Shield bugs

Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
flossiepip
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Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Saw an orange Shield bug today, is this a usual colour!
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:30 pm

There are lots of species and some are orange, so unfortunately it's hard to know if it's uncommon without identifying the species.
flossiepip
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:07 pm

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The light was shocking and of the very few photos that I took this was about the best!
Olwen
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby Olwen » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:28 pm

Wow! I've never seen one that colour before. Quite startling.
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David Riddell
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby David Riddell » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:20 am

Seeing it right next to the other one (didn't notice it at first!) this looks like a colour variant of the green shield bug Nezara viridula. The only thing that made me unsure is that it only has two pale dots along the line between the thorax and abdomen, whereas N. viridula normally has three (this is a useful way of telling it apart from the native, non-pest Glaucias amyoti which is otherwise very similar but lacks the dots). But looking around for similar critters, Landcare Research has an image of one very like this (http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch. ... idula.html). It also just has two (very pale) dots, with a couple of black dots off to the side for good measure. I've never seen an orange one myself (though I once saw a native praying mantis that was about the same colour) but apparently they do turn up on rare occasions.
EDIT: Looks like yours has the black dots as well, and so do the regular green ones, though they don't show up as clearly.
Olwen
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby Olwen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:40 pm

In The Life-size Guide to Insects by Andrew Crowe there is a small picture of a NZ Vegetable Bug (Glaucias amyoti) that looks very similar to yours, and may have the little black dots that David mentioned. Andrew Crowe says the NZ vegetable bug is usually green but sometimes yellow so it cld be one of these. Maybe you cld put it on NatureWatch and see if they have a definitive answer.
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David Riddell
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby David Riddell » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:51 am

This thread has got me looking more closely at the shield bugs in our garden - I've just this morning found some green potato bugs (Cuspicona simplex), have only noticed N. viridula here before. That Landcare Research fact sheet mentioned them - they're a bit smaller, have distinctly sharp corners to the thorax and lack the pale dots. There's also a fact sheet on them (http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch. ... mplex.html) - from Australia, regarded as a "minor" pest.
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David Riddell
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby David Riddell » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:48 pm

The more you look the more you see - Annette was weeding the garden this morning and found this guy. I checked in the NZ Inventory of Biodiversity (fantastic reference!) and found that the shield bug family (Pentatomidae) only has half a dozen or so species beyond the ones mentioned above. The first one I checked on was Cermatulus nasalis, and that looks like it. The Friends of Te Henui (an amazing group whose primary purpose is looking after a walkway in Taranaki, but on the side they run one of the best sites for identifying NZ wildlife) have a picture and info at http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te ... salis.html. Called the brown soldier bug, it's a native, and a predator on caterpillars (including monarchs) and other insects. Quite enjoying these shield bugs - next mission is to find the native green one!
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Tim Barnard
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Postby Tim Barnard » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:09 am

Cheers David ... thanks for the link to the TERRAIN site. What a great resource.
flossiepip
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:23 am

Interesting to go to the garden center and see warning leaflets from mpi.govt KEEP NEW ZEALAND STINK BUG FREE. Well fat chance of that but it would seem that they mean the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug!

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