
  • Sub-Family Pentatominae
  • The food-plant is Hedge Woundwart Stachys sylvatica, particularly the seeds; other Labiates may be used when these are out of season
  • Length: 6mm
  • Formerly accepted as Eysarcoris fabricii (Kirkaldy, 1904)


Nezara viridula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nezara viridula young nymphs Nezara viridula nymph Nezara viridula nymph
  • Sub-Family Pentatominae
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street. Young nymphs 17 Jun 2007 (Enlarge). Mid stage nymph 1 Sep 2007 (Enlarge). Final stage nymph 10 Sep 2007 (Enlarge). The final stage is quite variable, photos from other locations ofter show it mainly green with the connexivum pink.
  • Thought to be originally from Ethiopia, N. viridula is now cosmopolitan in tropical regions and well known in southern Europe. Although it is often introduced to Britain on plant material, Southwood & Leston (1959) opined that it was "unlikely" to be established here - but breeding colonies have been reported in London since 2004. These photos give evidence of at least one generation produced in Cambridge. It remains to be seen whether it can survive our modern so-called winters.
  • A wide variety of host plants are used. These were on or near a willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula').
  • Adults are like a slender Palomena prasina but green overall - there are also golden orange morphs.


Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina (Linnaeus, 1761)

Palomena prasina
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 22 Apr 2001
  • Sub-Family Pentatominae
  • Feeds on plant material, especially deciduous trees and shrubs; hazel is a common host.
  • Length: 13mm
Palomena prasina I believe these are all different instars of the nymph of P. prasina. As nearly as possible these are displayed at the same scale as the adult above.


Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus, 1758)

Picromerus bidens
  • Disused railway, Chesterton, TL464614: 12 Sep 2002
  • Sub-Family Amyoteinae
  • A predaceous species (except for young larvae), mainly on larvae of Lepidoptera and Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles).
  • Has found some use as a biological control agent, eg against European pine moth.


Gorse Shield Bug Piezodorus lituratus (Fabricius, 1794)

Piezodorus lituratus Piezodorus lituratus Piezodorus lituratus
  • Disused railway, Chesterton. (l) 5 Sep 2002, (c) 10 Sep 2002, (r) 5 May 2001. Sub-Family Pentatominae.
  • The nymphs feed not just on gorse but other Legumes, seen here on Laburnum, and in the autumn are seed-pod coloured.
  • Newly-emerged adults in autumn are green and purple (centre), after hibernation they are green (r) - only then do they mate.

Troilus luridus (Fabricius, 1775)

Troilus luridus
  • Disused railway, Chesterton, TL465613: 5 Sep 2002
  • Sub-Family Amyoteinae
  • A predaceous species, mainly on larvae of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.
  • Nymph shown: adults are not nearly as colourful, rather like a brown P. prasina.


Blue Bug Zicrona caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Zicrona caerulea
  • Cambridge (private site) TL447570, 7 Oct 2008
  • Sub-Family Amyoteinae
  • Widespread, present in North America and throughout Europe and Asia.
  • Preys on larvae and adults of chryosomelid beetles and lepidoptera.


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