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Green shield bug

Insect

Palomena prasina

This flat, shield-shaped bug is common throughout England and Wales, but less so in Scotland.

It is bright green and stippled with tiny black dots in spring and summer, but changes to greeny-bronze in autumn. Its wing tips are dark brown.

Adult shield bugs hibernate in grass tussocks or leaf litter and emerge in May.

Females lay clusters of small, barrel-shaped eggs on the undersides of leaves. These hatch into wingless nymphs, which crawl between plants to feed, and become the new generation of adults in September. These bugs can often be seen basking in the sun during late summer before they hibernate. Both adults and nymphs suck plant sap.

It is sometimes called a green stink bug as it produces a pungent odour from special glands if handled or disturbed.

What does it eat?

Plant sap and leaves of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.

When will I see it?

Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Where will I see it?

In flower border/herb gardens on herbaceous plants and shrubs. On trees and in hedges. Also seen in parks, woodland edges and glades.