Shieldbug Secrets

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Did you know that both these photos are of the same species of Shieldbug (Palomena prasina – the
Common Green Shieldbug)? No? Neither did I until fairly recently when I discovered “instars” – these are phases the bug goes through between moults. So it moults off its exoskeleton and inside is a slightly more developed version of itself. In this Shieldbug, it has 5 instars before it becomes an adult. This is the sort of thing I find really interesting – I’m a bit weird! The one on the left is an adult, and the one on the right is a 5th (and final) instar.

I took the photos above in the garden on Saturday. This one was taken last month of what I think is a 4th instar of the same bug:


This image below is from the British Bugs website which is a really useful resource for identifying bugs in Britain. And if you’re weird like me, you’ll find it fascinating to see how the bug changes through its life.

Green Shieldbug Lifecycle – image © Ashley Wood