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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

13 July, 2011

Hawthorn Shield-bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)

This insect is shield shaped and is found mainly on the leaves and fruit of Hawthorn so it has the common English name of ... Hawthorn Shield-bug!

Shield bugs are part of the order Hemiptera, sub-order Heteroptera; they are not flies or beetles, they are a separate taxonomical group. They can vary in colour quite considerably depending on age but the red triangle is usually visible on the Hawthorn Shield Bug.

These are insects that tend to hibernate as adults and so are most frequently seen in spring when they emerge or in autumn as they are looking for somewhere safe to pass the winter. That said, they are not uncommon in summer either and are frequently seen in gardens.

One of the bigger shield bugs, one of the most distinctive in appearance and and one of the more frequently seen, there is likely to be one near you soon!