Six Shieldbugs to Spot this Summer
Shieldbugs, also known as stink bugs, are fascinating insects that are abundant in the UK. These insects are named after their characteristic shield-like shape and are part of the Hemiptera order. Here are five common UK shieldbugs and how to find them.
- Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) The Green Shieldbug is one of the most common shieldbugs in the UK. They are bright green in color, with a triangular shield on their backs. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, fields, and woodlands. They feed on plants, and their favorite food is the fruit of the Hawthorn tree. Look for them in the summer months on Hawthorn, Oak, and Elm trees.
- Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) The Hairy Shieldbug is another common species found in the UK. They are brown in color, with distinct yellow markings on their back. As the name suggests, they have a hairy appearance. They can be found in hedgerows, gardens, and fields. They feed on a variety of plants, including nettle and hawthorn. Look for them in the summer months on nettle, hawthorn, and blackberry bushes.
- Birch Shieldbug (Elasmostethus interstinctus) The Birch Shieldbug is a common species found in birch woodlands and other habitats that have birch trees. They are dark brown in color, with yellow and black markings on their back. They feed on birch trees and are most commonly seen in the autumn months when they are looking for a place to hibernate for the winter.
- Blue Shieldbug (Zicrona caerulea) The Blue Shieldbug is a rare species found in the UK, with a blue-green metallic color on its body. They are typically found in coastal areas and can be seen on coastal plants, such as sea kale and sea beet. They are also known to feed on insects, such as aphids and caterpillars. Look for them in the summer months in coastal areas and keep an eye out for their striking metallic blue-green color.
- Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus) The Gorse Shieldbug is a species commonly found in the UK, with a yellowish-green color and distinctive black markings on its back. They are typically found in gorse habitats, feeding on the flowers and seeds of gorse bushes. They can also be found in other habitats, such as heathlands and moors. Look for them in the summer months on gorse bushes and keep an eye out for their unique color and markings.
- Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale) The Hawthorn Shieldbug is a species commonly found in the UK, with a greenish-brown color and distinctive red markings on its body. They are typically found in hedgerows and woodlands, feeding on the leaves and berries of hawthorn and other trees such as rowan and whitebeam. Look for them in the summer and autumn months on these trees and keep an eye out for their unique color and markings.