Metallic Shiel Bug – an Australian Scutellerida

Metallic Shield Bug

Scutelleridae is a family of true bugs. They are commonly known as jewel bugs or metallic shield bugs due to their often brilliant coloration. They are also known as shield-backed bugs due to the enlargement of the last section of their thorax into a continuous shield over the abdomen and wings. This latter characteristic distinguishes them from most other families within Heteroptera, and may lead to misidentification as a beetle rather than a bug. These insects feed on plant juices from a variety of different species, including some commercial crops. Closely related to stink bugs, they may also produce an offensive odour when disturbed. There are around 450 species worldwide.

The family is composed of about 81 genera and around 450 species worldwide. While the tribal and subfamilial classifications remain unclear, they are divided into eight subfamilies sensu lato: Elvisurinae, Eurygastrinae, Hoteinae (sometimes classified under Pachycorinae), Odontoscelinae, Odontotarsinae, Pachycorinae, Scutellerinae, and Tectocorinae.

Though most jewel bugs do little harm to crop plants, a few members of Scutelleridae are considered major agricultural pests. Together with some species of stink bugs, they are collectively known as sunn pests (also spelled as senn, soun, or shüne pests) or wheat bugs. The most economically important species of which are members of the genus Eurygaster.

Source: - 10.11.2008

Metallic Shield Bug

This splendid Metallic Shield Bug is one more exponent of the southern hemisphere, which represents the spring with bright colours, while with us the nature is preparing itself for the even-tempered season.

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