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
  • Subfamily 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!
  • NBN Atlas

Sloe Bug Dolycoris baccarum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dolycoris baccarum Dolycoris baccarum
  • Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR, TL479582. 29 July 2014
  • Noticeably hairy, sometimes called Hairy Shieldbug
  • 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
  • NBN Atlas

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
  • Subfamily Pentatominae
  • Colour varies, the pale markings may be orange or white as here, or even red.
  • 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
  • NBN Atlas

Woundwart Shieldbug Eysarcoris venustissimus (Schrank, 1776)

Eysarcoris venustissimus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 2 Sep 2001
  • Subfamily 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)
  • NBN Atlas

Nezara viridula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nezara viridula young nymphs Nezara viridula nymph Nezara viridula nymph
  • Subfamily 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 often 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.
  • (added 2017) This appears to have been the first record for VC29 and there are no others in the new provisional atlas. Other sightings outside London are also isolated, suggesting the species is an opportunist traveller.
  • A wide variety of host plants are used. These were on or near a willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula'), although legumes - especially beans - are stated to be favoured.
  • Adults are like a slender Palomena prasina but green overall with a row of 3 white dots at the fore edge of the scutellum. There are also golden orange morphs.
  • NBN Atlas

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina (Linnaeus, 1761)

Palomena prasina
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 22 Apr 2001
  • Subfamily Pentatominae
  • Feeds on plant material, especially deciduous trees and shrubs; hazel is a common host.
  • Length: 13mm
  • NBN Atlas
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.

Red-legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes ()

Pentatoma rufipes
  • Haslingfield Pit, TL408516: 19 Sep 2018
  • Subfamily Pentatominae
  • Nymphs feed mainly on oak, also alder, hazel, apple and cherry.
  • Adults are partly predatory, feeding on caterpillars and other insects as well as fruits.
  • NBN Atlas

Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus, 1758)

Picromerus bidens
  • Disused railway, Chesterton, TL464614: 12 Sep 2002
  • Subfamily 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.
  • NBN Atlas

Gorse Shieldbug 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. Subfamily 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.
  • NBN Atlas

Turtle Shieldbug Podops inuncta (Fabricius, 1775)

Podops inuncta
  • Gwydir Street: 9 May 2021
  • Subfamily Podopinae
  • Notable for the scutellum extending the full length of the abdomen, and for the projections on the front of the pronotum.
  • The larvae feed on a range of grasses.
  • NBN Atlas

Troilus luridus (Fabricius, 1775)

Troilus luridus
  • Disused railway, Chesterton, TL465613: 5 Sep 2002
  • Subfamily 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.
  • NBN Atlas

Blue Bug Zicrona caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Zicrona caerulea
  • Cambridge (private site) TL447570, 7 Oct 2008
  • Subfamily Amyoteinae
  • Widespread, present in North America and throughout Europe and Asia.
  • Preys on larvae and adults of chrysomelid beetles and lepidoptera.
  • NBN Atlas

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