Hawthorn Shield Bug (#427)

Starting to see a few insects around the garden now; this one was hiding up in the chard picked from my vegetable plot for dinner. Shield bugs over-winter as adults, so maybe it’s been there all winter? The Hawthorn Shield Bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale) is quite common, and although it has a preference for hawthorns (which I don’t have in the garden), it also is found in birch and hazel trees. It is quite similar to the closely-related Birch Shield Bug, but differs in it’s more elongated shape and it’s burgundy-coloured, pointy shoulders. I’ve put both species side by side below for comparison.

Stinkbugs Emerging

These two were the first shield bugs of the season.  On the left the Birch Shieldbug (#282), several of which have been blown out of the trees around the garden by the strong winds of the last couple of days.  On the right a Red-legged Shieldbug (#292), this one saved from drowning in the paddling pool.  These shield shaped bugs are also often called stink bugs as the smell bad when you squash them, and presumably they taste bad to birds as well.  They're pretty bugs, but not especially a gardeners friend as they live by sucking the sap from plants and hence can become a pest, but I don't mind them...