Species of the Month March 2021

 

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

picture of green shieldbugs

Probably our commonest shieldbug, the Green Shieldbug is found throughout south east Wales in gardens, parks and many other habitats. During early spring the overwintering adults appear from hibernation, often seen sunbathing on low vegetation during sunny days. During winter the adults turn brown to enable better camouflage amongst dead leaves and vegetation (shown above left). They return to their brighter green colouring (above right) during spring, so either colour may be found during March.

Identification of Green Shieldbug is relatively straightforward, with plain colouring and classic shield shape. The wing tips are always brown. There are a couple of potential confusion species: the Southern Green Shieldbug (Nezara viridula) is very similar with clear wing tips, however this species is yet to be discovered in Wales. You are more likely to encounter the other confusion species, Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus), which can be differentiated by the smoother shape and pale green outline to the body. The British Bugs website has excellent identification information for all shieldbugs, including nymphs.

Green Shieldbug is widespread throughout south Wales and is likely to be present in every 1km square, but we only have just over 1,000 records in the SEWBReC database (view the Wales wide distribution on Aderyn).

If you spot Green Shieldbug during March (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.