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Meet The Species: Green Shield Bugs

Fierce and defensive. The green shield bug is a one and half centimetre warrior.

Known by some as the green stink bug.  It’s U shaped profile, similar to medieval shields has a glossy green surface. This helps them easily blend in with the undergrowth. However, when this camouflage fails, they have a secret weapon.

This insect has a strong pungent odour which it releases when attacked. Upon release, they will rapidly beat their wings, quickly making their escape.

Considering these facts, it becomes obvious; that this sap eating insect is primarily designed for evading and escaping predators.

Something they strive to achieved in all weathers. Shifting their colouring from bronze to green as the seasons change.

Finally going into hibernation during the coldest months.

Once they emerge from hibernation, both sexes will typically spend four weeks concentrating on nothing but food.  However, their minds will soon move on to more pressing matters…

Courtship is notoriously short. Quickly followed by a series of back to back matings. Afterwards, females will lay 25-30 eggs in hexagonal batches.

Once hatched, these young will be privy to a phenomenon known as hemimetabolous development. Meaning they experience no larval stage. Instead being born wingless nymphs, a miniature version of the adult.

These young-lings will often herd together in colonies for protection.  If any danger presents itself, individuals are quick to release a warning pheromone. This alerts the others and with this aid, many will escape the jaws of death.

Eventually reaching their adult stage, they will leave their siblings. Heading out alone to bulk up for winter harsh hibernation.

Alexander S. Howson

Alexander S. Howson is a naturalist and nature writer.

Along with a heavy interest in Aquatics, birds and ecology. Alexander now directs a large deal of energy attempting to re-educate the public about aquatics and promoting the conservation of a range of wildlife species.

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