Tortoise Bug - Eurygaster (cf) testudinaria

Description

Length 9 to 11 mm. A fairly large shieldbug, the two Eurygaster species are often known as Tortoise Bugs. The ground colour and intensity of the markings are variable. This species is distinguished from the slightly smaller and rarer E. maura by the slight central depression at the front of the head and the slightly more protruding hind corners ('shoulders') of the pronotum. These characters are not always reliable; genital examination may be necessary.  Because it requires genital examination to eliminate E. maura and it is unlikely that our recorders will have gone to such lengths, we have designated this species as Eurygaster (cf) testudinaria (meaning 'likely to be').

Similar Species

Eurygaster maura is very similar and can only be reliably separated from E. testudinaria by genital examination. However E. maura has only been recorded from Essex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire so specimens found in Leicestershire can reasonably be assumed to be E. testinaria. However species distributions are changing so it is possible that E. maura may expand into more northerly areas in the future.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Dry and damp grasslands.

When to see it

Adult: All year

Life History

Nymphs feed on grasses between May and August, becoming adult from July.

UK Status

Previously uncommon, it is now widespread in southern Britain and Ireland in and is expanding its range northwards.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map