Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shieldbug

I found this little forest bug Pentatoma rufipes out for a stroll on a patch of willow herb yesterday.

Here you can see that long proboscis - used for eating plants and for impaling the occasional caterpillar - folded back between the front legs.

I wondered what those inflated purple patches were at the point where the hind leg joins the thorax - until I consulted a few books and realised these are the stink glands that give these insects their alternative name - stink bugs. These secrete a noxious smelling fluid to deter predators...........or in this case the paparazzi.

For some excellent pictures of this insect (and remarkable eggs) - see here.

14 comments:

  1. They are amazing little creatures aren't they?

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  2. Stunning Images! I will look out for them. Really beautiful. Are the green ones the same apart from the colour?

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  3. A bug to look out for ... Extraordinary eggs, as you say.

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  4. Brilliant macro shots Phil. I only ever seem to see the green variety here.

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  5. Certainly are toffeeapple - they were wearing should-pads long before it became fashionable

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  6. Looks like a suit of armour, doesn't it Keith..?

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  7. There are quite a few species Adrian - check out the British Bugs web site at http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/index.html

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  8. I wish I could find some of those eggs Caroline ... I'd love to watch them hatch

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  9. Hi John and John, they're slow-moving and don't fly much, so I had time to take quite a few pics..

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  10. I'm pretty sure that I've seen a few of these recently, but haven't got around to trying to identify them. I shall try your link because I have photos of several similar but different shieldbugs. Didn't get sprayed with smelly stuf though fortunately.

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  11. Hi Mark, there do seem to be a lot around at the moment, I've found a couple on the hawthorn tree in my garden this week. The Field Studies Council publishes a very handy fold-out guide to bugs of the British Isles...cheers, Phil

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