The Green Shieldbug, commonly seen in gardens as well as the wider countryside, overwinters as an adult. Although usually conspicuously green, in the autumn they darken and become well-camouflaged as they hibernate amongst dead leaves. When they become active again in the spring, they gradually return to their green colouration.
Green Shieldbug, Palomena prasina, New Parks, 8 November 2015 ©Rosemary Winnall
Jon Cartwright photographed this adult Gorse Shieldbug on gorse at Fastings Coppice in May this year. It will have overwintered and bred this spring. Now, in July, we can find the late instal nymphs which should be mature by the end of the month. The sexually immature late summer adults have purplish coloration, but when they emerge from hibernation they are usually yellow-green.
Gorse Shieldbug, Fastings Coppice, 4 May 2015 ©Jon Cartwright
Gorse Shieldbug, final instar nymph, Wyre, 2 July 2014 ©Rosemary Winnall
Gorse Shieldbug, 15 September 2011, ©Rosemary Winnall
Jon Cartwright spotted this Bronze Shieldbug eating a Peacock butterfly caterpillar in Wyre recently. The adults of this species always have an orange band on the penultimate antennal segment. The young nymphs feed on plants, but the adults predate insect larvae, especially caterpillars and beetle larvae.
Bronze Shieldbug, Troilus luridus, Button Bridge, 21 June 2014
At this time of the year any patch of Hedge Woundwort is worth checking for the Woundwort Shieldbug (4-7mm), although it might also be found on White Dead-nettle and other labiates. The adults breeding now have overwintered, and the new adults will be found in August.
Woundwort Shieldbug, Eysarcoris venustissimus, Ribbesford Woods, 31st May 2014