Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Shield-bugs, Stink Bugs.

Salient features of adults. Terrestrial.

Phytophagous (mostly), or predacious (on slow-moving insects). Small to large; 4–14 mm long; fliers; emitting repugnatorial liquid as a defence reaction; relatively stout bodied. Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula. Antennae from the lower part of the head; longer than the head, readily visible from above; usually 5 segmented; non-aristate. Ocelli usually present. Scutellum very large (sometimes enormous, sometimes extending to the end of the abdomen). Metathorax with a scent-gland opening, comprising a funnel surrounded by a dull patch of elaborately sculptured cuticle, visible laterally on either side. Fore-wings well developed; in the resting insect lying more or less flat over the abdomen; differentiated into a basally thickened and a distally membranous region; with a clavus. Tarsi 3 segmented. Pulvilli present. The abdominal tergites with 7 visible connexivia (according to Imms). The abdomen without ventral silvery pubescence.

Bugs commonly brown; bases of the antennae concealed by the side-margins of head, the corium bases reaching the sides of the body to form epipleura, and seven abdominal tergites with visible connexivia; tibiae rarely spiny. Scutellum extending the full length of the abdomen, or much shorter short and triangular. Species with the long scutellum are distinguished from Scutelleridae by possesion of slender, pointed anterior projections from the lateral margins of the pronotum to near the eyes..

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Pentatomoidea.

British representation. About 22 species in Britain; genera about 18. Aelia, Carpocoris, Dolycoris, Eurydema, Eysarcoris, Holcostethus, Jalla, Neottiglossa, Palomena, Pentatoma, Picromerus, Piezodorus, Pitedia, Podops, Rhacognathus, Sciocoris, Troilus, Zicrona. E.g., Zicrona caerulea (Blue Shield-bug).

Comments. In late summer, some Pentatominae transfer their attentions to developing and ripe fruit, and if not excluded on harvesting can it by the nauseous discharge from their metathoracic glands.

Illustrations. • Zicrona caerulea (Blue Shield-bug: B. Ent. 20). • Zicrona caerulea (detail: B. Ent. 20). • Zicrona caerulea (dissections: B. Ent. 20). • Zicrona caerulea (legend+text: B. Ent. 20). • Zicrona caerulea (text: B. Ent. 20, cont.). • Aelia acuminata: B. Ent. 704. • Aelia acuminata: B. Ent. 704, legend+text. • Aelia acuminata: B. Ent. 704, legend cont.. • Eurydema, Eysarcoris, Neottiglossa, Zicrona, with Cydnidae (Southwood & Leston). • Aelia, Podops, Rhacognathus, Sciocoris (Southwood & Leston). • Dolycoris, Palomena, Pentatoma, Picromerus, Piezodorus, Troilus (Southwood & Leston). • Aelia, Carpocoris, Dolycoris, Eysacoris, Holcostethus, Neottiglossa, Pitedia, Sciocoris: Saunders, 1892.. • Eurydema, Jalla, Palomena, Pentatoma, Picromerus, Piezodorus, Rhacognathus, Troilus, Zicrona: Saunders, 1892.. • Podops inuncta, with unrelated taxa: Saunders, 1892..

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.