A Bug’s Life

Common Green Shieldbugs are (as the name suggests) quite common where I live. If you met a brand new one and an adult you’d be forgiven for thinking they were different kinds of bugs. They change a lot as they grow. They have multiple moults where they shed their exoskeleton to reveal the next stage that has developed underneath. They call the different stages instars, and Common Green Shieldbugs have 5 instars before they reach adulthood. They also have variation in colour between the ones that are mostly green and ones that have a lot more black.

As a biology nerd, I find lifecycles and such pretty fascinating and collecting images of the different stages is very satisfying 🙂

I don’t have any 1st instar photos of the bugs when they’ve just hatched, but I can show you the rest of their development.

2nd instar

Common Green Shieldbug (2nd instar)
Common Green Shieldbug (2nd instar)

3rd instar

Common Green Shieldbug (3rd Instar)
Green Shieldbug
Common Green Shieldbug (3rd instar)
Common Green Shieldbug (3rd instar)

4th instar

Common Green Shieldbug (3rd instar)
Common Green Shieldbug (4th instar)
Green Shieldbug on Meadowsweet seeds
Common Green Shieldbug (4th instar)

5th instar

Common Green Shieldbug
Common Green Shieldbug
Common Green Shieldbug
Common Green Shieldbug

Adult

Common Green Shieldbug
Green Shieldbug
Green Shieldbug
Green Shield Bug (adult)

Comparison

Finally, here’s a direct comparison between then (2nd instar) and now (adult):

Common Green Shieldbug (2nd instar)
Then
Common Green Shieldbug
Now

Inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Now and Then.

Note: While I am very much a biology nerd, I am not qualified to be absolutely sure of my instar identifications. Hopefully I have identified them correctly but don’t take my word for it!

Published by Suzy Shipman

I like to take photos and write words ...

5 thoughts on “A Bug’s Life

  1. This instars developments are amazing. Thank you so much for making such an effort to capture it from stage to stage and sharing with us. These are beautiful photos, Suzy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you didn’t bug anyone while taking those pictures! Very interesting account of a bug’s life. Great pictures, too. Bugs are much better models than birds, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL I don’t think you find anyone among our followers who knows more than you do about bugs Suzy, so your identification is definitely safe with us! Loved these images, and what a pretty little bug it is!

    Liked by 1 person

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