Thursday, 10 September 2015

Day 302 - Beauty of the mini-beasts - Part 10 - Green Shield Bugs

Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) second instar
So you can see how small it is - here it is on
Dad's big hairy finger!
Hi everyone, Day 302 and this is one of the smallest minibeasts I've covered for a while. I did aphids and springtails back in a Beauty of the Mini-Beasts series which I started back on Day 93 (that was a brilliant Great Diving Beetle!)  Well looking through my photo's I found these shots which were taken while I was in Norfolk but I can't remember where I saw them. I've developed quite sharp eyes I think with all my nature hunting and the smallest things catch my eye. This was very small, but very pretty and fascinating. I've done other insects since but as this one was so small I thought it out to be part of the mini-beast series!

It puzzled me for a while though trying to identify it as I couldn't find any small half green half black beetles. Took me a while to find out it wasn't a beetle but an early stage of the life cycle of a Green Shield Bug. I don't have any pictures of the adults but I found a lovely Youtube video which I've added below that shows the adults.

Well, I did my research and here's what I found:

    Working its way up the plant
  • They are most common England and Wales, hardly at all in Scotland, about 3 records, there has been more records in Ireland than in Scotland.
  • They are found from Spring to Autumn or more specifically, from May to November, so they can still be seen now.
  • They will start of as eggs, as in all bugs, and will then hatch into the first form, from what I've seen will then become a bit bigger for three stages of growth.
  • They will them take their next form, which is starting to take the shape of the end bug, it then enlarges and grows a shield. It is then the Shield Bug.
    Up to the top
  • All of these stages, apart from egg and the adult, are called instars. I don't know why but they just are. My pictures are of the Green Shield bug in its second instar.
  • They are usually about 12mm - 13.5 mm long, which is quite small and they could easily get trodden on.
  • They can also be called 'Stink bugs' as they will release a smell designed to repel predators away.
  • It eats plant sap, leaves of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. So, they have quite a varied diet.
Here's the lovely video of the adult bugs

Here are a few links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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