Shield bugs

Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
Olwen
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:14 am

Re: Shield bugs

Postby Olwen » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:58 am

Its been great to hear about these bugs. And thanks for the link to Te Henui. Its so enjoyable to nose around among the bugs - good to know there's a lot of us doing it!
flossiepip
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:52 pm

The orange Shield Bug reappeared today, so took a few more photos though the weather was dull and a bit drizzly. I would say its a male as he was being pulled about during copulation!
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Olwen
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:14 am

Re: Shield bugs

Postby Olwen » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:17 am

Great pictures!
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David Riddell
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: Shield bugs

Postby David Riddell » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:57 am

Yes, great pictures indeed. Definitely a Nezara if it's copulating with one of those green ones. Looks like he's had a hard life - starting to show his age!
flossiepip
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:04 pm

We now have a garden full of shield bug nymphs, any idea what the colours for these young bugs should be as ours are all black with a row of white spots all along the edge of the body with two rows of yellow spots from top of body to back and red spots from body to head with two red spots on the head. Legs are black but under body red. Is this the normal colour of the nymph!
flossiepip
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Shield bugs

Postby flossiepip » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:21 pm

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David Riddell
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Re: Shield bugs

Postby David Riddell » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:53 am

Nice photos. Yes, the nymphs are very pretty, and highly variable. According to Landcare Research:
First instar nymphs are like small, red and black, wingless adults. There are five nymphal stages, each is called an instar. Nymphs go from one stage to the next by moulting, changing their skin. During moulting, the “skin” on the dorsal side splits and the next stage pulls itself out. As the insects progress through the nymphal stages their body changes colour. The first instar is almost circular in outline. The body is red with black around the abdominal scent gland openings, black areas also on the thorax and a black head, legs and antennae. The second instar is shiny black. The abdomen has a pair of white lateral patches on the first segment and two pairs of tiny orange spots near the scent glands. The third instar is also black, but has more white on the first abdominal segment and more small yellow or white spots on the abdomen. The lateral edges of the prothorax and mesothorax (first and second segments of the middle section of the body) are coloured. The colour of fourth instar nymphs is more variable. The background colour may be black or green and the lateral edge of each abdominal segment may have an area of pink. Antennae and legs vary from pink to dark brown. The small wing buds extend to the edge of the abdomen. Fifth instar nymphs are even more variable. They may be almost black to almost green with a pink abdominal fringe. Amongst the variable patterns, they all have three pairs of white or yellow abdominal spots near the scent glands. Most also have more small white spots.

They don't mention the red underside, but some of the images on the factsheet show this, although yours look particularly bright.

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