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Green shield bug (Palomena prasina)


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These bugs are sap-sucking insects that can be found on a wide range of plants. The adults, when viewed from above, have a distinctive shield-like shape. The appearance of the Green shield Bug changes during its lifecycle. Batches of eggs are laid in early summer on the underside of leaves. They hatch within about 10 days. The first instar nymphs are tiny nymphs they remain close to the egg cases. With each moult the instar changes in shape and size. By the 2nd instar, they are around 3mm long and are foraging independently. At this stage it has a prominent black banding. By the 4th instar it is appears as a flat circular disc and by the 5th instar the wing buds are developing. This picture shows a 5th final stage nymph. The development cycle from egg to adult takes about six weeks. When fully grown it is a broad, flattened, green insect with a strongly contrasting blackish brown darker area at the rear end. The adult bugs are about 10mm-14mm long and are often seen basking in the sun in late summer on a wide variety of plants. In the autumn green shield bugs can change their green appearance to deep brown so they can remain camouflaged amongst the leaves and dead wood and they will over-winter in this state. In spring they revert to their summer green colouring. Picture taken on 8th August 2011 Old Warden Woods, Bedfordshire

1st Jun 2012 by Diane Earl

Biology, Environmental Science

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Geocode: Old Warden Woods, Bedfordshire
Date of artefact: 8/8/11

insect shield bug

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