Sunday 19 May
Green shield bug (Palomena prasina)
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Green shield bug fact file
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Green shield bug description
This common bug has a flattened, shield-shaped body, as the name suggests (3). It is bright green in colour with delicate flecks of black that look like small puncture marks (2). In November, the insects darken in colour and spend the winter hibernating with a dark-bronze colouration (2). Although the sexes are similar in appearance, females tend to be larger than males (2). Like all bugs (Hemiptera), the green shield bug has specialised sucking mouthparts, which in this species are used to feed on plant sap (4). This species belongs to a sub-order known as the ‘true bugs’ (Heteroptera) in which only the tips of the wings are membranous; the rest of the wing is hardened. When the bug is at rest, the wings are held flat over the body and the membranous parts of the wings overlap (2).
- Also known as
- green stink bug.
- Length: 12-13.5 mm (2)
- The stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
- Stage of insect development, similar in appearance to the adult but sexually immature.
National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (January2004):
- Southwood, T.R.E. & Leston, D. (1959) Land and water bugs of the British Isles The Wayside and Woodland Series. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London.
RSPB- Green shield bug (February 2004):
Martin. J. Hemiptera
It’s a Bug’s Life (February 2004):
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Green shield bug biology
Adult green shield bugs emerge from hibernation in May and mate in June (2). As with most bugs, individuals mate ‘back to back’ (4). The eggs are laid in hexagonal batches of around 28, and a single female will lay a number of batches so that the total number she lays will be around 100 (2). All bugs have a type of insect development known as ‘hemimetabolous development’ in which there is no larval stage but a number of wingless nymphs instead which resemble the adult form(4). This species passes through five nymphal stages, moulting between each one. Each stage has a different colouration, and the final stage has short wings. The adult stage is reached in September, and they go into hibernation in November (2).Top
Green shield bug rangeTop
Green shield bug habitatTop
Green shield bug status
Not threatened (2).Top
Green shield bug threats
This species is not threatened.Top
Green shield bug conservation
Conservation action is not required for this common species.Top
Find out more
For more on invertebrates, their conservation and details of how to get involved see Buglife, the invertebrate conservation trust:
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