The wildlife and wild places of Leicestershire and Rutland
All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species - see our Identification Difficulty page for more information. A coloured rating followed by an exclamation mark denotes that different ID difficulties apply to either males and females or to the larvae - see the species page for more detail.
Shieldbugs and allies (Heteroptera)
This grouping comprises several families of shield-bugs (Pentatomoidea), Coreidae and Rhopalidae, plus a few other families that have not been recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. They are predominantly insects of warner climates and are at the northern edge of their range in the UK. Several British species are only found in the south and east of Britain. However, species are spreading northwards, probably due to climate changes, and its is expected that new species to VC55 will arrive. They are covered by the Terrestrial Heteroptera Recording Scheme (Shield-bugs and allies) for Britain and Ireland – contact Tristan Bantock at email@example.com.
The name shield-bug comes from the large scutellum that covers most or all of the wings, which is often shield-shaped. They are sometimes called stink-bugs due to release of a pungent fluid when handled. In the adult, wings are held flat to the body, covered in the basal half by the triangular scutellum and the hardened forewings, called the ‘corium’. Many are large and strikingly marked, sometimes with a metallic sheen, but there are several small brown or black ground-dwelling species which are often overlooked. Some species are predatory, eating caterpillars and other insects. Other eat plant sap and are associated with trees. The nymphs of some species are brightly coloured in red, green or black, and some species have different colour-forms. There are usually 5 instars, with the thorax of the later instars showing the development of the adult wings.
Nymphs can be difficult to identify, and some have a higher 'Red-Amber-Green' (RAG) rating than the adults. This is shown by a triangular warning symbol after the RAG camera symbol. Click on the image to find out more.
Coreidae include the very common Dock Bug and the leather-bugs (known as ‘squash-bugs’ in the USA). Most are brownish in colour. Rhopalid bugs show a wide range of forms and colouring, including the common red and black Cinnamon bug, which has had a recent dramatic expansion of its range.
- male, green form
- left hand loop complete, right-hand with small gap
- detail of pronotum